Jazz Studies


The Jazz Program 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.

Study With

Peter Sommer

Coordinator of Jazz Studies
Coordinator of Woodwinds
Associate Professor of Saxophone
Director of Jazz Bands


(970) 491-3010

Wil Swindler

Special Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies
Associate Director of Jazz Bands


Shilo Stroman

Special Assistant Professor of Percussion, Marching Band Drumline, Jazz Studies


(970) 491-4054

Jazz Studies Events

Jazz Ensembles Concert

September 28, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Centennial Celebration of Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie Jazz Ensembles I and II present classic and new arrangements for big band featuring the music of Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, honoring their 100th birthdays. “The influence of Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk on jazz music from the 1940s forward cannot be overstated,” says Peter Sommer, [...]

Jazz Ensembles Concert #2

November 16, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Music of Colorado Composers Back by popular demand, Jazz Ensembles I and II perform the music of composers from the great state of Colorado! The Centennial State is home to some of the greatest modern big band composers in the country, including resident composer Wil Swindler. “We had a great time featuring music from our [...]

Jazz Combos Concert

December 4, 2017 at 7:30 PM
The concert given by Jazz Combos I, II, and III features the music of the American Songbook, arranged by the students. The beloved tunes of the songbook are still performed daily in clubs and stages across the world. “Originally written for the Broadway stage by Tin Pan Alley composers, these tunes were quickly adopted by [...]

Jazz Studies News

The Jazz Ensembles Welcome a Grammy Nominee


By Brooke Poulson, UCA Publicity Intern New Orleans is said to be the birthplace of jazz nearly 100 years ago, and if you’ve never had the chance to make it to New Orleans and experience its origins, I highly suggest you attend the Jazz Ensembles Concert on April 13 at the University Center for the […]

CSU Jazz Ensembles Kick it with Fort Collins High School


Ticket Information Tickets for the performance are no charge for Full-fee paying CSU students, $1 for youth (under 18), and $12 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at […]

CSU Jazz Ensembles Honor one of The Greats


Written by Brandon Adams Jazz is a sacred art, one that began in the early 20th century, and is constantly being refined and transformed. Throughout history, many jazz composers have left their mark – from Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie to Count Basie and Herbie Hancock – putting a personal touch on a collaborative masterpiece. […]

Guest Artists


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.


Marc Dalio

Drummer and photographer; website.