Jazz Studies

The B.M., Performance Concentration, Jazz Studies Option offers instrumental students a balanced course of study in both performance and academic classes to help them develop their skills as jazz artists and educators. Students in the degree have the opportunity to study jazz history, theory, improvisation, pedagogy and composition, and arranging, in addition to taking private lessons with both traditional applied faculty and jazz specialists.

Ensembles in the Jazz Studies area consist 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. Ensemble audition excerpts and instructions are available at music.colostate.edu/auditions.

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

In addition to the performance degree audition requirements listed on the individual instrument web pages, students must also audition for the jazz area.

  • 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.
  • 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 Studies News

Jazz Ensembles concert photo

The Jazz Ensembles Welcome a Grammy Nominee

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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 […]

Jazz Ensemble performance photo

CSU Jazz Ensembles Kick it with Fort Collins High School

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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 […]

Jazz Ensembles concert photo

CSU Jazz Ensembles Honor one of The Greats

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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

2015-2016

Dave Devine promotional photo

Dave Devine

Denver guitarist, Brian Blade Fellowship; visit Dave Devin's website.

Ron Stout promotional photo

Ron Stout

Los Angeles Jazz Trumpet legend, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB; visit Ron Stout's website.

Paul Romaine promotional photo

Paul Romaine

Denver drummer, founder of the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, instructor at University of Colorado; visit Paul Romaine's website.

John Fedchock promotional photo

John Fedchock

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

Eric Gunnison promotional photo

Eric Gunnison

Kent McLagan promotional photo

Kent McLagan

Marc Dalio promotional photo

Marc Dalio

Drummer and photographer; visit Marc Dalio's website.