Jazz Studies


Keith Lienert, Jazz Drum Set Instructor
Nick Moran, Jazz Bass Instructor
Louka Patenaude, Jazz Guitar Instructor
Eric Siereveld, Jazz Trumpet Instructor
Les Thimmig, Professor of Saxophone
Johannes Wallmann, Associate Professor, Director of Jazz Studies


The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers jazz ensembles and undergraduate and graduate coursework in jazz improvisation, composition & arranging, and history. Click here for audition requirements for the Jazz program.

Undergraduate students:

The Bachelor of Arts in Music – Individualized Curriculum is available for students who wish to focus on jazz performance studies in a music major within a broad-based liberal arts degree. Four-year dual majors are available between the B.A. in Music – Individualized Curriculum and a very wide range of other majors at UW-Madison. A comprehensive performance degree, the Bachelor of Music in Performance – Jazz Studies, is currently being developed for implementation in Fall 2014. For more information, including audition and application information, please contact Johannes Wallmann at wallmann@music.wisc.edu.

Graduate students:

Note: There is currently no graduate degree in jazz studies. However, both the Masters and the Doctoral degree paths contain considerable room for customization, and Doctoral students may select jazz studies as their minor option. Students who wish to make jazz a substantive component of a performance degree at the graduate level should contact the Director of Graduate Studies at dgs@music.wisc.edu to discuss their available options.


UW Madison’s School of Music is located in the heart of Madison, a medium-sized city with a vibrant jazz scene that rivals that of much bigger cities in quality and quantity. The city is home to a number of world-class local musicians who value its quality of life and proximity to Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis, and is a frequent destination for artists touring throughout the Midwest (concerts in 2012-2013 included the Branford Marsalis Quartet, the Birdland Big Band, the Bad Plus, the Gerald Clayton Trio, Kevin Mahogany, Carmen Lundy, Chuchito Valdez, and many others). From the Wisconsin Union’s performance venues at the Rathskeller, the iconic Memorial Terrace, the Sett, and the Memorial Union Theater; to the School of Music’s own concert halls at the foot of State Street, to the Overture Center, the Fountain jazz club, and outdoor concerts at the top of State Street; to venues throughout the neighborhoods of Madison and its surrounding communities; there is always great music to hear and many opportunities for UW Madison students to augment their formal studies with gigs in Madison and beyond. Check out this website for a list of upcoming jazz events in and around Madison: www.JazzInMadison.org