The Mason Jazz Studies Department was founded in 1999 by James Carroll and combines performance with curriculum and service to honor House Resolution 57 that states jazz is "hereby designated as a rare and national American treasure."  A highpoint of students' time at George Mason University is their performance in "Jazz 4 Justice©."  "Jazz 4 Justice©," founded by Jim Carroll and attorney Ed Weiner, is an annual concert that combines the Mason Jazz department with local law communities to raise money for music scholarships and public access to justice.   

The George Mason University jazz ensembles, big bands and combos offer many opportunities for improvisation, performance, recording, writing, leadership and service. They perform regularly on campus at The Center for the Arts, Hylton Performing Arts Center as well as off-campus performances at jazz festivals, jazz clubs such as Blues Alley, embassies and community events.  


Jazz Ensemble (Big Band)
Jazz Workshop (Big Band)
Jazz Combos (Instrumental Combos)    
Jazz Vocal Combos (Jazz Vocal Combos)
Traditional Jazz Ensemble (Small group specializing in "Early Jazz")
Jazz Vocal Ensemble (Jazz Vocal Ensemble)
Afro-Cuban Ensemble 
Steel Pan Ensemble 


Sunday, March 1 - Mason Jazz Faculty Concert (Harris Theatre, 4pm)  
Wednesday, March 4 - Big Band Showdown (Center for the Arts, 8pm) 
Wednesday, March 25 - Combo Concert #1/Steel Pan Ensemble (de Laski 3001, 8pm)
Wednesday, April 15 - Jazz Workshop (de Laski 3001, 8pm) 
Wednesday, April 22 - Combo Concert #2/Afro-Cuban Ensemble (de Laski 3001, 8pm) 
Thursday, April 30 - International Jazz Day Concert w/ special guest artist, Eric Alexander!  (Hylton, 8pm)
Monday, May 4 - Mason Jazz Vocal Night (Harris Theatre, 8pm) 

Monday, February 23 - Daniel Brown - MM Double Bass (Harris Theatre, 7pm) 
Saturday, February 28 - Gerard Johnston - Saxophone (Harris Theatre, 1pm) 
Saturday, May 2 - Kurt Wheeler - BM Jazz Saxohone (Harris Theatre, 7pm) 

Doc Severinsen - Wednesday, February 18, 1:30pm (de Laski Performing Arts Building 327C) 
Stockton Helbing - Thursday, February 19, 3pm (de Laski Performing Arts Building, 327C)

Eric Alexander - Thursday, April 30,12noon (de Laski Performing Arts Building, 327C) 

Jazz Combos - Monday, February 16 (Harris Theatre, 12:30pm)
Jazz Voice Studio - Wednesday, March 18 (de Laski 3001, 12:30pm)
Afro-Cuban Ensemble - Monday, April 6 (Harris Theatre, 12:30pm)
Jazz Saxophone Ensemble - Monday, April 27 (Harris Theatre, 12:30pm) 
Jazz Combos - Monday, May 4th (Harris Theatre, 12:30pm) 

Our faculty are well respected performers as well as dedicated educators.  Many are current and former members of the DC miitary units and staples in the Washington DC jazz scene.  They have earned Grammy Awards, conducted classes at the renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, toured nationally and internationally and contributed to books and videos about jazz education.   
Wade Beach - Jazz Piano, Combos
Regan Brough - Jazz Bass
Jim Caroll - Mason Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Improvisation, Topics in Jazz 
Glenn Dewey - Electric Bass, Mason Music Productions
Dr. Tyler Kuebler - Saxophone
Anthony Maiello - Arranging
Joe McCarthy - Percussion, Afro-Cuban Ensemble
Matt Niess - Trombone
Rick Parrell - Saxophone, Jazz Workshop Ensemble
Victor Provost - Steel Pan Ensemble 

Dr. Darden Purcell - Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice, Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble
Kenny Rittenhouse - Trumpet
Dave Robinson - Traditional Jazz Ensemble 
Harold Summey - Percussion
Rick Whitehead - Guitar

Read in depth bios and performing schedules of our

At George Mason University, we offer a Minor in Jazz Studies, a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies.  All Jazz degrees can be instrumental or vocal.  

Bachelor of Music - Jazz Studies
Minor in Jazz Studies 

Master of Music - Jazz Studies 
Doctor of Musical Arts Performance - Some emphasis in jazz (E-mail
Dr. Purcell for more details)  

See the STUDENT RESOURCES page for degree requirements and curriculum.  

See the JAZZ AUDITIONS page for detailed audition information.  



Congratulations to the Mason Jazz Saxophone Ensemble on an outstanding performance at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference in Dallas, TX, January 2014!  

Also, congratulations to Dave Robinson (our Traditional Jazz Ensemble director) for his JEN presentation "Hot Trumpets From New Orleans:  The Unsung Masters."

Congratulations to members of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble on their performances with indie pop star Ben Folds!  These vocalists performed with the Virginia Beach Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (Wolf Trap) and the Baltimore Syphony Orchestra!  

The Mason Jazz Saxophone Ensemble performed at the 2013 International Saxophone Symposium, hosted by the United States Navy Band.   Watch the video below of their superb performance!  


George Mason is proud to host the National Jazz Workshop Summer 2015!
Register HERE for
this incredible summer experience! 


George Mason University
School of Music
Department of Jazz Studies

Dr. Darden Purcell, Director