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The 2019 JMU George West Jazz Festival & JMU Alumni Reunion Weekend

44th Annual JMU George West Jazz Festival

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Chuck Dotas, coordinator


The JMU Jazz Alumni 1998 - 2018 Reunion will take place on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30, commemorating 20 years students who have worked with Professors Chuck Dotas and David Pope (OK, it will actually be 21 years of Dotas and 19 of Pope, but at least that averages out to 20 years…).  

The reunion will include concerts by alumni jazz combos (Friday, March 29) and an alumni big band (Saturday, March 30) that will perform on the Jazz Festival final concert with the current JMU Jazz Ensemble.  We’ll be working out a group rate at the new Hotel Madison, located directly adjacent to the JMU School of Music.

This past April’s Westfest was completely full, and we’re anticipating an early sell out of next year’s slots.  Contact Chuck Dotas ( to reserve a place, or for more information about the festival and/or alumni reunion. 

Saturday, March 30:

8:00 am - 3:00 pm: ongoing public school jazz ensemble performances/clinics

11:00 am - noon: concurrent guest artist/clinician master classes

4:00 pm: performance by the JMU Jazz Ensemble and guest artists


To register your ensemble(s), simply email Chuck Dotas ( to reserve a spot in the schedule (time preferences should be indicated in the email). Performance slots are allotted on a first-come, first-reserved basis; the schedule will fill up by late fall, so reserve early!

Registration fee

$300.00 per ensemble, which covers a performance by your ensemble in our wonderful Forbes Center Concert Hall (with complete stage crew and professional sound reinforcement), a professionally mixed CD (or online recording via dropbox) of your band’s performance, recorded comments by two clinicians, an in-depth private post-performance clinic, and admission for your students/directors/chaperones to the 4:00 pm concert by the JMU Jazz Ensemble and guest artists/clinicians.

Public School Ensemble Performance Details

All ages and ability levels are welcome; both combos and big bands are eligible to perform. The JMU George West Jazz Festival is non-competitive; ensembles have the option of performing for a rating or for comments only. Each school is allotted a 30 minute performance time on the Forbes Center Concert Hall stage (20 minutes for Middle School ensembles), and is provided with recorded comments by two adjudicators. Each school receives a 45 minute clinic (30 minutes for middle schools) by one of our guest artists immediately following the ensemble's performance.


A drum kit, vibes, congas, bass and guitar amps, and vocal mics will be set up on the Forbes Concert Hall stage, and (with the exception of vocal mics) in the clinic and warm up rooms.  Detailed information about equipment, storage space, clinician master classes, and your band’s post-performance clinic will be emailed near the festival date.


On-campus dining services are available on a cash basis. Several fast food outlets are a short drive from the JMU campus.

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