All Jazz Studies students have the opportunity to hone their performing skills as members of the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and the Juilliard Jazz Ensembles, whether enrolled as an undergraduate working toward a bachelor’s degree or a graduate student in the Artist Diploma program.
Both undergraduate and graduate students are placed in the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, conducted by James Burton III, and several small ensembles, conducted by Xavier Davis, Rodney Jones, and Frank Kimbrough. Wind players and drummers also have the opportunity to take doubling classes in clarinet and flute or vibraphone, respectively, to enhance their ensemble abilities.
A weekly Rhythm Section class led by Kenny Washington is held for piano, bass, guitar, and drum students to develop skills for playing in big band and small ensembles.
Artist Diploma students are selected to participate in an ensemble-based program where they primarily concentrate on honing their performance, composition, and teaching skills. Biweekly rehearsals are led by Ben Wolfe. Artists in this program also act as student advisors in Jazz Studies.
All Juilliard Jazz students have several opportunities each year to perform as members of the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and the Juilliard Jazz Ensembles. Students perform in on-campus concerts, gaining experience with an eclectic repertoire.
Off campus, the Ensembles are regularly featured at the world-renowned Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and the Blue Note in New York City. Since the program’s inception, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra has enjoyed weeklong runs at Jazz at Lincoln Center with guest artists such as Kenny Barron, Lew Tabackin, Gerald Wilson, Bobby Watson, Ernie Andrews, Tom Harrell, and Sean Jones.
Jazz students enjoy extraordinary opportunities to participate in master classes and clinics while on tour in the United States and abroad. The Artist Diploma Ensemble, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, and its small ensembles frequently perform at festivals like the Detroit Jazz Festival and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and tour to destinations such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan, and Brazil.
Faculty Ben Wolfe on the Juilliard Jazz Community
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