Jazz Studies

The University of Oregon is home to a renowned program in Jazz Studies, known for an innovative and rigorous curriculum that prepares students to embrace and adapt to the always-changing musical and professional world in which we live. Jazz students will graduate with a versatile and broad musical skill set, built through the in-depth study of improvisation and composition, activities which allow students to flex their creativity while honing their knowledge of music theory, harmony, form, timbre, rhythm, and more in a hands-on learning environment.

The Jazz Studies program is home to three big bands, a Jazz Guitar Ensemble, a Latin Jazz Ensemble, and a dozen small jazz ensembles, including the Herbert J. Merker JazzArts Oregon Combo. In addition to dedicated practice space for jazz drummers and small groups, the 2008 upgrade to the UO’s music facilities included the creation of a studio for jazz instruction, rehearsal, and student recording projects.

Recent guest artists include Branford Marsalis, Sean Jones, Walter Smith III, Ben Wendel, Ingrid Jensen, Ulysses Owens Jr., Terell Stafford, Vijay Iyer, Patty Darling, Kendrick

On the Road

The Oregon Jazz Ensemble recently toured Europe, performing at four jazz festivals in Switzerland, France, and Italy. Since 2000, OJE has been named the “Outstanding College Big Band” eight times at the prestigious Reno Jazz Festival… more so than any other college ensemble.