Jazz Ensembles

Jazz Lab Bands

Steve Owen, faculty advisor

The Jazz Lab Bands at the University of Oregon, like the Oregon Jazz Ensemble, exist to train our students to be solid performers in all musical styles associated with jazz. UO Jazz Lab Bands perform regularly both on and off campus, including formal concerts each term and participation in the Oregon Jazz Celebration. Membership is open to all UO students.

Jazz Combos

Mike Denny, faculty advisor

Small jazz ensembles are an integral part of the jazz studies program at the University of Oregon. They offer serious jazz students a work place for honing skills in improvisation and developing their ability to communicate spontaneously in performance with other group members. Students wishing to perform in a jazz combo must have taken the jazz theory-improvisation course sequence or demonstrate an understanding of these materials through performance. New groups are formed at the beginning of each term with students placed according to their level of experience.

Oregon Jazz Ensemble

Steve Owen, director

The Oregon Jazz Ensemble is the premier large jazz ensemble at the University of Oregon. The OJE is recognized throughout the Northwest for its excellence in interpretation and performance of the wide variety of styles associated with the jazz genre. The group performs new literature for jazz ensemble, including works by nationally recognized composer-arrangers and by students of the UO program in jazz studies.

In addition to performing regular concerts on campus, the Oregon Jazz Ensemble is a frequent performer at jazz festivals and educational conferences, including the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, Oregon Music Educators Association Conference, the Kent-Meridian Jazz Festival, the Northwest MENC Conference, the Pacific Coast Jazz Festival, Western International Band Conference, and other regional events.

The OJE is also the host ensemble for the UO School of Music and Dance's annual Oregon Jazz Celebration, which has featured such guest artists as James Moody, Randy Brecker, Steve Houghton, Peter Erskine, Marcus Roberts, Jon Faddis, Mike Stern, Bob Berg, Billy Pierce, and Rufus Reid. The ensemble is the frequent recipeint of various awards and honors.

Latin Jazz Ensemble

The ensemble gives students hands-on experience in Afro-Cuban performance practice. Emphasis is on percussion techniques, and the group is open to all instrumentalists and vocalists by audition. The ensemble performs at least once per term, exploring traditional and contemporary styles.

Jazz Guitar Ensemble

Michael Denny, faculty advisor

Jazz guitar ensemble is an outlet for intermediate to advanced students (typically 4 – 5) who must have permission from the instructor in order to enroll.  The goals are to increase music reading skills, ensemble blend and improvisation.  The repertoire consists of published arrangements for guitar ensemble and students are encouraged to bring in their own arrangements as well as any jazz lead sheets on which to work.  Performances may be scheduled throughout the year and this also fulfills a large ensemble requirement