Presented by Eau Claire Jazz, Inc. in partnership with University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

The Eau Claire Jazz Festival

The Eau Claire Jazz Festival is a regional music festival, dedicated to educating, entertaining and promoting jazz.

Since 1967, the Eau Claire Jazz Festival has maintained a standard of excellence in jazz education and performance. This educational and cultural jazz festival has earned its distinction as one of the oldest and largest events by providing local, national and international artists the opportunity to showcase their creative work and by highlighting the enduring elements and important directions in this distinctly American music. Furthermore, the Eau Claire Jazz Festival is the largest student run festival in the United States. With a board made of community members to oversee, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire students perform all duties needed in order to support the festival making it one of a kind. 



The University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire’s school of music offers an outstanding undergraduate education for aspiring musicians, and also serves as a primary cultural resource for northwestern Wisconsin. The Jazz Studies Area, under the direction of Robert Baca, has been recognized internationally. Jazz I ensemble has received the DownBeat Magazine "Best College Big Band" Award five out of the last eight years, and has had two CD recordings nominated for a Grammy Award.

Artistic Director Robert Baca’s dream has been to see this festival reach into the broader community and to become a destination for jazz lovers. To move closer to making that dream a reality, in 2009 the UW-Eau Claire Jazz Festival was renamed the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. This collaboratively sponsored festival is a community partnership involving the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, area musicians, artists, businesses, schools and community organizations.


Jazz Studies at The University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Located within some of the most beautiful Wisconsin north woods scenery, the all undergraduate Department of Music provides an unparalleled jazz experience with an environment suited to any level of involvement - from wanting to continue your high school jazz experience to making a living as a full time musician.  The environment includes five big bands, a number of combos exploring every style, an over 50 year tradition that supports jazz six nights a week at the university and surrounding city and a major city outside it's back door.

UW–Eau Claire's Jazz Ensemble studies area is a six-time winner ofDownBeat's "Best College Big Band" award and has been nominated for a Grammy twice as well as numerous individual awards.  The ensembles have recorded eighteen CD’s, all of which have received critical acclaim.  In order to meet the high performance standard of a well rounded musician who hopes to make a living playing music, our music department curriculum leans toward developing high classical skills with a jazz studies area environment that involves over one hundred students.  

Because of the design of the music field, entrepreneurship skills are considered a high priority, so students are active in countless musical projects outside of class, mentored by our jazz faculty who have performed with big bands and small groups at the highest level. At UW-Eau Claire, students receive a solid foundation of classical training imperative to ones ability to express him/herself in all genres of music with big bands and combo at every level in an active school and local environment with the Twin Cities close by.


About Eau Claire Jazz, Inc.

Eau Claire Jazz, Inc. is a non-profit, 501c3 organization. The organization was formed in 2009 to partner with the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire to continue and expand the dynamic history of the Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

The mission of Eau Claire Jazz, Inc. is to support, promote, and perpetuate the worldwide cultural experience of jazz. We provide vibrant and authentic jazz experiences, inspiring audiences to build life-long appreciations for jazz music.

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