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About the Gene Harris Jazz Festival

gene_harris_festivalThe mission of the Gene Harris Jazz Festival is to educate, entertain and enrich listeners of all ages in Boise and surrounding communities to the exciting sound of all forms of jazz music; to encourage the appreciation of, and participation in music by children and adults alike; to support an endowment that will provide ongoing financial support for guest artists, music scholarships and the festival at BSU.

Festival History

In 1996 a group of business leaders, educators and musicians led by Gene Harris made a commitment to improve the quality of life for this community by forming the Gene Harris Endowment. The endowment provides scholarships for jazz music students at Boise State University. In 1998, they continued their commitment by forming the Gene Harris Jazz Festival. Gene brought together the best jazz artists to perform in public concerts at night and work with aspiring young musicians during the day. The festival has brought artists including Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez, Kevin Eubanks, and many more. The ongoing goal of the Gene Harris Jazz Festival is better serving the jazz community and all of the elements that are a part of it, including: great public jazz concerts, a wide range of educational experiences for students of jazz, and furthering the growth of the Gene Harris Endowment.

Educational Opportunities

The Gene Harris Jazz Festival offers jazz students several different opportunities to hear and learn about jazz.


More than 1,000 students from across the Northwest work with esteemed jazz educators in clinics and workshops held on campus at Boise State University each year during the Festival. Guest artists and highly qualified jazz educators work with the students over two days, guiding them in discovering the art of jazz improvisation.


The Boise State Jazz Ensemble tours the region each year, promoting jazz and jazz education. Performing at junior high and high schools, concerts are held with the jazz bands from the local schools.

Scholarship Opportunities

The Gene Harris Jazz Festival supports several scholarship opportunities for jazz students attending Boise State University.

The Gene Harris Jazz Festival invites you to be a part of this great community event. Please come listen, learn and help support jazz music and the education of our youth.

For more information contact:

Dr. Alex Noppe, Director
208 426 3099
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