- Program Overview
- Audition Information
- Jazz Ensemble Auditions
- Night of Jazz at Yoshis Fundraiser
- Annual Jazz Festival
- Jazz Behind the Scenes Series
- Events Calendar
The Jazz Studies Program at CSU East Bay aims to provide students with a deep understanding of the history, culture, and performance practices of jazz and improvised music, to give students the tools to pursue their individual artistic growth and creative exploration, and to prepare them for careers in jazz and improvised music.
The Music Department's B.A. jazz concentration combines classroom-based courses in jazz theory, composition and arranging, and improvisation techniques with one-on-one instruction with top Bay Area jazz and classical faculty and prolific performance and recording opportunities in several large and small ensembles. Each year, students perform and interact with a variety of major jazz figures from around the country (recent guest artists and clinicians include Ralph Alessi, Steve Turre, Greg Osby, Taylor Eigsti, Julian Lage, Reuben Rogers, Jim McNeely, Dayna Stephens, Marcus Shelby, Benny Green, and Billy Hart).
A short BART ride from Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, CSU East Bay is close to a multitude of jazz clubs, concert halls, and other performance venues, and many music students combine their ongoing studies with emerging professional careers as jazz performers, composers and educators. Student ensembles perform at venues such as Yoshi's (the premier West Coast jazz club), and at the University's 480-seat theatre. Every April, the department hosts a two-day jazz festival featuring 60+ bands on five stages.
The program's flagship big band, the CSU East Bay Jazz Orchestra has toured extensively in Europe (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007) and Brazil (2001). The band's mission is to perform contemporary and cutting-edge music by today's leading jazz composers. The ensemble recently recorded several tracks at Skywalker Ranch for the university's 50th birthday compilation CD. Their 2002 recording Excursions received enthusiastic reviews in JazzTimes and Downbeat magazines, and was named among the nation's top collegiate CDs by the Jazz Education Journal. Legendary guest artists who have performed alongside the ensembles skilled soloists include Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Greg Osby, James Moody, Gordon Goodwin, Ralph Alessi, Ingrid Jensen, Kenny Wheeler, Tom Harrell, Bob Brookmeyer, Conrad Herwig, Peter Erskine, John Abercrombie, John Patitucci, Jim McNeely, Seamus Blake, Maria Schneider, Lenny Pickett, Benny Green, Eddie Daniels, and Stefon Harris.