Jazz Ensembles

CJB 2022


2024 Schedule:
Saturday, February 17, 2024

Friends and family are welcome to attend the performances throughout the day as well as the final evening concert at no charge.

Performance Schedule

Passenger vehicle parking is free in the Hitt Street Garage (309 Hitt Street), located just to the west of the Sinquefield Music Center. Metered street parking along Hitt and University Streets is enforced until 6 PM.

All bands and spectators should first arrive to the Sinquefield Music Center (1101 University Avenue). Select performances will be held at Rhynsburger Theatre in the Fine Arts Building (505 Hitt Street), located within a short walking distance to the southwest of SMC.

The final evening concert featuring the MU Concert Jazz Band and the Command Performance winner will be held at the Missouri Theatre (203 S. Ninth Street) at 7:30 PM.

Mizzou Jazz Fest Map

Visitors to the MU campus are encouraged to sign up for MU Alert while on campus. The sign-up process is quick and you can opt out at any time. MU Alert is only used only for emergencies that may affect your health and safety.

Please contact the School of Music at mubands@missouri.edu or 573.882.3439 if you have questions or need special accommodations for this event.

Auditions for big bands will include 1-3 sight-reading examples selected from classic jazz charts. Students are also encouraged to learn one (or two) of the posted jazz etudes. Improvisation is also encouraged, but optional for students comfortable with soloing. Chord changes for the etudes are provided and can be used to improvise over.  Auditions for combos will include improvisation on 1-2 tunes of the student’s choice. Students should select tunes that they are comfortable with and demonstrate their abilities. Jazz big bands and combos are open to students of any major.

Audition Requirements


  • Sight-reading (big band only)
  • Improvisation (required for combo, optional for big band)
  • Players select a tune of their choice. Performers newer to improvisation are encouraged to improvise over a blues. More advanced improvisers are encouraged to select a more challenging tune.
  • Prepared Etude (optional for big band - available on the right sidebar). Prepared etudes can be used to help determine chair and/or band placement. They are encouraged but not a required part of the audition process.


  • Various grooves at a variety of tempos (swing, shuffle, bossa nova, funk, ballad with brushes, etc.)
  • Sight-reading (big band only)
  • Soloing (optional – if demonstrating solo ability, be prepared to solo over the form of a song, as well as trade 4 or 8 bar phrases).


  • Two pieces, memorized (one medium-up tempo swing, 32 bars maximum; one ballad, 16 bars maximum)
  • Improvisation is optional
  • If you have selected a tune that falls outside the Great American Songbook, please have your own accompaniment prepared.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Sam Griffith at GriffithSV@missouri.edu.

The flagship ensemble of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Missouri. The group has been featured on stage with the finest jazz musicians in the world, including artists such as Benny Golson, Bobby Shew, Rufus Reid, Bob Mintzer, Terell Stafford, Eric Person, John Fedchock, Mike Mainieri, Dave Pietro, Randy Brecker, Lynne Arriale, Andy Narell, Matt Wilson, and Maria Schneider. The band has been invited to perform on prestigious collegiate jazz festivals, including Wichita, Elmhurst, Norte Dame, and Addison/North Texas. These performances have resulted in several Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Soloist awards. The band was selected to perform on the Missouri Music Educators Association state convention in 2003 and 2008. The group performs the finest in classic and contemporary jazz and is committed to the creation and performance of new and original compositions and arrangements.

The Concert Jazz Band rehearses from 2pm-3pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.

This Band features young, talented musicians in the MU Jazz Studies program, and forms its own identity as a featured ensemble in the program. The group performs a challenging repertoire, emphasizing a mix of classic and contemporary material, with a strong pedagogical focus. The band is often featured in concert with many great regional and national performers, including Tom Andes, Allen Beeson, Phil Wilson, Ron Miles, Plas Johnson, Mike Steinel, Jamey Aebersold, and others. The band performs in masterclass with visiting clinicians as well. The band performs regularly on and off campus, averaging 4-6 concerts per year.

The Studio Jazz Band rehearses from 7pm-9pm on Wednesdays.

Rehearsal times are determined by student availability. 

The Jazz Studies Program at MU averages 8-10 jazz combos, consisting of 5-7 members. It is in these combos that members learn to work within the small group dynamic, while learning and memorizing repertoire. Students have the opportunity to perform at university and local functions, giving them a professional working experience. Student compositions and arrangements are encouraged and performed in a creative atmosphere. A strong emphasis on improvisation is the priority of each group. Combos are coached by MU Jazz faculty in weekly arranged rehearsal times. 

Jazz Ensembles Faculty

Associate Teaching Professor, Jazz
306 Sinquefield Music Center
Affiliate Faculty, Instructor of Philosophy, Honors College Faculty
431 Strickland Hall