Placement in all Sacramento State Jazz Ensembles is by audition only. The Jazz Ensembles at Sacramento State 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.

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. 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)

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 provided.

The Jazz Ensembles are composed of standard big band instrumentation of five trumpets, four or five trombones, five woodwinds, piano, bass, guitar, drums and miscellaneous percussion. You do not need to be a music major to be condsidered for these groups.

  • Jazz Ensemble I rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 - 2:45 pm
  • Jazz Ensemble II rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 - 5:20 pm
Jazz Combos 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.

Dr. Steve Roach, Director of Jazz Studies
Sacramento State Department of Music
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6015

For more information, please email, write or call:
Sacramento State School of Music
ATTN: Mark Allen, Music Admissions Counselor
6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6015
(916) 278-6543