Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition

For ensembles of 2 or more trombonists (with rhythm section)

First Prize: Featured performance at the 2025 International Trombone Festival.

General Requirements

Recording Guidelines

  • Applicants must strictly follow the Recording Guidelines for the 2025 ITA Solo and Ensemble Competitions to avoid disqualification.

Competition Rules

  • The competition repertoire should be uploaded as single audio file, without any edits within each selection (single performance from start to end of each piece.) Accepted file formats include: MP3, OGG, M4A, WMA, WAV, AAC, FLAC, AIFF, AIF.
  • Additionally,  the group must upload a video of their submission as well. This will only be viewable by the Competitions Coordinator. Accepted file formats include: MP4, MPEG, MPG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, FLV, WEBM, M2V.
  • The audio from the audio submission and video submission must be the same or the applicant risks disqualification.
  • Individual selections may be recorded separately and then assembled into the single audio upload.
  • Any audible count-offs will violate the spoken dialogue rule and are grounds for disqualification. Caution members of the ensemble to avoid talking until the take has been completed. A good rule of thumb would be to hold silence for 5 seconds after any take, allowing for a clean submission.
  • The submitted file must not contain any identifying information. The audio file should be named: “WindingEntry.mp3” (.wav, etc.)
  • All improvised solos must be performed by regular members of the ensemble – no guest soloists are allowed.
  • No age requirement or school affiliation required.
  • The winning ensemble must utilize only the players who made the sound file recording in their ITF performance (including rhythm section) – no additional players or substitutions are allowed without the written approval of the Competitions Committee.
  • Winning conductor has total control over the content of their ITF program (within time constraints.)
  • 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 Winding Competition winners are not eligible for the 2025 Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition.


Free choice of program, not to exceed 20 minutes

Past Winners

Year Winner School
1988 Paul Brewer’s Jazz Bones University of Central Oklahoma
1989 no competition
1990 University of North Florida Jazz Trombones University of North Florida
1991 Capitol Bones Washington, D.C.
1992 no competition
1993 no winner
1994 New York Trombone Conspiracy New York City
1995 Slide FX Los Angeles
1996 no winner
1997 Eastman-Winding Trombone Septet Eastman School of Music
1998 no winner
1999 State of the Trombone New York City
2000 University of North Texas Jazz Trombone Ensemble University of North Texas
2001 University of Texas at Austin Jazz Bones University of Texas
2002 Eastman Bionic Bones Eastman School of Music
2003 Tennessee Trombonery University of Tennessee
2004 Piedmont Trombone Society Atlanta, GA
2005 Against the Grain Berklee College of Music
2006 Dease Bones Juilliard School of Music
2007 University of Texas Jazz Bones  University of Texas
2008 U-Tubes University of North Texas
2009 Guildhall Jazz Trombone Ensemble Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London
2010 Phoenix Jazz Trombones Matt Lennex, leader
2011 Scarlet Knights Jazz Trombones Rutgers University Conrad Herwig and Andy Hunter, leaders
2012 University of Illinois Jazz Trombone Ensemble Jim Pugh, leader
2013 The University of Akron Trombone Group John A. Schantz, leader
2014 MSU Jazz Trombones Michael Dease, leader
2015 The U-Tubes (University of North Texas) Julie Gray, leader
2016 The Waffle Stompers (The Juilliard School) James Burton, III, teacher
2017 The University of Illinois Jazz Trombone Ensemble Jim Pugh, director
2018 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Jazz Trombones Conrad Herwig and Ed Neumeister, directors
2019 MSU Jazz Trombone Ensemble Michael Dease, director
2020 Frost Jazz Trombone Ensemble (University of Miami) Dante Luciani, director
2021 The U-Tubes (University of North Texas) Nick Finzer (teacher) and Jack Courtright (director)
2022 Oklahoma State University Jazz Trombones Paul Compton, teacher
2023 Sokołowski Trombone Project (University of South Florida) Tom Brantley, teacher
2024 Michigan State University Jazz Trombones Michael Dease, teacher