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.

The Mason Jazz Ensemble, Fall 2017. Photo by Suzette Niess.

CONCERTS – Spring 2018 

  • Wednesday, February 28, 7pm:  Fairfax High School Jazz Night (Mason Jazz Ensemble joins the Fairfax HS Jazz bands for an evening celebrating “Big Band Jazz!” – Fairfax HS, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, VA 22030) 
  • Saturday, March 31, 8pm:  Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra with Bria Skonberg (Center for the Arts, Purchase Tickets
  • Monday, April 2, 8pm:  Big Band Showdown (Center for the Arts, Purchase Tickets)
  • Saturday, April 28, All Day:  Mason Jazz Festival with the Army Blues! High School and Collegiate Invitational Jazz Festival (Mason School of Music, De Laski Performing Arts Building. Mason Jazz Festival)
  • Monday, April 30, 8pm:  International Jazz Day w/ Mason Jazz (Center for the Arts, Purchase Tickets
  • Tuesday, May 1, 4:30pm:  Law Day (Weiner, Spivey and Miller Law Offices) 

 Fall 2018 Jazz Ensemble Auditions (current Mason students) 

  • Instrumental 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, Phone or CD player. (Bring adapter if your phone does not have a headphone jack)
  • Vocalists:  Sing one song of your choice (jazz preferred), sight-read a solo musical line and sing a brief tonal melody test. Please bring your own musical accompaniment/backing track for either iPod, Phone or CD player.
  • Visit the SEATING PLACEMENT AUDITIONS page to sign up for an audition. If 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!