KU Jazz Ensemble 1
KU Jazz Ensemble 1, directed by Dan Gailey, is the flagship ensemble within the KU Jazz Studies Program. The program has received 28 DownBeat Student Music Awards, including Jazz Ensemble I’s 2021, 2019 and 2015 awards in the Graduate Division for Best College Big Band in the United States or Canada, and their Outstanding Performance Award in the same division in 2017. In January 2022, the band will be one of 10 college jazz ensembles invited by Wynton Marsalis to compete in the Rudin Jazz Championship at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Jazz Ensemble I performed Gailey’s flamenco suite “Palos Nuevos” at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in April 2018. In April 2016, the ensemble performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City with internationally acclaimed vocalist Deborah Brown, and the band was one of six international college finalists that performed at the 2019 and 2017 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival. In July 2018, Jazz Ensemble I played 10 shows in 13 days with Deborah Brown as part of a European tour that included appearances by invitation at three of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals — the Montreux Jazz Festival (where the band performed twice), Umbria Jazz, and the Jazz À Vienne Festival. The ensemble has also been featured at International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences in New York City, Boston and Atlanta.