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The Mead Jazz Festival Story....


The Mead Jazz Festival was first held in 1997 at Cheney High School.  It was know as "Jazz Northwest" under the direction of Terry Lack.  Jazz Northwest was brought to Mead High School in northern Spokane, WA in 1998 by Terry Lack. In the Spring of 2015 Terry Lack retired and the festival was taken on by Director Rob Lewis.  In 2016 Jazz Northwest was renamed " Mead Jazz Festival".  

The Mead High School community plays a huge role in supporting the Mead Jazz Festival.  Each year many Mead High School Band students and parents come together to provide almost all of the support needed for the event.  Those students and parents work hard to make all the band members, teachers, parents, friends and all festival attendees feel welcome and supported.

Mead Jazz Festival has become a standing event for many high school and middle school bands from around Washington State.  Check out the past years results on our result page to see many parts of our state represented in the festival.  Mead Jazz Festival is a great opportunity for musicians and directors from around Washington to connect and support each other.

All of our volunteers take great pride in providing a great experience for all attending bands.  Mead Jazz Festival judges and adjudicators are brought in from all over the Pacific NW to provide an educational, and friendly experience  for all levels of high school and middle school bands.  

Every year Mead Jazz Festival invites a university to come play for all attendees of the  festival to end our day.  Some of the past Universities to be the guest artist are, University of Montana, Washington State University, University of Idaho, and Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University.  Additionally, the Bob Curnow Big Band has performed as a guest artist.

If you have never attended Mead Jazz Festival we'd love to have your band join us this year.  Registration opens in October.​

From the Festival Director 

It is my privilege to welcome spectators, family members, friends, educators and especially student performers to our festival held annually at Mead High School.  Our goal is to provide a festival that caters to the educational and competitive expectations of the students and directors while making the experience as comfortable and rewarding as possible.

I would like to thank each one of you for your attendance today and the hard work to get to this point. Your continued support of music in our schools is wonderful and a critical component to the development of our students and future!

Rob Lewis, Mead HS Band Director

Thoughts from our Mead HS Principal

The Mead School District prides itself in our support of the arts, and this festival epitomizes its importance.

We know music plays a vital role in the education and development of our students. Studies show that young musicians tend to have improved verbal memory and greater multi-sensory processing skills.  More than any study however, is the significance these experiences have in helping students find their niche.  we envision schools as a place where ALL students can find a sense of belonging in many different facets.

Thank you, musicians for your hard work and dedication. Thank you, parents, for your tireless support.  Thank you , music educators, for your dedication to help students achieve in and out of the classroom.  Thank YOU!

Please join us at the Mead Jazz Festival.  May you find belonging here and elsewhere.

Jeff Naslund, Principal Mead High School

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