Jazz Ensembles

Johannes Wallmann, Director of Jazz Studies

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Jazz Studies program at the UW–Madison Mead Witter School of Music offers a wide variety of ensembles for undergraduate and graduate students to join, both music majors and non-music majors alike. Jazz students have opportunities to perform both on and off campus numerous times per year, in groups ranging from the traditional big band setting to small contemporary ensembles to Latin jazz-focused combos.

Click here for audition information.

Contact:
performingorgs@music.wisc.edu
(608) 263-1770

  • UW Jazz Orchestra (The Big Band)

    Johannes Wallmann, director

    Rehearsal Schedule: Monday and Wednesday, 3:30 PM–5:30 PM; 1321 Humanities Bldg.
    Fall 2019 concerts: Monday, October 21; Friday, November 22
    Course Number: 660-262 (for undergraduate credit), 660-562 (for graduate credit); 1 credit.
    Prerequisites: Audition. Saxophonists: flute and/or clarinet doubling experience preferred, but not required.
    Description: The UWJO consists of 5 saxophones (2 altos, 2 tenors, 1 baritone), 4–5 trumpets, 4–5 trombones, piano, guitar, bass, and drums. The group workshops and performs music ranging from classic big band repertoire to contemporary and cutting-edge concert jazz music by today’s leading jazz composers. Twice-weekly rehearsals, plus on-campus and off-campus performances.

  • Blue Note Ensemble (Small Group)

    Chris Rottmayer, director

    Rehearsal Schedule: Tuesday 6:00–8:00 PM; 1321 Humanities Bldg.
    Fall 2019 concerts: Tuesday, October 15; Friday, November 15; Friday, December 6
    Course Number: 660-262 (for undergraduate credit), 660-562 (for graduate credit); 1 credit.
    Prerequisites: Audition.
    Description: The Blue Note Ensemble consists of 2–3 frontline instruments (trumpets, trombones, saxophones, other woodwinds or high strings), 1–2 comping instruments (piano, guitar, vibraphone), bass, and drums. It performs music from the post-bop jazz period of the 1950s and 1960s (such as the music of Horace Silver, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, or Art Blakey). Each semester primarily focuses on the music of a single jazz artist.

  • Contemporary Jazz Ensemble (Small Group)

    Johannes Wallmann, director

    Rehearsal Schedule: Wednesday 6:00–8:00 PM, 1321 Humanities Bldg.
    Fall 2019 concerts: Friday, October 4; Tuesday, October 15; Tuesday, December 3
    Course Number: 660-262 (for undergraduate credit), 660-562 (for graduate credit); 1 credit.
    Prerequisite: Audition.
    Description: The Contemporary Jazz Ensemble consists of 2–3 frontline instruments (trumpets, trombones, saxophones, other woodwinds or high strings), 1–2 comping instruments (piano, guitar, vibraphone), bass, and drums. This small group performs contemporary, mainstream jazz repertoire from the last two decades (such as the music of Dave Douglas, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Wheeler, Chris Potter, David Binney, Dave Holland, and Brian Blade) as well as student compositions.

  • Jazz Composers Group

    Les Thimmig, director

    Rehearsal Schedule: Tuesday 3:30–5:30 PM
    Fall 2019 concerts: Wednesday, October 23; Wednesday, December 3; Friday, December 13
    Course Number: 660-004; 1 credit.
    Prerequisites: Audition.
    Description: A small jazz ensemble focused primarily on student compositions, consisting of trumpet, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone with woodwind doubles, trombone, piano, bass, and guitar.

  • Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble (small group)

    Nick Moran, director

    Rehearsal Schedule: Thursday 6:00–8:00 PM; 1321 Humanities Bldg.
    Fall 2019 concerts: Monday, October 21; Friday, November 15; Wednesday, December 4
    Course Number: 660-262 (for undergraduate credit), 660-562 (for graduate credit); 1 credit.
    Prerequisite: Audition.
    Description: A small jazz ensemble that covers a wide range of Afro-Cuban music, including son, son montuno, guaracha, mambo, bembe, danzón, guaguancó, cha-cha-chá, mozambique, rumba, and bolero. Students in the Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble work with the rhythmic concepts of clave in practical application, including improvisation and theoretical knowledge. The group consists of 2–4 frontline instruments (brass, woodwinds, or strings), 1–2 comping instruments (piano, guitar, vibraphone), bass, drums, and percussion.

  • Jazz Standards Ensemble (Small Group)

    Nick Moran, director

    Rehearsal Schedule: Thursdays 3:30–5:30 PM; 1321 Humanities Bldg.
    Fall 2019 concerts: Friday, October 4; Wednesday, October 23; Wednesday, December 4
    Course Number: 660-262 (for undergraduate credit), 660-562 (for graduate credit); 1 credit.
    Prerequisite: Audition.
    Description: The Jazz Standards Ensemble performs music from the standard jazz repertoire. It consists of 2–3 frontline instruments (trumpets, trombones, saxophones, other woodwinds or high strings), 1–2 comping instruments (piano, guitar, vibraphone), bass, and drums.