The Jazz Studies program at UNC Charlotte offers a learning environment that is both engaging and inspiring. With a focus on instrumental mastery as well as artistic expression, the program is committed to the development of young artists. In addition to being the home of the annual 49er Jazz Festival, our creative environment incorporates an extensive calendar of guest artists and clinicians including Marvin Stamm, Ed Thigpen, Dick Oatts, Brad Leali, Scott Wendholt, Rich Perry, Clay Jenkins, Mike Steinel, Jeff Coffin, Harold Danko, Terell Stafford, Jim Riggs, Cyrus Chestnut, David Berkman, and Paul McKee.
Ensembles and Courses
The Jazz Ensemble (MUPF 1111 and MUPF 1111L) provides students with a solid understanding of the lineage of big band literature from the swing era to contemporary styles.
The Jazz Combos (MUPF 1170) focus more on the element of improvisation in small ensemble settings.Jazz Ensemble Techniques (MUSC 1222) introduces the teaching and administration of public school jazz ensembles including rehearsal techniques, and analyzing appropriate literature and teaching materials.
Jazz Improvisation I (MUSC 2235) is an introduction to jazz theory and its execution through instrumental improvisation, including a detailed study of harmony, chord/scale relationships, musical forms, and the integration of this knowledge into performance.
Jazz Improvisation II (MUSC 2236) is a continuation of Jazz Improvisation I, with greater emphasis on performance and integration of advanced harmonic/melodic devices and concepts, solo transcriptions, basic piano voicings, and composition memorization.
Auditions for the Jazz Ensemble take place on the first class meeting of each semester (typically a Tuesday) during the Jazz Ensemble rehearsal time (11:00 to 12:15 PM), with additional times scheduled as needed. The auditions will consist of the following components:
- Audition Music (available each semester the Wednesday before classes begin at Robinson 354)
- Sight Reading
- Improvisation on B-flat/F blues progression or jazz standard of your choice (optional, but highly recommended)
Results will be posted at Robinson 354 before the second class meeting time of each semester, and Jazz Ensemble rehearsals will begin that day. Scheduling of the Jazz Combos will be determined at that time as well.
Auditions for the Jazz Combos are held during the first week of classes. The auditions will consist of the following components:
- Improvisation on B-flat/F blues progression
- A jazz standard to be selected by instructor
- A prepared tune to demonstrate improvisation skill level (optional, but highly recommended)
Results will be posted the following day at Robinson 354, and rehearsals will begin at the next designated class meeting
Dr. Will Campbell
Director of Jazz Studies