Jazz Band Festival Cancellations 2021

Dear fellow IBA members,

After considerable discussion, the Jazz Affairs committee and district jazz festival event chairs have decided it is in the best interest of our member schools to remove the competitive aspect from our district jazz festivals for the 2020-2021 school year.  Between greatly impacted rehearsal schedules, extensive mitigation requirements, student isolation and quarantine, and the general uncertainty surrounding the next several months, there is no way to fairly and equitably evaluate one ensemble against another.  

This decision was not made lightly.  We fully recognize the importance of jazz education in our state and its role in students’ development.  More than ever, it is essential we continue to motivate our students to grow as musicians.  To this end, districts will be working to provide opportunities to further the jazz education of our students.  Each district will be in contact with its member schools regarding what their district's efforts will look like this year.

Although this decision only pertains to the six district jazz festivals held in the spring of 2021, we recognize that the removal of the competitive aspect of our district festivals has wider implications, particularly as pertains to the Iowa Jazz Championships.  Our decision was discussed with the three co-chairs of the Iowa Jazz Championships, and a message from them can be found below.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to support your students.


Steve Britt, Jazz Affairs Representative, SCIBA

Brian Cole, Jazz Festival Event Chair, NWIBA

Ryan Meyer, Jazz Affairs Chair, SWIBA

Dameon Place, Jazz Festival Event Chair, SCIBA

Jeff Schmitt, Jazz Affairs Representative, NCIBA

Chris Strohmaier, IBA President

Kelli Swehla, Jazz Affairs Representative, NEIBA

Tiffany Wurth, Jazz Affairs Representative, NWIBA

Brian Zeglis, Jazz Affairs Representative, SEIBA



Dear Directors,

The six districts of the Iowa Bandmasters Association have cancelled their competitive jazz festivals for the 2020-21 school year. Results from district festivals determine automatic qualifying bands for the Iowa Jazz Championships and are also a critical component of selecting schools for wild card invitations. Therefore, the IJC board of directors and co-chairs must unfortunately cancel the 2021 IJC scheduled for April 6.

The IJC recognizes the importance it plays in jazz education and understands many directors and students will be looking for activities to replace the opportunities that district festivals and the IJC typically provide. We will work closely with IBA and Jazz Educators of Iowa to assist in their efforts to provide replacement experiences for students.

We look forward to resuming the IJC in 2021-22.


Iowa Jazz Championships Co-Chairs & Board of Directors


94th Annual IBA Conference - Virtual

May 13-15, 2021