The University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble #1 kicked off the Savannah Jazz Festival on Saturday lighting up the sunny stage with a flair that only collegiate ensembles can provide.

Led by director J.B. Scott, the University of North Florida’s Jazz Ensemble is considered one of the finest programs of its kind. Jazz Ensemble 1 has won numerous awards, both as a group and individually, and has been recognized in publications like Cadence, Jazz Times, Jazz Educators Journal, and DownBeat Magazine.

Known for its improvisational prowess and precision ensemble playing, the group was the first collegiate winner of the Monterey Next Generation Festival in California and has performed on stages in Europe, Asia, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New Orleans, and Chicago, as well as jazz festivals including the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Suncoast Jazz Festival, the Mobile Jazz Festival, and annually at the Savannah Jazz Festival and the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.

What’s more impressive than their swinging sound is that the majority of these musicians are undergraduates.