NWA JAZZ All-Stars Youth Ensemble

Elevating the Next Generation of Jazz

2022 MARKS THE SIXTH SEASON OF THE JAZZ ALL-STARS YOUTH ENSEMBLE (A PROGRAM OF THE NWA JAZZ SOCIETY). 


This exciting jazz education experience offers high school students a unique opportunity to join a musical community of passionate young musicians at a pivotal point in their personal development.


Students are selected by audition and have an opportunity to apply techniques they learn in rehearsals to concert performances and professional recordings. As part of the program they: 

  • Receive one-on-one training from professional jazz musicians 
  • Participate in a professional studio recording session with bandmates 
  • Perform with the All-Stars in concert at Walton Arts Center and other venues in our region. 

Guest artists rehearse and perform in concert with the All-Stars, and have included Victor Goines, Conrad Herwig, and Bobby Watson.


Watch musical performances from previous NWA Jazz All-Stars.

View Videos Here

Support our program with a donation!

Donate here


You can also donate through Venmo: @NWAJazzSociety

Audition Info


IF YOU OR A STUDENT YOU KNOW IS INTERESTED IN JOINING THE 2022 ALL-STARS, Please read the information below and then fill out the Audition Interest form. 

Eligibility: 

Students must be in grades 9-12 and reside within the Northwest Arkansas region. Need at least two years of experience on the instrument or comparable proficiency (exceptions may be made based on skills and experience).

Instruments: 

Saxophones (alto, tenor, bari), trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Auditions: 

Auditions for the 2022 season will be announced in the fall of 2021.

Rehearsals: 

Sundays during the season.

Concert and Studio Recording: 

A professional recording session at Crisp Studio of the ensemble's repertoire and a concert performance at Walton Arts Center. Additional performance opportunities may be possible.

For more information: 

Please fill out the audition Interest form below. You may also contact Jacob Christiansen, Operations Manager of the NWA Jazz Society, jacob@digjazz.com


NWA Youth Jazz Ensemble Instructors

Matt Beach

Trombone / Tuba / Drums, University of Arkansas graduate in music performance


Ben Harris

Guitarist, music instructor, master's in music composition from the University of Arkansas, Director of Operations and Annual Giving at SONA

Darren Novotny

Drummer, recording engineer, graduate of the University of Arkansas, has been recording and teaching professionally since the mid-'70s

Rick Salonen

Saxophonist and music professor at the University of Arkansas


Claudia Burson

Pianist, jazz instructor at the University of Arkansas, widely considered the matriarch of jazz piano in NWA


Austin Farnam

Saxophonist and music instructor at New School, professional musician