Jazz studies earns top honors at Lionel Hampton festival

WSU Jazz Band I, directed by Brian Ward, performing at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

PULLMAN, Wash. – Ensembles and students from Washington State University received top honors at the 50th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival held last week at the University of Idaho.

WSU Jazz Band I under the direction of Brian Ward, clinical assistant professor and coordinator of jazz studies, was named the college large ensemble winner. Big Band II under the direction of Alison Poteracke, a School of Music graduate teaching assistant, received the college large ensemble honorable mention.

Saxophonist Machado Mijiga and pianist David Berry were named solo winners.

“WSU has consistently been recognized as a top jazz studies program at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival,” said Greg Yasinitsky, director of the WSU School of Music. “I am enormously proud of our outstanding students and faculty.”