INSTRUMENTAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS
Steve Roach, Director of Jazz Studies
Department of Music
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6015
Placement in all Sacramento State Jazz Ensembles is by audition only, and usually held on the first Tuesday of the school semester. Sign-up sheets are posted on the
door to Capistrano Hall, Room 303.
HORN PLAYERS (non-jazz chairs):
The sole basis for placement in bands will be sight-reading. During the sightreading
audition, consideration will be given to time, feel, range, tone, intonation
and aggressiveness. Several styles, such as swing, funk, ballad and Latin, may be
used in the audition.
HORN PLAYERS (jazz chairs only):
Those students interested in playing a jazz chair in a band and/or playing in a jazz
combo will go through the sight-reading audition first. After the sight-reading,
students interested in improvisation will be asked to play changes at sight with a
play-a-long recording. (provided)
RHYTHM SECTION PLAYERS:
Each student will be asked to read a variety of jazz literature as well as just
playing time. In addition, each rhythm section player will be asked to solo over
changes. Drummers should know all styles of drumming including, but not limited
to, up-tempo and medium swing, jazz waltz, funk, shuffle, samba, etc. Drummers
should plan on bringing your own cymbals. Bass amps and guitar amps are
The Jazz Ensembles at Sacramento State University are active in performing a
wide variety of styles; from the cutting edge contemporary styles of writers such
as Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, Vince Mendoza, and Bob Mintzer to the
classics of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Charles Mingus. Both large group
ensembles perform regular concerts on campus and at top local, regional and
international jazz festivals. Prominent guest artists who have recently appeared
with the Sacramento State Jazz Ensemble include Ernie Watts, Kenny Werner, Jon
Faddis, Bobby Shew, Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge, Conrad Herwig, Bob
Mintzer, Wayne Wallace, and Ingrid Jensen.
The Ensembles are composed of standard big band instrumentation of five
trumpets, four or five trombones, five woodwinds, piano, bass, guitar, drums and
Music majors, non-music majors and students enrolled through the College of
Extended Studies may participate in the Sac State Jazz Ensembles.
* Jazz Ensemble I rehearses on Tuesday's and Thursday's from 1:30 - 2:45 pm
* Jazz Ensemble II rehearses on Tuesday's and Thursday's from 4:00 - 5:20 pm
Both rehearsals take place in the Music Recital Hall.
Jazz Combos at Sacramento State University provide a creative outlet for the
beginning improviser as well as the advanced. Under the guidance and direction of
the Sacramento State Jazz Faculty, students work together within assigned combos
to develop proficiency in the art & craft of jazz improvisation and small group jazz
ensemble playing. Groups are often organized according to themes, where the
repertoire of a specific jazz composer or genre is addressed.
To prepare students for professional performance situations, the memorization of
standard jazz repertoire is expected. Combos perform frequently on and off
campus for a variety of different functions and events. Music majors, non-music
majors and students enrolled through the College of Extended Studies may
participate in the Sac State Jazz Combos.
Placement in jazz combos is by audition only
The course number for Jazz Combos is MUSC 144I. There are normally multiple sections offered at different times.