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2024 Jazz and World Music Festival & Honors Combo Festival

April 2nd - 6th, 2024

The annual Jazz & World Music Festival in the Conservatory of Music features students, faculty, and world-renowned guest artists. In addition to performances both on and off campus, there are clinics, workshops, and events throughout the duration of the festival. All events are free and open to the public unless marked otherwise. 

Honors Combo Festival Information 

This two-day event held on Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th at the Conservatory of Music will feature clinics, rehearsals, and performances led by the Jazz Studies faculty and special guest artists Jon Irabagon and Will Strickler. ALL instrumentalists and vocalists are encouraged for consideration!  

Students selected from the audition & nomination process will be placed in one of three combos that will perform an afternoon concert on April 6th. The Honors Combo Festival will be the culminating performance of our weeklong Jazz & World Music Festival.  

Our definition of “Jazz” includes everything from traditional/straight ahead, big band, funk, fusion, afro-Cuban, Brazilian, rock, and the avant-garde. Above all, we want to foster your artistry and passion as a young musician through improvisation, connecting with your peers and getting invaluable mentorship from our Capital University Jazz Studies faculty, guest artists, and current students.   


Student Highlights 

  • Participate in a jazz combo consisting of talented, like-minded peers, 
  • Learn from the best in master classes led by Capital Conservatory faculty and guest artists 
  • Listen to performances by faculty and guest artists, as well as Capital University jazz ensembles 
  • Explore your individual creativity in an encouraging, positive space

Apply Now!

Please check the Band Director Nomination Form for the most up to date list of openings, as some instruments have been filled for this year. 

For any questions or more information, please contact the JWMF team at 

Guest Artists

Jon Irabagon

First-generation Filipino-American Jon Irabagon (b. 1978, Chicago) has been influenced by the self-empowering and individualistic philosophies and aesthetic of the great AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) ensembles as well as the historic world-class tenor saxophone lineage from his hometown. Equally adept at composing for rising stars in new music and the most intricate modern jazz ensemble, Irabagon builds on this foundation by adding modern classical and late-period John Coltrane to his compositional base, focusing primarily on mixed chamber ensembles to take advantage of hand-chosen musicians' voices and attitudes. 


After earning a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University, Irabagon continued his education by earning a Master of Arts from the Manhattan School of Music and completing post-graduate studies in the jazz program at Juilliard, where he received an Artist Diploma. However, Irabagon’s accomplishments do not end with his education. Irabagon was also the winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, winner of the Rising Star award in Downbeat Magazine for both alto and tenor saxophones, and the recipient of a Philippine Presidential Award, the highest civilian honor an overseas Filipino can receive in commemoration for their contributions to the perception of Filipinos worldwide.  

As a member of a minority community who fights  against the countless times his voice has been marginalized, Irabagon's compositions rely on open dialogues with his fellow performers to create a gateway for communication and understanding. This interaction of notated material and strong improvisatory character is essential to Irabagon's musical vision. As music reporter Nate Chinen notes in his Top Performances of 2015 article, Irabagon's compositions “are drawn to the play of opposing forces, especially those involving abstraction of form.”  

In January 2023, Irabagon joined the University of Illinois Chicago faculty, teaching jazz saxophone, direct combos, and courses in jazz history.  

Irabagon's main focus is building his own compositional voice, as evidenced by receiving grants and commissions like The Stone at National Sawdust Commissioning Series, an Artists at Albatross Reach compositional residency, the Shifting Foundation, two French American Cultural Exchange grants, a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant, a South Arts Jazz Road touring grant, and an upcoming USArtists International grant. 

Irabagon currently runs his own imprint, Irabbagast Records, to release his own uncategorizable works as well as other cutting-edge, creative artists. 

Waves Colectivo 

Waves Colectivo

Waves Colectivo (formerly Waves de Aché) creates music to make the mind dance. For this band, the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition is the starting point, not the destination point.  


Will Strickler

A proponent of a “no holds barred” approach to modern creative improvised music, Will Strickler is an in-demand bassist performing throughout the United States.   

Will has toured the country as both a bandleader and sideman at notable venues such as Midtown Music Festival, Cliff Bells, Rockwood Music Hall, Bop Stop, BluJazz+, and many more.   

He has performed with highly acclaimed artists such as the grammy winning pop singer Daya, finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” Chris Jamison, Doc Robinson, Jess Baldwin, Lily Bloom, Zakk Jones, Sam Blakeslee, Dan Wilson and many more. 


