Jazz Ensemble

The UVA Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of trumpeter/composer John D’earth, has become one of the most creative college big bands in the country. The group’s performances feature classic repertoire from across the spectrum of jazz history, jazz arrangements of music from diverse genres, and original compositions and arrangements by the students and the director.

Giving three major concerts a year in Old Cabell Auditorium and various extra performances, the Jazz Ensemble is an extended big band that includes flutes, vocalists, and, sometimes, other instruments not normally associated with big band music.

The UVA Jazz Program focuses on developing the individual voices of our jazz students. We follow the Duke Ellington model of how to build a jazz orchestra: allow and encourage the distinct musical personalities of the musicians to create the overall sound and direction of the music.

The Jazz Ensemble encourages its members to immerse themselves in the art form called jazz, to understand its history, and to listen, repeatedly, to the music.  Jazz, and the blues from which it sprang, are both gifts from Black America to the rest of the world.  Jazz gives music back to the musicians by teaching two things: be yourself/ tell your own story, and learn to master musical language on your instrument. The UVA Jazz Ensemble avidly pursues these twin goals of expertise and creative expression.

Auditions for the Jazz Ensemble and for the four jazz small groups take place on the first Thursday of Classes, at 7:30 pm, in room B18 of Old Cabell Hall.  This is an open audition and offers a good way to begin playing jazz at UVA.

 The Jazz Ensemble was recently featured in UVAToday on its tremendous musical impact at UVA and around Charlottesville.

To see a list of all jazz events at UVA please visit http://music.virginia.edu/jazz-events

Share this


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu