Aug. 29, 2020

B’Town Jazz makes a statement of support for racial equity and diversity and announces the commissioning of two compositions

B’Town Jazz is committed to using its resources to support the fight for racial equity and celebrate diversity through the performing arts.  Jazz music has deep roots in Black culture and has played a central role in civil rights movements that demand equality and justice.

As a visible sign of support, B’Town Jazz is proud to announce that it has commissioned Wayne Wallace and Greg Ward to each compose a new work for jazz ensemble that reflects on the racial crisis in our nation and underscores the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement

Join with us by donating toward the commission fees – go to Support-Donate/Sponsor (specify that your contribution is for the commissions during checkout).


Wayne Wallace (left) is an award-winning performer, arranger, and composer, as well as a professor of practice in jazz studies and jazz trombone at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is most well known for his creative Afro-Latin music. You may have heard him at a previous B’Town Jazz Fest! His impressive history can be read here.

Greg Ward (right) is a saxophonist, composer, and assistant professor of music in jazz studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has performed all over the world, with longer stints in Chicago and New York City. His musical tastes include Modern Jazz, Funk, and Latin, as well as Classical, Indian, Klezmer and African Music.

Information about the premiere performances of these compositions will be announced later this year.

Our statement:

At a time when our country is reeling from the impact of a global pandemic, impatience with the racial injustice that continues to permeate our society has also exploded.

The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and ongoing police brutality directed at Black individuals epitomize a gross, persistent prejudice that we as a community and as a nation must address.

B’Town Jazz stands in solidarity with the Black community, acknowledging the existence of systemic racism in the United States and the need to work toward its eradication.