Celebrating "25" Years
Celebrating his 25th year anniversary with the Jim Widner Big Band and his summer jazz camps was a major milestone in Jim’s storied career.
As a result of this experience and background, Jim is starting his 26th year of hosting his own summer jazz camps all across the United States.
A graduate of the University of Missouri, Jim also holds an MA degree from Memphis State University and has done postgraduate work at the University of North Texas. Jim has performed at the world famous Lionel Hampton and Montreaux Jazz Festivals. His performance background includes concert dates with Clark Terry, Marilyn Maye, Lou Marini, Mulgrew Miller, Louie Bellson, Randy Brecker, Bill Watrous, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and appearance before former President Bill Clinton. In 1999, students at the University of Missouri-Columbia renamed the music wing of the fine arts residential college, "Widner House," in honor of him. In April of 2006 the title of “Statesman” was conferred upon him by The Statesmen of Jazz. In 2008 he was a cover story feature in the March issue of JazzEd Magazine and in 2009 he was a recipient of Downbeat Magazine’s Achievement Award for his work in jazz education. In November of 2011, Jim was inducted into his hometown’s “Wall Of Honor” in Lebanon, MO.
Currently Jim is a Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri - St. Louis and is a Yamaha Performing Artist. He is also a founding member of the Jazz Education Network and served on it's Board of Directors. The Jim Widner Big Band records on the Chase Music Group label and their critically acclaimed CD’s include "Yesterdays and Today," "Body and Soul," "Live," "Flying High" and "Out of This World ". The Band will release it’s newest recording, “The Beat Goes On”, in early 2013.