University of Arkansas in Monticello with director Gary Meggs

The UAM Jazz Ensemble is a showcase group of musicians who have won awards at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in suburban Chicago and the Northwestern State University Jazz Festival in Natchitoches, Louisiana. In 2012, they were one of only six jazz ensembles invited to play at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. In the spring of 2014, the UAM Jazz Band 1 completed a two week tour of China in ten different cities for tens of thousands of attendees including the US Ambassador of China. UAM’s meteoric rise in the jazz world began five years earlier when Mr. Meggs decided to offer a jazz degree program, the first of its kind in Arkansas. “Jazz is the only true American art form and I wanted our students to have an opportunity to study and learn this art form.”