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School of Music - University of Missouri
MU Jazz Performance Studies

Concert Jazz Band

The Concert Jazz Band is 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 band is celebrating the release of their debut CD, Vertigo, which was recorded with the iconic jazz vibraphonist Mike Mainieri.

Concert Jazz Band is directed by Dr. Arthur White; rehearsals are 2:00-2:50pm, MWF in 201 Loeb Hall.

Studio Jazz Band

The Studio Jazz 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.

Studio Jazz Band is directed by Dr. Arthur White; rehearsals are 3:00-3:50pm, MWF in 201 Loeb Hall.

Lab Jazz Band (if needed)

As available personnel dictates, the Lab Jazz Band gives less experienced talents an opportunity to perform a varied repertoire, with a heavy emphasis on building fundamental jazz skills. The group performs one to two concerts per semester on and off campus.

The group is directed by the jazz graduate teaching assistant(s), and meets T-Th, 2:00-2:50pm.

Creative Improvisation Ensemble

The Creative Improvisation Ensemble is the newest group under the umbrella of the Jazz Studies Program at MU. The group approaches improvisation through a trans-stylistic, cross-idiomatic methodology; the group is influenced by a wide array of creative artists encompassing the worlds of jazz, rock, modern art music, electronic, noise, and other creative outlets. The resulting sound palates celebrate individual diversity and influence while dissolving boundaries of personal and cultural differences, unifying each individual experience into a synergetic whole, and codified by soundpainting and other compositional techniques. The group is equally comfortable performing in clubs and concert halls alike. The group was the only ensemble from any university to be invited to perform on the 2010 conference for the International Society for Improvised Music, and was the first university group to be invited to perform in the group's history.

The group is currently co-directed by Dr. Arthur White, director of jazz studies at MU, and David Witter, an MU graduate student in composition. Rehearsals are arranged.

Jazz Combos

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 and TAs alike in weekly arranged rehearsal times, and participate in a weekly combo masterclass, held Monday, 7:00pm, 201 Loeb Hall.

Interested in having an MU Jazz Big Band or Combo perform at your function? For pricing information, call Arthur White at 882-3430, or email whitear@missouri.edu.