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.”

JAZZ DEGREES

The Mason Jazz Studies program (instrumental and vocal) offers opportunities for improvisation, performance, recording, writing, leadership and service. Our ensembles have performed at the 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, JEN Conferences 2014, 2018 (Dallas, TX), JENerations Jazz Festival 2017 (New Orleans, LA), 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, an annual concert that combines the Jazz department with local law communities to raise money for academic initiatives and public access to justice.

Our students and jazz community have the benefit of attending master classes with world-class musicians throughout the year. Past artists include Maria Schneider, Eric Alexander, Peter Erskine, Doc Severinsen, Peter Bernstein, Byron Stripling, Bobby Floyd, Chip McNeill, Bria Skonberg, and more.

FACULTY

ENSEMBLESOpen to all university students, based on audition

FESTIVALS & CAMPS

MASON JAZZ MARKETPLACE

JAZZ4JUSTICE

DEPARTMENT HANDBOOK

FALL 2022 CONCERTS & EVENTS

MASTER CLASSES

  • Coming soon

JAZZ RECITALS – Fall 2022

  • Monday, October 24, 7pm:  Gabriel Rivera-Martinez, Saxophone, Senior Recital (Harris Theatre) 
  • Wednesday, November 2, 7pm:  Kyle Kelly, Saxophone Music Education Senior Recital (Harris Theatre) 
  • Sunday, November 6, 8pm:  Emily Davies, Voice, Music Education Senior Recital (Harris Theatre) 

MASON JAZZ MONDAYS – Departmental Concerts (12:30pm, De Laski 327C)

  • Schedule coming soon.

ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS – Fall 2022 (current Mason students) 

  • Instrumental Piece:  St Thomas
  • 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
DownBeat Student Music Awards
Congratulations to Dominique Bianco on being awarded “Vocal Jazz Soloist, Undergraduate College, Outstanding Performance” in the 2022 45th Annual Downbeat Student Music Awards!

 

The Latin American Ensemble is honored to have been awarded “Latin Group, Graduate College – Outstanding Performance” for 3 years in a row (2019, 2020, 2021) in the DownBeat Student Music Awards! Congratulations to our students and director, Juan Megna!

RECORDINGS

E-mail dpurcel2@gmu.edu for hard copies.

PRESS AND ACCOLADES

Northern Virginia Magazine: “These Are the Best Things to Do in NOVA this April!”  northernvirginiamag.com/things-to-do

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!