Led by Juilliard alumnus trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, Juilliard Jazz is one of the most exciting and innovative jazz programs in the country. It combines education in the history and traditions of jazz with professional performance opportunities designed to integrate students into a thriving jazz environment. As a jazz student, you will work closely with a dedicated faculty made up of some of today’s most renowned jazz artists and enjoy numerous performance opportunities as a member of the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and smaller ensembles not only at Juilliard, but also in prominent venues and festivals in New York and beyond.
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Juilliard Jazz Overview
Jazz students at Juilliard have a variety of opportunities to perform, both on and off campus. Ensembles regularly perform in informal concerts for the Juilliard community in room 340, and the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and Ensembles play with renowned guest artists in all of Juilliard's venues. Ensembles also perform at New York City jazz venues, including the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as embarking on international tours.
The Music Division’s main areas of classroom instruction—Ear Training, Music Theory and Analysis, Music History, and Keyboard Studies—complement your private lessons and performance experiences to broaden your understanding of the foundations of music and to provide a context for the music literature you study and perform. Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts equips students with skills to compose and perform music using new technology, and offers hands-on experience with state of the art equipment.
Whatever your discipline, your development as an artist will be deepened by a foundation in the liberal arts, which provides the humanistic, ethical, social, critical, and aesthetic background essential to personal development and professional excellence. All undergraduate degree students take classes in literature, philosophy, history, social sciences, arts, and languages – studies that will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and the complex world in which you live. Through your coursework in liberal arts, you will refine your skills in reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking, and learn to communicate with greater clarity and effectiveness.
In the changing cultural landscape, performers must think more creatively about their careers than ever. While some pursue positions in traditional settings, others are exploring new ways to create opportunities that are both creatively satisfying and financially sustainable. The Alan D. Marks Center for Career Services and Entrepreneurship encourages leadership, initiative, and entrepreneurial thinking, enabling young performing artists to develop a more expansive view of success in the 21st century. It teaches students the skills essential for success in today’s entrepreneurial environment, with workshops in public speaking and business planning, panel discussions with industry leaders, and entrepreneurship residencies. It also facilitates more than 450 freelance performance opportunities for Juilliard students.
Marsalis on Marsalis
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and following that dictum, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra is a direct legatee of the greatest jazz orchestra in American history—Duke Ellington's. How did this occur? We had to look no further than Juilliard Jazz Director Wynton Marsalis.
Aaron Flagg | Juilliard Snapshot
Aaron Flagg, chair and associate director of Jazz Studies at Juilliard, shares one of his favorite moments as a Juilliard student.