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Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble and combos at the University of Portland are active music groups with high performing standards. Jazz Ensemble and combo members are not required to be music majors and are not required to be members of other performing groups or to take private lessons at the University. Students of all years are accepted, freshmen through graduate students. Admission to all jazz ensembles is determined through audition, although every effort is made to include all students with the desire to play. Auditions for the combos occur in conjunction with Jazz Ensemble auditions. Additionally, combos perform on concerts with the Jazz Ensemble. 

The Jazz Ensemble features a standard big band instrumentation of 5 saxophones, 4 trombones, 5 trumpets, guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion, and vocalist. This ensemble performs a variety of musical styles including, but not limited to, swing, various Latin styles, contemporary jazz, rock, and funk. Students are taught stylistic techniques for playing jazz and are encouraged to develop as improvisers.

Jazz combos typically range in size from about 4 - 8 musicians. These groups work to improve understanding of small group jazz performance, with an emphasis on developing personal musical style and improvisational ability. These groups perform for a variety of events on campus and throughout the city.

Jazz Ensemble Auditions

Auditions for placement in jazz ensembles are held on the first Tuesday and Thursday of the semester in the Mago Hunt Arts Center during the Jazz Ensemble rehearsal time (4:10 p.m. - 5:35 p.m.). After auditions, selected jazz combo participants will also need to enroll in MUS 447 C (Jazz Combo).

 For questions or more information, please contact Don Norton.