Jazz Studies

The Jazz Studies consists of two large jazz ensembles and two smaller jazz combos. Both the ensembles and combos expose students to classic and contemporary jazz literature and styles with an emphasis on quality performance and education. Auditions for the jazz ensembles are open to all CSU students.

Degree Program

Jazz Studies students are highly encouraged to develop their talents in the context of a wide musical world while still learning the classic music of the jazz masters.

  • The select nature of the CSU Jazz Program gives students the opportunity for more individual attention and time with their faculty mentors.
  • Students develop skills that can be immediately applied to a range of career performance opportunities, both on and off campus.
  • Students get to learn from and perform with a wide range of regular guest artists and clinicians. Past guests include John Fedchock, John Riley, Dave Pietro, Paul McKee, Walt Weiskopf, Scott Wendholt, Rich Perry, Greg Gisbert, Zach Brock, Erik Deutsch, Art Lande, Nguyen Le, Ron Miles, Michael Weiss, and many more.
  • Repertoire for our two big bands and multiple small combos includes classic literature and modern music, and students are pushed to write and arrange their own music to share with their peers and the public in our regular concerts each semester.
  • The Jazz Studies degree is currently available to students who play the following instruments only: trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, percussion, and double bass.

Audition Requirements

  • Prepare two jazz standards and/or classics of your choice, including melody and improvisation (accompaniment will be provided, or the auditioning student can provide an audio track)
    • Pianists should also be prepared to play accompaniment (comp) on the chord progression
    • Bassists should also be prepared to play a bass line in the appropriate style on the chord progression
    • Drummers should prepare multiple jazz styles including swing, bossa nova, samba, ballad, funk and rock, as well as ¾ time. Drummers should also be prepared to demonstrate knowledge of blues and AABA form.
  • Complete all requirements for the B.A. audition for your instrument. See individual instrument web pages for audition requirements by instrument.
  • Sight reading will also be included in all auditions

Study With

Wil Swindler

Instructor of Music; Coordinator of Jazz Studies; Director of Jazz Bands

Wil.Swindler@colostate.edu

Peter Sommer

Associate Professor of Music; Saxophone, Chamber Music, Jazz Studies; Coordinator of Woodwinds

Peter.Sommer@colostate.edu

(970) 491-3010

Shilo Stroman

Instructor of Music; Percussion, Jazz Studies, Marching Band (Drumline)

Shilo.Stroman@colostate.edu

(970) 491-4054

Jazz Studies Events

Jazz Ensembles Concert: The Mirror Through Time

October 3, 2019 at 7:30 PM
Join the Jazz Ensembles, conducted by Wil Swindler and Shilo Stroman, as they explore the unfolding of jazz through the 20th century into our modern world. “There is a treasure trove of classic jazz works that have been reimagined by modern jazz musicians reflecting the developing aesthetic of our music and our culture,” says Swindler. [...]

Jazz Combos Concert

November 7, 2019 at 7:30 PM
The Jazz Combos, directed by Peter Sommer and graduate teaching assisstant, Michael Hamilton, present an eclectic and exciting evening of classic jazz standards and classics arranged by student performers for a dynamic exploration of improvisation and small group swing.

Jazz Ensembles Concert

November 21, 2019 at 7:30 PM
With Guest Dan Haerle, Piano Dan Haerle is a legendary jazz educator, composer, and pianist. In his 50-year career, Haerle has performed with Stan Kenton, Clark Terry, Mel Torme, Al Jarreau, Pat Methany, Dave Liebman, Wood Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, and others. Continuously in demand as a clinician and educator, he brings a lifetime of performance [...]

Jazz Studies News

Rocky Mountain Saxophone Summit Poster

The Rocky Mountain Saxophone Summit Story

|

By Viola Cai, Publicity Intern “It is almost like a saxophone party!” The Rocky Mountain Saxophone Summit at the University Center for the Arts invites saxophonists of all ages and levels to join their party. There will be masterclasses during daytime and a capstone recital in the evening. Tim Glesmann from Sax Alley will be […]

CSU Jazz Ensembles perform with renowned trumpet player, Terell Stafford

CSU Jazz Ensembles Collaborate with Guest Artist Terell Stafford, Trumpet

|

By Emily Kaiser, SMTD Publicity Intern Dr. Peter Sommer, and the Colorado State University Jazz Ensembles I and II are gearing up for an exciting experience to collaborate with guest artist, Terell Stafford, the renowned trumpet player from the East Coast region. The student ensemble members will have the opportunity to learn from the artist, […]

Jazz Ensembles Celebrate One Hundredth Birthday of Jazz Innovators

|

By Nicole Towne, UCA Publicity Intern This October, two of the biggest names in jazz will turn 100. Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, born 10 days apart, will be remembered with a performance by Colorado State University’s jazz ensembles on Sept. 28. “Dizzy and Monk are two of the fathers of modern jazz,” said Peter […]

Guest Artists

2015-2016

Dave Devine

Dave Devine

Denver guitarist, Brian Blade Fellowship; website.

Ron Stout, trumpet

Ron Stout

Los Angeles Jazz Trumpet legend, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB; website.

Paul Romaine

Paul Romaine

Denver drummer, founder of the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, instructor at University of Colorado; website.

John Fedchock

John Fedchock

NYC trombonist, leader of the John Fedchock Big Band; website.

Eric Gunnison

Eric Gunnison

Denver Pianist; website.

Kent McLagan, bass, saxophone

Kent McLagan

Denver bassist; website.

drum

Marc Dalio

Drummer and photographer; website.