The Tarpon Springs Jazz Ensemble is one of five nationally accomplished performance ensembles within the Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts. What started out as an after-school program, 25 years ago, has developed into a daily in-school curricular performance ensemble and combo that performs over 20 times a year. This ensemble has developed a rich tradition of excellence in performing and studying all styles within the jazz genre. The Tarpon Springs Jazz Ensemble and Combos have had award-winning performances at local, state, and national festivals throughout the country. They have been invited twice to the North Texas Jazz Festival, six times to the Savannah Music Festival’s Swing Central Jazz Competition, the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival, Essentially Ellington Regionals, and the 2019 Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival in NYC.
Additionally, the Conservatory has hosted Guest Residences and Clinics annually. Past artists have included Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Printup, Scotty Barnhart, Bob Reynolds, and Terrell Stafford. In 2018, the Tarpon Springs Jazz Ensemble was a winner of the Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Award for “Outstanding Performance” in the category of Large Jazz Ensemble -High School.