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Knoxville Jazz Orchestra introduces NXT GEN Series to empower young artists

June 27, 2022

Series tickets available for purchase Monday, June 27

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is uplifting its most promising young musicians with the new NXT GEN Series, which will feature three performances in the Old City in August, October and November.

Series tickets go on sale Monday, June 27, for $108 at Single event tickets are $40, and will be available Monday, July 25.

The inaugural cohort of performers and composers includes pianists Sam Adams, Margherita Fava and Taber Gable and guitarist Jack Roben. Through the program, participants produce and promote their own music, honing skills that will help ensure the continued success of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra.

“I know audiences are going to want to hear what this NXT GEN group has put together,” said Vance Thompson, founder and director of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. “Their energy, passion and dedication have been very inspiring. The people who come to these shows are going to be blown away by the level of talent we have in Knoxville right now.”

Since the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s founding in 1999, its membership has remained largely consistent, with 13 of the original 17 members performing regularly. Many young musicians have matured into high-caliber performers in the past 23 years, and NXT GEN is an opportunity for the best of those to play in front of a broader audience, prepare for an entertainment career and influence other young artists.

Gable and Roben will present the music of Horace Silver and Jim Hall for the first concert on Sunday, Aug. 28. Fava and Adams will dedicate their performances to jazz greats Donald Brown and Roy Hargrove on Sunday, Oct. 23. The series will conclude with NXT GEN Big Band on Sunday, Nov. 6, when all four artists will share their original compositions and arrangements.

All shows will be held at the Old City Performing Arts Center, 111 State St., and start at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m.

“It is an honor to participate in the new NXT GEN Series,” Adams said. “These concerts are particularly special to me because we get to pay tribute to some of our musical heroes while also introducing Knoxville to some of our own original music. We are writing exceptional pieces for these concerts, and we can’t wait to share it.”

Artists interested in joining future NXT GEN classes should email [email protected]. For more information about the KJO, visit

About the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra
The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra was founded in 1999 by trumpeter, arranger and composer Vance Thompson. Since that time, the band has appeared on jazz festivals in the United States and Europe, released four critically acclaimed CD recordings and presented scores of concerts, many featuring world-renowned guest artists. Visit to learn more.