An annual jazz festival inspiring high school and middle school musicians to take jazz to the next level through education, collaboration and celebration.
All inclusive. No audition necessary. Competitive and Non-Competitive Categories.

The Festival

High schools and middle schools from across the nation come together in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to showcase the talents of their jazz musicians, experience a full day of jazz and attend educational clinics. Jazz ensembles, vocal groups and soloists are allotted a performance time and room where they set up, warm up and perform in front of adjudicators and attendees. Constructive verbal feedback is given following the performance. Each ensemble has the opportunity to perform in either a competitive or non-competitive class.  There are no ratings, however at the end of the evening the top 4 ensembles in each division will be announced at the Award Ceremony.  A full recap sheet of competitive groups will be released at the end of the festival. Non-competitive groups will not be included on that recap.

Instrumentalists register to become part of the NJF Jazz Diplomats ensemble that will perform at the Award Ceremony

Student and Jazz Educator Awards

Nominate a student and jazz educator for the 2024 LOVE Award and Jazz Educator Award

LOVE Award

The National Jazz Festival LOVE Award was created to honor a middle or high school student who has used their passion for music to better the lives of others through activism and/or community service.  Students are nominated by their directors, parents, or fellow musicians. Nominate your student by clicking on the link.

Jazz Educator Award

National Jazz Festival’s Educator of the Year Award is awarded to an exemplary middle or high school educator who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to students and to jazz music education. The awardee models best practices in teaching inside and outside of the classroom and demonstrates outstanding leadership and excellence in education.
Nominate by clicking on the link.


Become a Benefactor

The NJF is grounded in a philosophy of personal growth and education and our annual high school jazz competition fosters friendly competition, musical education and the development of lasting connections between young jazz musicians. High school jazz bands and middle school jazz bands from across the nation are inspired to take jazz to the next level through education, collaboration and celebration.

Consider making a donation to support our mission to provide a festival with an educational philosophy that is free for all to attend.

The National Jazz Festival is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization ID 83-3751080