Turtle Boat

Abhilasha Chebolu is a guitarist and electro-acoustic improvisor currently residing in Columbus, OH. She leads a free jazz outfit 'Turtle Boat' which features her compositions, performs solo harsh noise under the moniker 'Null Copula', and is a member of the jazz-adjacent midwestern-eclectic 'Gault'. Her previous work includes co-leading the power electronics and performance art collaboration 'Princsex' with Armand Drum and tenure with the Ryan Jewell Quintet and the Ursonate Guitar Quartet, as well as performances with Tatsuya Nakatani and David Ornette Cherry.

Abhilasha can be heard on releases from Amalgam, Breaching Static, Two Rooms, Deathbed Tapes, Lurker Bias, and Very Much Recordings. In addition to performing, Abhilasha plays an active role in curating performances of harsh noise and improvised electro-acoustic music throughout central Ohio.

The Geobukseon was a type of warship used by the navy of the Joseon Dynasty. Turtle Boat takes its name from the ship, and represents a yearning to be free of externally-imposed isolation, and a wrath towards insincerity and apathy. The group utilizes improvisational vehicles written by Abhilasha (with additional contributions from saxophonist Alex Burgoyne) and often features a different drumset player for each performance.

Dan DiPiero

Dan DiPiero is a musician, Assistant Professor of Music Studies, and Affiliated Faculty in Race, Ethnic, and Gender Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His research focuses on the affective connections between aesthetics and politics, with a particular emphasis in U.S. improvised and popular musics.
An award-winning teacher, Dan has taught interdisciplinary courses across the humanities. At UMKC, he teaches Jazz History, Popular Music Studies, Graduate Research Methods, and other courses on music's various roles in society. Prior to UMKC, Dan taught at Ithaca College, Miami University, and the Ohio State University, where he earned his PhD in the Department of Comparative Studies in 2019. He also holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts (MA, MFA) and Capital University’s Conservatory (BM). His principal drum teachers are Joe La Barbera, Bob Breithaupt, and Bill Ransom.


Jazz Studies Faculty


The jazz area faculty, led by Capital alumni Zakk Jones, consists of a veritable “who’s who” in the local Columbus scene–all of whom can be found gigging in clubs, venues, and concert halls around the world. 


Jazz Studies Faculty


Zakk Jones – Area Head of Jazz Studies 

Tony Bonardi – Jazz Piano 

Dr. Michael Cox – Saxophone 

Reggie Jackson - Drumset 

Tom Davis – Jazz Guitar & CURE (Rock Ensemble) 

Roger Hines – Jazz Bass & Small Jazz Ensembles 

Stan Smith – Jazz Guitar & composition 

Dr. Lance Witty - Trumpet 

Dr. Tony Weikel - Trombone 

Julie Licata - Head of Percussion
Eric Paton - World Music Percussion

Schedule of Events 



“Double Bass” Recital featuring Roger Hines & Will Strickler 

4/2, 6:00pm 

Huntington Recital Hall 


Tuesday Night Jazz: Capital Jazz Outreach Society Jam Session 

4/2, 8:00pm 

Huntington Recital Hall 


Jon Irabagon: Clinic 

4/3, TBD 



Jazz Arts Group Youth Girls Project and Vanguard  

4/3, 7:00pm 

Bexley Public Library 


Jazz at the Student Union & Fountains 


combo times and Locations TBD 


Friday April 5th: Honors Jazz Combos Festival 


Capital University Lab Band concert with guest artist TBD 

Friday, 4/5, 10:00 am 


Honors Jazz Festival Luncheon Concert Featuring Jazz Consort 

Friday, 4/5, 12:00pm 
Mees Hall Steps 

Capital University Big Band with special guest Jon Irabagon 
Friday, 4/5, 7:00pm 
Mees Hall 

Saturday April 6th: 

HS Honors Combos concert 

3:30pm in Mees Hall

Student Nomination for the Band Festival 

Directors may nominate up to three students to participate in the Honors Jazz Band. To nominate students, please complete the online nomination form. When nominating students, we ask that you list them according to ability, regardless of instrument, and that they are available and express an enthusiastic desire to participate in the event. 

Audition materials are due by the end of March. 

Directors will be notified by email regarding which students have been selected to participate in the Band Festival by email, and your selected students will be contacted soon after that. 

All registrations must be completed by April 1st.
Link below to complete registration and payment which includes tuition, a t-shirt and 3 meals.

Are you a student interested in participating? Please speak to your band director about the nomination process! 

Placement Audition Information 

For placement purposes within the combos, if you'd like to send us a video demonstration of you playing your instrument we would love to hear your abilities. We will accept any video auditions you have already prepared for other schools or auditions. If you'd like to submit a video but have no materials pre-prepared, we have a suggested piece below.  

The suggested audition piece is based on the standard jazz composition "Take the 'A' Train". Optional: improvise using a backing track to “Take the ‘A’ Train” to demonstrate your soloing. 

Audition materials - Train (Comp. Ryan Hamilton) 

Past Events