Skip to main content

School of Music

Jazz Studies

Welcome to the Jazz Studies Website

On this site you can:

Jazz Ensembles

Jazz Ensemble
Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensembles at Sacramento State University are active in performing a wide variety of styles; from the cutting edge contemporary composers such as Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, Vince Mendoza, Bill Holman and Bob Brookmeyer to the classics of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones and Charles Mingus. Both large group ensembles perform regular concerts on campus and at top local, regional and international jazz festivals. In 2016, Jazz Ensemble I was the recipient of the college division outstanding Downbeat Student Music Award. And in 2010 & 2017, the ensemble took 1st place in the annual Reno Jazz Festival in the college division. Other accolades include being selected as a finalist in the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival numerous times. Prominent guest artists who have performed with the Sacramento State Jazz Ensemble include Dave Douglas, Eric Marienthal, Donny McCaslin, Ernie Watts, Kenny Werner, Carl Allen, Jon Faddis, Bobby Shew, Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge, Conrad Herwig, Bob Mintzer, Wayne Wallace, Ingrid Jensen, Tim Ries,  John Fedchock, Geoff Keezer, Dave Pietro, Paul McKee, Wayne Bergeron, Terell Stafford, The New York Voices, Steve Turre, and Wycliffe Gordon.

The Ensembles are composed of standard big band instrumentation of five trumpets, four or five trombones, five woodwinds, piano, bass, guitar, drums and miscellaneous percussion. Music majors, non-music majors and students enrolled through the College of Extended Studies may participate in the Sac State Jazz Ensembles.

  • Section 1, Jazz Ensemble I, meets on Tuesday & Thursday from 1:30-2:45 pm in the Capistrano Concert Hall
  • Section 2, Jazz Ensemble II, meets on Tuesday & Thursday from 3:00-4:15 pm in the Capistrano Concert Hall

Placement in ensembles is by audition only. View the Ensemble Auditions page for more info. Auditions for all instrumental jazz performing groups at Sacramento State are held the Friday prior to the start of the fall semester.