About the Competition

Notably, the Jazz Summit highlights Kansas City's rich jazz heritage through the “Basically Basie” Jazz Heritage Competition, held on the Thursday of the festival. Bands are judged on their ability to capture the essence of the Kansas City style as best exemplified by the Count Basie Orchestra. The “Basically Basie” competition is modeled after the “Essentially Ellington” competition, in which bands select approved repertoire and work towards emulating the style and spirit as closely to the original performances and recordings as possible. We feel it is important in Kansas City that students and directors understand, appreciate, and take pride in the unique jazz legacy of the Basie band and the “Kansas City” swing style.

Battle Ground High School

2023 Basically Basie Jazz Heritage Competition 6A Winners

Battle Ground (WA) High School Advanced Jazz Band, Directed by Greg McKelvey

The reason for having a competition? We want to give bands the motivation to delve deeply into the chosen repertoire. We hope that each member of the ensemble embraces the challenge of studying the interpretation of the artists who originally performed the music. It is important that each musician does their homework, and for the director to put everything together while paying particular attention to dynamics, balance, blend, intonation, articulation, time, and - above all - stylistic authenticity.

The judges are not asked to decide which is “the best band.” The “Basically Basie” Jazz Heritage Competition is about determining which band embraced the study of the repertoire and embraced the spirit and musicianship of the Count Basie Orchestra most thoroughly and effectively on stage.

Divisions

The “Basically Basie” Jazz Heritage Competition has three divisions: Middle School, 5A High School, and 6A High School. In addition to selecting Winners and Runners-Up in each division, Outstanding Musician awards are given to one saxophonist, one trombonist, one trumpet, and one rhythm section performer, along with an award for the overall Outstanding Musician of the day.

Past Winners

2023

  • 2023 6A High School - Battle Ground High School Advanced Jazz Ensemble (Battle Ground, WA)
  • 2023 5A High School - De Soto High School Jazz Ensemble (De Soto, KS)
  • 2023 Middle School - Summit Trail Middle School Jaguar Jazz Band (Olathe, KS)

2021

  • 2021 6A High School - Bentonville High School Jazz Band (Bentonville, AR)
  • 2021 5A High School - Mandan High School Jazz Band (Mandan, ND)
  • 2021 Middle School - Prairie Trail Middle School Jaguar Jazz Band (Olathe, KS)

2019

  • 2019 6A High School - Olathe Northwest High School Raven Jazz I (Olathe, KS)
  • 2019 5A High School - Einsenhower High School EHA Jazz (Goddard, KS)
  • 2019 Middle School - Prairie Trail Middle School Jaguar Jazz Band (Olathe, KS)

2018

  • 2018 6A High School - Olathe Northwest High School Raven Jazz I (Olathe, KS)
  • 2018 Middle School - Frontier Trail Middle School Jaguar Jazz Band (Olathe, KS)

Prior to 2018

  • 2017 - Olathe Northwest High School Raven Jazz I (Olathe, KS)
  • 2016 - Temple High School Jazz I (Temple, TX)
  • 2015 - Olathe Northwest High School Raven Jazz I (Olathe, KS)
  • 2014 - Roosevelt High School Jazz I (Sioux Falls, SD)
  • 2013 - Blue Valley Northwest High School Big Dog Jazz Band (Overland Park, KS)
  • 2012 - Blue Valley Northwest High School Big Dog Jazz Band (Overland Park, KS)
  • 2011 - Blue Valley Northwest High School Big Dog Jazz Band (Overland Park, KS)