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.”

DEGREES

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.

FACULTY

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

CONCERTS – Fall 2018  

  • Sunday, August 26, 4pm: Mason Jazz Welcome Back Party (de laski 3001) – Mandatory for Majors (undergraduate and graduate). Strongly encouraged for Jazz minors and those participating in Jazz ensembles. Performance by your Jazz faculty and hang. (Dinner provided)
  • Monday, September 24, 7:30pm:  Mason Jazz Ensemble at Jammin’ Java! (227 Maple Avenue East, Vienna, VA 22180, 703-255-1566 – Purchase Tickets
  • Saturday, September 29, 5pm:  Arts By George (Latin American Ensemble/Steel Pan Ensemble student showcase in de Laski PAB, 327C) – Purchase Tickets or for more information, contact Susan Graziano, call 703-993-4188, or visit artsbygeorge.gmu.edu
  • Saturday, September 29, 8pm:  Manhattan Transfer (Center for the Arts) – Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble to perform with the AFPO and Manhattan Transfer. Purchase Tickets
  • Friday, October 12, 8pm:  Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra “Benny and Beyond” with clarinetist Eddie Daniels (Hylton Performing Arts Center) Purchase Tickets
  • Wednesday, October 31, 8pm:  Jazz Combos/Latin American Ensemble (de Laski 3001, Free and open to the public)
  • Tuesday, November 13, 8pm:  Jazz Workshop (Harris Theatre, Free and open to the public)
  • Tuesday, November 13, 7pm:  Mason Jazz Faculty at the Richmond Jazz Society Guest Educators Concert Series (Darden Purcell, Wade Beach, Regan Brough, Harold Summey and Matt Niess) (Capitol Ale Downtown Music Hall, Richmond, VA) Purchase Tickets 
  • Wednesday, November 14, 8pm:  Jazz Combos/Steel Pan Ensemble (de laski 3001, Free and open to the public)
  • Friday, November 16, 8pm:  Jazz 4 Justice (Hylton Performing Arts Center)Purchase Tickets
  • Saturday, November 17, 8pm:  Jazz 4 Justice (Center for the Arts)Purchase Tickets
  • Wednesday, November 28, 8pm:  Mason Jazz Vocal Night (Center for the Arts)Purchase Tickets
  • Sunday, December 9, 7pm:  Mason Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Holiday Concert (Center for the Arts, MJE) – Purchase Tickets
  • Monday, December 10, 8pm:  The Capitol Bones All-Brass Big Band “A Stan Kenton Christmas” with Matt Niess and members of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble (Union Stage, Washington DC). Purchase Tickets

MASTER CLASSES

  • Charlie Young, Saxophone (Day and Time TBD)

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

  • Wednesday, September 26:  Jazz Combos
  • Wednesday, October 3:  Jazz Voice Studio
  • Wednesday, October 17:  Jazz Combos
  • Wednesday, October 24:  Latin American Ensemble
  • Wednesday, November 14:  Steel Pan Ensemble (de Laski 3001) 

RECITALS All recitals are free and open to the public

  • Monday, October 1, 8pm:  Julian Berger Non-Degree Jazz Saxophone (de Laski 3001)
  • Saturday, October 27, 12noon:  Oshea Tolbert Jr. Jazz Violin (Harris Theatre)
  • Saturday, October 27, 2pm:  Domenic Lewis Jr. Jazz Steel Pan (Harris Theatre)
  • Monday, October 29, 8pm:  Brendan Schnabel DMA Jazz Saxophone (Harris Theatre)
  • Thursday, November 15, 8pm:  Aviel Scanterbury Graduate Steel Pan (Harris Theatre)
  • Sunday, November 18, 1pm:  Juan Megna DMA Jazz Percussion (Harris Theatre)
  • Sunday, November 18, 3pm:  Ali Rezeiapour Jr Jazz Guitar (Harris Theatre)
  • Saturday, December 1, 4pm: Seika Van Keuren Senior Jazz Sax/Music Ed (de Laski 3001)
  • Sunday, December 2, 2pm:  Jaime Alvarez Non-Degree Jazz Piano (de Laski 3001)
  • Sunday, December 2, 4pm:  Philip Harris Graduate Jazz Trombone (de Laski 3001)
  • Tuesday, December 6, 8pm:  Zack Williams Senior Jazz Bass (Choral Room)

 JAZZ ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS – Spring 2019 (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 all audition slots are filled, please e-mail Dr. Darden Purcell

DEPARTMENT HANDBOOK

RECORDINGS

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

PAST EVENTS

PAST NEWS

PRESS AND ACCOLADES

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!