JEN Conference Preview: Instrumental Performances for Everyone

Educator resources

JEN Conference Preview: Instrumental Performances for Everyone

by Dr. David Fodor

The upcoming JEN conference from January 3-6, 2018 in Dallas, Texas is packed with instrumental performances and jam sessions that you won’t want to miss. There are over fifty instrumental performances to see and hear!


Evening Concerts will present memorable capstone performances for each day. The instrumental groups to be featured include:

  • WEDNESDAY: The University of Miami Frost Septet with Rick Margitza & Randy Brecker, Kris Berg & The Metroplexity Big Band with Chris Vadala & Kirk Whalum, and The Afro Peruvian New Trends Orchestra.
  • THURSDAY: The Walter Smith III Trio, and the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band with Jim Pugh, Ernie Watts & Doc Severinsen, and the Dave Pietro Ensemble.
  • FRIDAY: The U.S. Air Force AIRMEN of NOTE with Stefon Harris, and Brasuka.
  • SATURDAY: The Ben Markley Big Band with Terell Stafford & Jeff Hamilton, and Bass Extremes with Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Omar Hakim, with Sean Jones-bass trumpet


Student groups from across the country have been invited to perform, including ensembles from Chicago (The Chicago High School for the Arts), Texas (Indian Ridge MS), New York (AAJC/HBCU Big Band), Nebraska (Metropolitan Area Youth Jazz Orchestra), Utah (the Crescent Super Band w/Robin Eubanks and Sean Jones), and Virginia (The National Jazz Workshop All-Star Jazz Orchestra).


University ensembles to perform will include the DePaul University Jazz Workshop, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Jazz Orchestra, North Carolina Central University Jazz Ensemble, New England Conservatory 150 Ensemble, Brigham Young University Big Band, Synthesis, California State University Long Beach Concert Jazz Orchestra, University of Missouri-St. Louis Jazz Ensemble, University of North Carolina Wilmington Jazz Combo I, UNC Vanguard Combo, and the University of Texas at Arlington Jazz Combo.


International ensembles scheduled to perform include the Afro-Peruvian New Trends Orchestra (Peru), the Ensemble Fundación Tónica (Mexico) and the Thelma Yellin Big Band (Israel).


Professional ensembles scheduled to perform include The Keith Karns Big Band, Socrates Garcia Latin Jazz Orchestra, Louis Hayes and the UNC Jazz Faculty Ensemble, Bill Cunliffe & BACHanalia, Dave Stryker 8 Track Band, Dan Haerle Quintet, Ryan Keberle & Catharsis, Pat Coil & Friends, and CCW (Clayton, Coffin & Wilson).


Other performances to attend:

  • The second annual SCHOLARSHIP CONCERT on Saturday evening will feature Marcus Miller – Guest Speaker, The University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band – Alan Baylock, director, with guest artists Chris Potter, Audrey Ochoa, Rashawn Ross, Marcus Miller. This is a ticketed event, so be sure to order yours now.
  • Don’t forget to bring your instruments or sticks with you – there are nightly JAM SESSIONS for all ages. If you’d rather just listen, that’s fine, too!
  • The YOUNG COMPOSER SHOWCASE features original music by selected students and performed this year by The Airmen of Note on Saturday afternoon at 2pm.
  • The JENerations JAZZ FESTIVAL will take place throughout the conference. Be sure to stop by some performances and watch the experts give clinics with each group.


Be sure to visit to view the entire conference lineup – there are dozens of great instrumental clinics and workshops to choose from, as well. If you are attending, please download the Guidebook app (available online in December) to select and manage your conference schedule, as well as to share your conference experience on social media.

Dr. David Fodor is the Coordinator of the Jazz Education Network Young Composer Showcase, and a forty-year veteran music educator and performer. He retired from public education in 2013 to pursue new musical opportunities performing in several big bands, conducting the Wilmette Community Band, and presenting music clinics and workshops throughout the Midwest.

charlotte lang

Swiss/Dutch saxophonist Charlotte Lang was born in 1996 in Basel and studied the bachelor and master program at the JAZZCAMPUS Basel under the guidance of Domenic Landolf and Daniel Blanc. She is currently studying the Master of Music in Global Jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston under the artistic direction of Danilo Pérez. In addition she is part of Terri Lyne Carrington’s Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.


From 2015 to 2018, Charlotte she was a member of the Swiss National Youth Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Christian Muthspiel. Since 2020, she became a member of the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra (Bundesjazzorchester Deutschland), under the direction of Niels Klein and Ansgar Striepens. She also plays is the Austrian FJO (Frauen Jazz Orchester→Women Jazz Orchestra of Austria).


In 2021, Charlotte founded her own Quintet the „Charlotte Lang Group“, for what she is composing, arranging and booking. In the fall 2023, her first album will be recorded and hopefully released by a renowned label.


Charlotte plays in the “Swiss Jazz Orchestra” and the “Zurich Jazz Orchestra”, the two professional Big Bands of Switzerland.

Charlotte recently got the unique opportunity to write a monthly blog for the Swiss Jazz & Blues Magazine called JAZZTIME, to tell readers about her time at abroad and specifically her time at Berklee. Her graduate program lasts only until the summer of 2023. She hopes to stay in the United States to enlarge her network and build her musical career.