John Moawad Jazz Festival

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May 3-4, 2024

The CWU John Moawad Jazz Festival is a non-competitive sharing of music between instrumental jazz ensembles is open to all college, high school and middle school jazz bands. Groups will be adjudicated (ratings by request) and given clinics. No awards will be made for ensemble performance. Ensembles will be given feedback in clinic form of approximately 20-25 minutes with an adjudicator following each performance.

Central’s top jazz ensembles will perform at the end of the day with a guest artist during which outstanding musicians from the day will be recognized. Large ensembles should be comprised of at least 12 members with a maximum of 30 members. Groups smaller than 12 will be considered combos. There will be no combo division for this year's festival, however, combos may enter the festival and be adjudicated.

2024 Guest Artist

2024 CWU Jazz Festival guest artist, Ingrid Jensen.

Born in Vancouver and raised in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Ingrid Jensen has been hailed as one of the most gifted trumpeters of her generation. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1989, she went on to record three highly acclaimed CDs for the ENJA record label, soon becoming one of the most in-demand trumpet players on the global jazz scene. 

2024 Jazz Festival Adjudicators

  • Dave Barduhn

    Image of Dave Barduhn.Dave Barduhn has played piano for Ernie Andrews, Dianne Reeves, Diane Schuur, Mark Murphy, and several Stan Kenton Alumni Bands. In 2014 Dave conducted the Washington All-State Honor Jazz Choir featuring Don Shelton. His extensive list of jazz band charts have been published with Hal Leonard and his vocal jazz charts with Sound Music Publications. After 30 years of teaching both vocal and instrumental jazz (his VJ group Genesis receiving 8 Downbeat awards and performing at 10 national conventions while at Mt. Hood CC), Dave is now retired and available as a clinician.

  • Deb Schaaf

    Image of Deb SchaafA New Jersey native, Deb has built a reputation as an energetic and knowledgeable teacher and clinician within the thriving northwest Jazz Education scene. Deb’s bands have won top solo, combo, ensemble and sweepstakes trophies at festivals throughout the Western United States, as well as 2018 and 2019 Outstanding Performance Awards from DownBeat Magazine. Her band was also selected for a featured performance at the 2020 JEN Conference in New Orleans. In 2016, she was nominated by her students and won the 21st Century Fox/ Give a Note Foundation MusicEd Idol Award. She was the founding director of the Jane Addams Middle School Music Department, has served in leadership roles on writing teams for Curriculum and Assessment, and was a Seattle Public Schools Mentor Teacher. Deb is currently the big band director for Jazz Night School, the director of Roosevelt High School’s 4th jazz band,  and teaches regularly for Seattle JazzED, as well as playing bari for Big Band Blue.

  • Lenny Price

    Image of Lenny Price.During his 50-year musical journey, Lenny Price has acquired many titles, including saxophonist, music educator, and content creator. He has worked with Keith Washington, Bob James, Pierre Bensusan, and others. A key highlight was Price’s 13-year run as saxophonist with Earl Klugh including contributing to the 2009 Grammy-nominated “The Spice Of Life” album.

    The 62-year-old kidney transplant survivor is mostly self-taught. However, he studied with Joseph Brooks and Dr. Shirley Diamond.

  • Becky Griswold

    Image of Becky GriswoldBecky is a pianist/keyboardist/vocalist who grew up in the lower Yakima Valley. Becky has worked extensively in Seattle in both the Jazz, R&B, & Top 40 scene. She has been teaching since 2005,teaching all styles of piano and voice at Prosser Music Academy in Tukwila. Becky moved back to Ellensburg with her family in late 2014 and kept an active teaching studio going, as well as serving as musical director for several local musical productions. She keeps her gig calendar busy with a variety of local groups including Ellensburg Big Band, and the Three Amigos Trio, as well as playing shows in Seattle with funk band Thaddillac, and a variety of other bands.

  • Conner Eisenmenger

    Image of Conner Eisenmenger.Seattle-based trombonist Conner Eisenmenger’s experience as a musician is both varied and substantial. Eisenmenger holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Western Kentucky University and a Master's degree in Jazz Studies from University of North Texas where he had the privilege of playing in the One O’Clock Lab Band. Eisenmenger’s teachers include Eddie Clark, Lee Blakeman, Tony Baker, and Andre Hayward. In his time since school, He has kept an active calendar as a clinician, public educator, and touring band leader.  His quintet, the “Think Tank'' finds spaces for the voice of the trombone within Folk, Indie Rock, Contemporary Classical, and Jazz styles. A piece written for the Think Tank, “Choice Paralysis” received the 2022 ASCAP Herp Alpert Young Jazz Composer’s Award. Other performance accolades include winning the 2019 ITEC Rich Matteson Jazz Euphonium Competition and winning second prize in the 2020 International Online Trombone Competition.


We welcome schools to bring multiple bands if desired. We are able to accommodate middle school, high school, and college groups. If your school is entering multiple ensembles, please complete a separate entry form for each. Due to the nature of the event, there is no need for divisions within the various bands levels and sizes. Groups will be evaluated against a standard, and be given feedback appropriately, regardless of size, age, or experience.

There will be a separate venue for middle school/junior high jazz bands and high school second bands. As the festival has grown, so have the number of younger bands attending. We wish to give them a venue specific to their needs, along with adjudicators experienced in that “level" of jazz education.


A master time schedule and other information will be sent to all ensemble directors in mid April. Groups will be scheduled according to date of entry, performance time preference, and distance from the festival site. There is a limit on the number of applicants that can be accepted. The more quickly the entry is sent, the better.


Each group will be limited to 25 minutes for warm-up in an assigned rehearsal room. This room will contain chairs, stands and a piano but no other equipment.


The festival will provide the equipment listed below at each performance site:

  • PA System with 3 solo mics, piano mic, bass direct to PA
  • Acoustic Piano
  • Bass Amp
  • Guitar Amp
  • Music Stands, Chairs
  • Drum Set (NO cymbals)
    ***This means you will need to bring your own cymbals and stands***


During your group's performance, one adjudicator will write comments and another will provide a clinic following your performance in another room. Through a rotation of either writing or providing clinics, you and your students will get direct, constructive feedback concerning your performance.


Each group will perform two or more selections within the 25-minute time limit. It is strongly suggested that all music be in the jazz style, and include at least one selection that is the blues.


Each group will be provided a recording of your performance.

Location, Location, Location!

The will take place in the Jerilyn S. McIntyre Music Building. Completed in 2004, this facility boasts pristine acoustics, state-of-the-art recording and first-class surroundings.

Check in & Time Estimates

Registration/check in on the days of the festival is in the Jerilyn S. McIntyre Music Building rotunda. The festival will start at approximately 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 6:00 p.m. each day.


Outstanding musicians will be recognized and given certificates.


$375.00 per ensemble


For more information, contact the Music Department via email or at 509-963-1216.

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