Mason Jazz Ensemble

The Mason Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Carroll, offers opportunities for improvisation, performance, recording, writing, leadership and service. This ensemble performs at venues including the Shanghai Concert Hall (Beijing, China), Center for the Arts, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Blues Alley, Chantilly Jazz Festival, Law Day and the Jazz Education Network/JENerations Jazz Festival (New Orleans, LA).

A highpoint of students’ time in the Mason Jazz Ensemble is Jazz 4 Justice, an annual concert that combines the Mason Jazz department with local law communities to raise money for the jazz program and public access to justice.

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CONCERTS – Fall 2017

  • Saturday. September 23, 5-9pm:  Arts By George (School of Music Showcases – Mason Jazz Ensemble and Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble perform) Purchase Tickets:
  • Monday, October 2, 8pm & 10pm: Mason Jazz Ensemble at BLUES ALLEY (1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007 – 202 – 337-4141, Purchase Tickets: HERE
  • Friday, November 10, 8pm:  Jazz 4 Justice (Hylton Performing Arts Center, Purchase Tickets: HERE
  • Saturday, November 11, 8pm:  Jazz 4 Justice (Center for the Arts, Purchase Tickets: HERE

Spring 2018 Jazz Ensemble Auditions (current Mason students) 

  • Instrumental Audition Piece:
  • 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 or CD player.
  • Vocalists:  Sing one song of your choice (jazz preferred), sight-read a brief excerpt of a solo musical line and sing a brief tonal melody test. Please bring your own musical accompaniment/backing track for either iPod or CD player.
  • If all audition slots are filled, please e-mail Dr. Darden Purcell.


Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Swing features the Mason Jazz Ensemble, Mason Jazz Combo I, Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Traditional Jazz Ensemble, Steel Pan Ensemble and Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble. Recorded by CFA Audio Engineer, Billy Kessinger, eighty-six students participated in this project. Purchase at, iTunes, Amazon or e-mail Proceeds benefit the GMU Jazz Foundation for scholarships, internships, trips and future recordings!