The Mason Jazz Studies Department was founded in 1999 by Professor James Carroll. Steeped in a rich history of tradition yet pushing musical boundaries, the Jazz Studies Department 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 the honor to perform in "Jazz 4 Justice©." "Jazz 4 Justice©," founded by Jim Carroll and VA 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. Check out Jazz 4 Justice© to learn more of this important collaboration.
WHAT WE OFFER
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.
MASON JAZZ FACULTY
Dr. Darden Purcell - Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice
Wade Beach - Jazz Piano, Combos
Jim Caroll - Mason Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Improvisation, Topics in Jazz
Glenn Dewey - Bass
Dr. Tyler Kuebler - Saxophone
Anthony Maiello - Arranging
Joe McCarthy - Percussion, Latin Jazz Ensemble
Matt Niess - Trombone
Rick Parrell - Saxophone, Jazz Workshop Ensemble
Victor Provost - Steel Pan Ensemble
Kenny Rittenhouse - Trumpet
Dave Robinson - Traditional Jazz Ensemble
Harold Summey - Percussion
Rick Whitehead - Guitar
Read in depth bios and performing schedules of our MASON JAZZ FACULTY HERE.
PRESS AND ACCOLADES
George Mason University: "Mason Joins Worldwide Jazz Day Celebration with an All-Jazz Concert!"
All About Jazz: "Washington D.C. Reclaims it's role as a Jazz Destination"
Down Beat: "Jazz Education Network gets NEA grant to support Trad Jazz Curriculum Project"
The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper: "A Master of Pan Jazz Ramajay"
Northern Virginia Magazine: "GMU's 12th Annual Jazz 4 Justice concert spotlights "Nothin' But the Blues"
George Mason University - Mason News: "Musicians and Lawyers Come Together in Jazz 4 Justice"
DC Metro Theater Arts: "Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: Mardi Gras with the MJO at George Mason University"
DC Metro Theatre Arts: "Jazz 4 Justice - 5 Star Review"
Mason Spirit: "Jazz Ensemble Travels to China in Musical Exchange"
JazzTimes: "George Mason University - Jazz Schools"
Fairfax Times: "Summer Jazz Camp at George Mason offers Life Lessons with focus on Improv Skills"
The George Mason University jazz ensembles, big bands and chamber ensembles (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.
MASON JAZZ ENSEMBLES
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 (Premiere Jazz Vocal Ensemble)
Steel Pan Ensemble
The Jazz Chamber Ensembles (Jazz Combos) are at the core of the Jazz program. Students are given freedom in the spirit of jazz, to choose their own direction. The Mason Jazz Combos are a wonderful place for opportunities in improvisation, arranging, composition and leadership.
ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS - See the JAZZ ENSEMBLES AUDITIONS page for detailed audition information.
At George Mason University, we offer a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies (Instrumental and Vocal Track) and a Master of Music 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 JAZZ STUDIES AUDITIONS page for detailed audition information and the STUDENT RESOURCES page for degree requirements and curriculum.
Students have the opportunity to perform many times throughout the semester in some of the finest performing facilities in the Washington DC area, including the beautiful Center for the Arts and Hylton Performing Arts Center.
MASON JAZZ at JEN (Jazz Education Network Conference)
We are thrilled to annouce that the Mason Jazz Saxophone Ensemble has been invited to perform at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Dallas, TX this January 2014!
MASON JAZZ SAXOPHONE ENSEMBLE
The Mason Jazz Saxophone Ensemble performed at the International Saxophone Symposium, hosted by the United States Navy Band, January 2013! Watch the video below of their superb performance!
MASON SUMMER JAZZ WORKSHOP - JUNE 22 - 27, 2014
Watch the video below for a "Behind the Scenes" from our 2013 workshop!
Spend a week learning from some of the best musicians and educators in the Washington D.C. Area - including members of The Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Grammy Award-winners and George Mason University jazz faculty! Participate in combos, big band, improvisation, master classes, and more. Serious musicians of all ages and abilities are welcome. No one is too young or too old to play jazz!
Register for the 2014 Workshop at http://potomacacademy.gmu.edu/Summer/Jazz/SummerJazz.html