Deep Dish Music Festival


Columbia College Chicago hosts an invitational music festival for high school and community college ensembles who perform contemporary, urban, and popular music. At the 2019 festival students will perform for Columbia faculty, take a master class with Grammy-nominated Artist-in-Residence Donny McCaslin, and participate in workshops on topics like music technology and music business.

Donny McCaslin performs at the legendary Jazz Showcase with Columbia students.

The 2019 Deep Dish Music Festival will feature Artist-in-Residence Donny McCaslin.

McCaslin is a three-time Grammy-nominated saxophonist, composer, and musical pioneer. He has received acclaim in jazz, rock, and electronica circles, and is known for his collaborations with David Bowie. As an artist-in-residence at Columbia College Chicago, McCaslin will share a master class with Deep Dish Music Festival attendees.

Deep Dish Music Festival is an opportunity for high school and community college ensembles who play contemporary, urban, and popular music to come together and celebrate their unique musical talents. The festival is designed specifically for ensembles who specialize in jazz, R&B, hip-hop, rock, singer/songwriter, gospel, and Latin music.

The invitational festival includes:

  • Performances by the high school and community college ensembles for Columbia faculty and Chicago music professionals
  • Written feedback and clinics with Columbia faculty
  • A master class with Artist-in-Residence Donny McCaslin 
  • Workshops on topics like music technology, music business, and music foundations specific to the contemporary, urban, and popular genres
  • A concert featuring performances by Donny McCaslin and Columbia's leading ensembles
Friday, March 8
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Columbia College Chicago Music Center
 Questions? Contact Scott Hall,


Thank you to the sponsors of Deep Dish Music Festival
Lou Malnati's Logo   Little Kids Rock logo

The Music program at Columbia College Chicago has a distinct focus on jazz, R&B, pop, rock, gospel, hip-hop, and Latin music for instrumental and vocal groups. The faculty is composed of experienced professional musicians. Learn more about Music at Columbia.

  • Fees
    $150: 2-9 ensemble members
    $250: 10-20 ensemble members
    $350: 21-30 ensemble members
  • Participating Faculty

    Participating Columbia College Chicago Music Faculty will include:

    • Bill Boris: Toured with Arthur Prysock, Charles Earland, Irene Reid
    • Joe Cerqua: Composed scores and designed sound for more than 300 productions
    • Derek Fawcett: Played with Peter Frampton, Ben Folds, Blues Traveler, and Chance the Rapper
    • Chris Forte: Awarded Albert King Award at the International Blues Challenge
    • Stu Greenspan: Performs with many jazz and pop groups including Los Perros Cubanos, Swingabilly Slim, and Eddie Harrison's Paris Swing
    • Jarrett L. Hicks: Performed with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra
    • Scott Hall: Arranger and conductor for Ramsey Lewis
    • Sebastian Huydts: Composer works are frequently performed by internationally renowned artists
    • Cassandra O'Neal: Fromer music director for Prince, Mary J. Blige, and Jay-Z
    • Nicholas Tremulis: Toured with Keith Richards, Charlie Sexton, Lisa Fischer
    • Peter Saxe: Performed with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has composed commercial music for clients from Anheuser Busch to Zenith
    • Chuck Webb: Bassist for Aretha Franklin
    • Gary Yerkins: Epic Records recording artist (The Insiders)

Upcoming Events:

There are no upcoming events at this time.