Jazz Studies

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 ensembles offer opportunities for improvisation, performance, recording, writing, leadership and service. They have performed at the Shanghai Concert Hall (Beijing, China), Center for the Arts, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Virginia Music Educators Association Conference (VMEA), Blues Alley, Kansas City Jazz Summit, JEN Conference 2014 (Dallas, TX), JENerations Jazz Festival 2017 (New Orleans, LA), JEN Conference 2018 (Dallas, TX) and more. A highpoint of students’ time at George Mason University 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.


ENSEMBLES – Open to all university students, regardless of major, based on audition

CONCERTS – Spring 2019  

  • Saturday, JAN 26, 8pm:  Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra with Eddie Daniels (Center for the Arts) Purchase Tickets
  • Sunday, FEB 10 – Monday, FEB 18: Steel Pan Ensemble at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (Victor Provost and members of the Mason Steel Pan Ensemble) 
  • Saturday, MAR 9, all day:  Mason Vocal Jazz Festival with Lisanne Lyons and Brad Rees (Harris Theatre, Free and open to the public to observe)
  • Saturday, MAR 23, all day:  Mason Jazz Festival with the US Navy Band Commodores (Harris Theatre, Free and open to the public)
  • Wednesday, MAR 27, 8pm:  Jazz Combos/Latin American Ensemble (de Laski 3001, Free and open to the public)
  • Monday, APR 1, 8pm:  Big Band Showdown (Center for the Arts) Purchase Tickets
  • Thursday, APR 4, Time TBD:  Latin American Ensemble at the Smithsonian American History Museum (details, TBD)
  • Wednesday, APR 10, 8pm:  Jazz Combos/Steel Pan Ensemble (de Laski 3001, Free and open to the public)
  • Friday, APR 11, All Day:  Accent Vocal Festival (Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble travels to Tiffin, OH to perform in the Accent Vocal Festival!)
  • Sunday, APR 14, 7pm:  Jazz Workshop (Harris Theatre, Free and open to the public)
  • Monday, APR 29, 8pm:  Mason Jazz Vocal Night (Center for the Arts)  Purchase Tickets
  • Tuesday, APR 30, 8pm:  International Jazz Day with the Mason Jazz Ensemble (Center for the Arts) Purchase Tickets
  • Wednesday, MAY 1, 4:30pm:  Law Day with the Mason Jazz Ensemble (Mason Jazz Ensemble, Weiner, Spivey and Miller Law Offices)
  • Friday, May 3, 8pm:  American Festival Pops Orchestra “Movie Music Magic” (Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble) Purchase Tickets
  • Saturday, May 4, 8pm:  A Musical Feast – School of Music Fundraiser (Grad Combo, Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Steel Pan Ensemble)

DEPARTMENTALS (12:30 – 1:20pm, Harris Theatre, MUSI 300 credit, Free and open to the public) 

  • Wednesday, FEB 27:  Jazz Voice Studio 
  • Wednesday, MAR 6:  Jazz Combos 
  • Wednesday, MAR 20:  Latin American Ensemble 
  • Wednesday, APR 3:  Jazz Combos 
  • Wednesday, APR 10:  Steel Pan Ensemble (de Laski 3001) 


  • Wednesday, APR 17, 7pm:  Movement Studio with guest performing artist and educator, Jessica Denson

RECITALS All recitals are free and open to the public

  • Wednesday, MAR 6, 8pm:  Benjamin Rikhoff, Jazz Bass Senior Recital (Harris Theatre)
  • Monday, MAR 18, 8pm:  Brendan Schnabel, Jazz Saxophone DMA Recital (Harris Theatre)
  • Tuesday, MAR 26, 8pm:  John-Marc Diner, Jazz Bass Senior Recital (Harris Theatre)
  • Tuesday, APR 2, 8pm:  Connor Holdridge, Jazz Guitar Senior Recital (Harris Theatre)
  • Wednesday, APR 3, 8pm:  Alex Steadman, Jazz Voice Junior Recital (de Laski 3001)
  • Sunday, APR 14, 3pm:  Carlehr Swanson, Jazz Voice Senior Recital (Harris Theatre)
  • Saturday, APR 20, 4pm:  Phillip Harris, Jazz Trombone MM Pedagogy Recital (de Laski 3001)
  • Saturday, APR 27, 4pm:  Andrew Velez, Jazz Trumpet MM Recital (de Laski 3001)

 JAZZ ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS – Fall 2019 (current Mason students) 

  • Instrumental Piece:  Coming soon
  • 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 all audition slots are filled, please e-mail Dr. Darden Purcell



Purchase at https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/masonjazzvocalensemble or e-mail the school of music for hard copies.




George Mason University: Music Library’s move to Fenwick met with Music and Fanfare! 

George Mason University:  Mason Joins Worldwide Jazz Day Celebration with an All-Jazz Concert!