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.”
- Bachelor of Music
- Master of Music
- Master of Music, Pedagogy
- Doctor of Musical Arts (Email Darden Purcell at email@example.com for information)
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.
- Wade Beach – Piano, Combos
- Graham Breedlove – Trumpet, Braddock Road Brass Band
- Jim Carroll – Mason Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Improvisation, Topics in Jazz
- Aaron Eckert – Trombone
- John Kocur – Jazz Studies, Jazz Workshop, Pop and Jazz Theory, Jazz & Blues in America, Advanced Jazz Improvisation, Saxophone
- Dr. Kevin McDonald – Percussion and Drum Set
- Xavier Perez – Saxophone
- Zackery Pride – Bass
- Victor Provost – Steel Pan, Steel Pan Ensemble, Jazz Improvisation I & II
- Dr. Darden Purcell – Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice, Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Jazz & Blues in America, Jazz Pedagogy
- Dr. Shawn Purcell – Guitar, Jazz Arranging
- Rick Whitehead – Guitar
ENSEMBLES – Open to all university students, based on audition
- Mason Jazz Ensemble
- Jazz Workshop
- Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble
- Steel Pan Ensemble
- Braddock Road Brass Band
- Latin American Ensemble
FESTIVALS & CAMPS
MASON JAZZ MARKETPLACE
FALL 2022 CONCERTS & EVENTS
- October 19, 8pm: Mason Jazz Ensemble (Harris Theatre) Purchase Tickets: cfa.calendar.gmu.edu/mason-jazz-ensemble
- November 14, 8pm: Mason Jazz Vocal Night (Center for the Arts) Purchase Tickets: cfa.calendar.gmu.edu/mason-jazz-vocal-night-fall-2022
- November 16, 8pm: Jazz Workshop (Harris Theatre, free and open to the public) cfa.calendar.gmu.edu/jazz-workshop-concert
- November 18, 8pm: Jazz4Justice (Center for the Arts) – Join Jim Carroll and the Mason Jazz Ensemble for an evening of Big Band era hits! Purchase Tickets: /cfa.calendar.gmu.edu/jazz4justice-8482
- November 29, 8pm: Steel Pan Ensemble/Latin American Ensemble/Braddock Road Brass Band (Center for the Arts, free and open to the public)
- November 30, 8pm: Jazz Combos (De Laski 3001, free and open to the public)
- 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
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!
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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!
All About Jazz: Washington D.C. Reclaims it’s role as a Jazz Destination
The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper: A Master of Pan Jazz Ramajay
Northern Virginia Magazine: GMU’s 12th Annual Jazz 4 Justice concert spotlights “Nothin’ But the Blues
George Mason University: Musicians and Lawyers Come Together in Jazz 4 Justice
DC Metro Theater Arts: Mardi Gras with the MJO at George Mason University
DC Metro Theatre Arts: Jazz 4 Justice – 5 Star Review
Mason Spirit: Jazz Ensemble Travels to China in Musical Exchange
JazzTimes: George Mason University – Jazz Schools