The April 28-29 event will feature first female headliner, Audra Menconi

The coolest jazz club will soon be found at St. Mary’s University. The 2023 Fiesta Jazz Festival on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, will not only host national, local and school-aged artists, but will also have a female drummer Audra Menconi headlining the event with her trio for the first time in its 35-year history. 

Audra Menconi is seen sitting at a drum kit in a provided photo.
Audra Menconi

Starting Friday, April 28, the University Center, Conference Room A, will be transformed into the Gold and Blue Note Jazz Club and host the 2023 Fiesta Jazz Festival University Invitational. The event is free and open to the public. Parking will also be free and open on campus.  

The invitational includes performances by the Trinity University Jazz Ensemble, the St. Mary’s Spring and Fall Jazz Combo and the St. Mary’s University Jazz Orchestra. At 6 p.m., the 2023 Fiesta World Class Jazz Concert will start with the Heritage Jazz Band, followed by the Audra Menconi Trio at 7:30 p.m. 

Audra Menconi Trio

An accomplished drummer, composer and an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s for 20 years, Menconi will be the first female headliner for the event. As a graduate student, Menconi studied with the renowned “Rakalam” Bob Moses at the New England Conservatory of Music. Menconi also studied with the legendary Max Roach. 

Menconi’s trio includes bassist Eric Revis and saxophonist George Garzone. Menconi is also scheduled to bring along special guests for her performance.  

Having released four albums, Menconi has worked as a freelance drummer, performing nationally and globally and performing with Jazz greats, such as Marcus Belgrave, George Russell, Ran Blake, Rufus Reid and Hannibal Lokumbe. 

John M. Rankin, D.M.A., Director of Jazz Studies at St. Mary’s, said hosting the event inside will give patrons a jazz club vibe. 

On Saturday, April 29, middle and high school bands will participate in the 60th Fiesta Jazz Band Festival, which will be held in the University Center, Conference Room A, and Treadaway Recital Hall.   

At noon on Saturday, Menconi is scheduled to have a Jazz Clinic in the University Center, Conference Room A, with the students who are performing.  

Saturday’s live music performances allow schools from Texas and other states to participate and perform for criticism before a panel of jazz clinicians. Trophies and awards will be presented in various categories.  


Friday, April 28  

The Gold and Blue Note Jazz Club in the University Center, Conference Room A 

  • 1 p.m., Trinity University Jazz Ensemble 
  • 2:15 p.m., St. Mary’s University Spring Jazz Combo 
  • 3:45 p.m., St. Mary’s University Fall Jazz Combo 
  • 4:45 p.m., St. Mary’s University Jazz Orchestra 
  • 6 p.m., The Heritage Jazz Band 
  • 7:30 p.m., Audra Menconi Trio 

Saturday, April 29  

University Center, Conference Room A  

  • 9:15 a.m., San Antonio Christian High School (5A) 
  • 9:40 a.m., Wagner High School I (5A) 
  • 10:05 a.m. Alamo Heights High School (5A) 
  • 10:30 a.m., Jefferson High School (5A) 
  • 10:55 a.m., Coronado High School (5A) 
  • 11:20 a.m., O’Connor High School I (5A) 
  • Noon, Jazz Clinic with Audra Menconi 
  • 1:15 p.m., Judson High School  
  • 1:40 p.m., O’Connor High School (6A) 
  • 2:05 p.m., Reagan High School (6A) 
  • 2:30 p.m., Brandeis High School (6A) 
  • 2:55 p.m., New Braunfels High School (6A) 
  • 3:20 p.m., Akins Early College High School (6A) 
  • 3:45 p.m., Skyline High School (6A) 
  • 4:10 p.m., Brandeis High School Combo (6A) 
  • 4:45 p.m., Jazz Orchestra of San Antonio 
  • 5:30 p.m., Awards Ceremony 

Treadaway Recital Hall  

  • 8:40 a.m., Bradley Middle School (2C) 
  • 9:05 a.m., Losoya Middle School (2C) 
  • 9:35 a.m., Harlandale Middle School (2C) 
  • 10 a.m., John Whittier Middle School (2C) 
  • 10:25 a.m., Judith Resnik Middle School (2C) 
  • 10:50 a.m., Scobee Middle School (2C)   
  • 11:15 a.m., Bradley Middle School I (3C) 
  • Noon, Jazz Clinic with Audra Menconi 
  • 1:15 p.m., Wagner High School (3A) 
  • 1:40 p.m., Jourdanton High School (3A) 
  • 2:05 p.m., Hallettsville High School (3A) 
  • 2:55 p.m., San Antonio Christian High School (4A) 
  • 3:45 p.m., Pleasanton High School (4A) 

For more information, contact John Rankin, D.M.A., Director of Jazz Studies, at or 210-436-3421. 

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