The Mason Jazz Studies Department combines performance, curriculum and service to support House Resolution 57 which states jazz is “hereby designated as a rare and valuable national American treasure.”
The Mason Jazz Studies program (instrumental and vocal) offers opportunities for improvisation, performance, recording, writing, leadership and service. Our ensembles have performed at places such as:
- Shanghai Concert Hall (Beijing, China)
- Center for the Arts
- Hylton Performing Arts Center
- Virginia Music Educators Association Conference
- Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
- Blues Alley
- Kansas City Jazz Summit
- Jazz Education Network Conferences
- University of Trinidad and Tobago, and more.
Our students have won “Outstanding Ensemble” accolades, military band positions and DownBeat Student Music Awards.
A high point of students' time at George Mason University is Jazz4Justice™, a truly unique event where attorneys, judges, students and members of the Northern Virginia community gather to celebrate their love of jazz. Proceeds from the evening benefit Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) to continue its mission of service to the Northern Virginia community as well as providing financial support for the Mason Jazz Studies department for scholarships, trips, recordings and student projects.
Our students and community members have the benefit of attending master classes with world-class musicians throughout the year. Past artists include Maria Schneider, Eric Alexander, Sean Jones, Peter Erskine, Doc Severinsen, Peter Bernstein, Byron Stripling, Bobby Floyd, Chip McNeill, Brian Skonberg, Pat Bianchi and more.
Jazz Degrees available:
- Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies (instrumental and vocal)
- Master of Music in Jazz Studies (instrumental and vocal)
- Doctor of Musical Arts (Jazz Emphasis). Email Darden Purcell for more information.