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Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Tuesday, April 8, 2025
Tuesday, April 7, 2026



  • Classes 1A, 2A, and 3A (daytime): Scheman Building at the Iowa State University campus

  • Class 4A (daytime): Stephens Auditorium at the Iowa State University campus

  • Evening finals: Stephens Auditorium at the Iowa State University campus


  • Tickets for the day competition are $10 and cover admission to all day time performances at both locations.  Tickets are for the day contest are not sold in advance. 

  • The evening finals are free for all to attend (no charge and no ticket required).

Hotel Information

Quality Inn & Suites Ames Conference Center
2601 East 13th Street
Ames, IA, 50010
$129.99 plus tax

All rooms have two Queen beds

Click HERE

Best Western Plus University Park Inn & Suites

2500 University Blvd


Double: $119

Single: $119

1-Bed Suite: $129

Cut-off Date: 3/18/24


Comfort Inn and Suites

2605 Southeast 16th Street

515.233.3935 / 800.456.4000

Rate: $125

Cut-off Date: 3/1/24


Gateway Hotel & Conference Center

2100 Green Hills Dr


Double: $139

Rate Cut off: 3/11/24


Hampton Inn & Suites

2100 SE 16th St


Hampton Inn & Suites Ames

Rate: $130

Cut-off Date: 3 weeks before


Hilton Garden Inn

1325 Dickinson Ave


Double: $149 (Max 15 rooms)

Cut-off Date: 3/8/24


Holiday Inn Express

2600 E 13th Ave


Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ames

Rate: $130

Cut-off Date: 3 weeks before



2609 University Blvd


Double: $129

2-Bed Suite: $99

Cut-off Date: 3/10/24


Springhill Suites by Marriott

1810 SE 16th St


2-Bed Suite: $159


Towne Place Suites by Marriott

1523 S Dayton Pl


Double: $129

Single: $119

Invitations & Eligibility

All Iowa high school jazz programs are eligible for an invitation to the Iowa Jazz Championships.  

Automatic invitations are issued to the first and second place bands in each class of the six district jazz festivals.  In districts where there are only two bands in a class, only the first place band is issued an automatic invitation.  In districts where only one band competes in a class, that band is issued an automatic invitation.  Each district is empowered with operating their own district jazz festival to determine automatic qualifiers.


Wild card invitations are determined by the Iowa Jazz Championships Board of Directors every March. Bands become eligible for a wild card invitation by meeting one of the three necessary criteria:

  1. Beat a band that is an automatic qualifier at an independent jazz festival in Iowa.

  2. Win an independent jazz festival in Iowa with at least two bands from Iowa in that class.

  3. Finish 3rd in a district jazz festival with at least four bands entered.


Only bands meeting at least one of these criteria will be considered for a wild card invitation. 


There are typically three wild card invitations issued per class (12 automatic qualifying bands plus 3 wild card bands for a total of 15 bands in each class).  If a class has fewer than 12 automatic qualifying bands, additional wild card invitations may be issued.  


There is no system of points for determining wild card invitations. The Board of Directors of the Iowa Jazz Championships evaluates all eligible bands and selects the most qualified bands based on results from all submitted jazz festivals. The Board pays especially close attention to how wild card-eligible bands placed when competing against one another and whether or not wild card-eligible bands placed behind non-automatic qualifiers or wild-card eligible bands.

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