Traditional Jazz Ensemble

The Mason Traditional Jazz Ensemble, established in 2013, performs in the early styles of jazz, concentrating on polyphonic ensemble playing in the New Orleans tradition.  Students participating in the Ensemble gain an understanding of the various stylistic approaches within this aspect of the jazz genre, and learn how to be creative and self-expressive while employing the harmonic and rhythmic language pioneered by Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke and other early giants.  These early jazz styles remain relevant and exciting today.  Mason is one of the few universities in the country offering an in-depth improvisation experience within the language of traditional (“trad”) jazz.  The MTJE plays for concerts and events on campus each semester.

JAZZ ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS – Spring 2019 (current Mason students) 

  • Instrumental Piece:  Recorda Me
  • Instrumentalists:  Play the melody for one chorus and improvise for two choruses. In addition there will be sight-reading on the audition. Please bring your own musical accompaniment/backing track for iPod, Phone or CD player. (Bring adapter if your phone does not have a headphone jack)
  • Visit the SEATING PLACEMENT AUDITIONS page to sign up for an audition.
  • If all audition slots are filled, please e-mail Dr. Darden Purcell


Congratulations to the Mason Tradition Jazz Ensemble on their grand opening of the new Music Library in Fenwick Library!  Read the Article here: “Music library’s move met with music, fanfare!”



Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 9.47.13 AM(Dave Robinson discussing his Traditional Jazz Curriculum Kit at the Jazz Education Network Conference)