The Jazz Ensembles at Valdosta State University include two large ensembles and four small combos. The ensembles are open to all students by audition.
VSU Jazz Ensemble
David Springfield, Director
MUSC 3870 A, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00am-12:15pm
The VSU Jazz Ensemble is the premier performing ensemble in the Jazz area. The group performs at least four concerts per year on campus with a repertoire ranging from Big Band Era standards to contemporary styles and original jazz compositions. They have made appearances at the Atlanta, Jacksonville and Savannah Jazz Festivals, and conventions of the College Band Directors National Association and the Georgia Music Educators Association. The Jazz Ensemble has also toured Europe, performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and various smaller jazz venues in Germany.
A partial list of guest artists who have performed with the ensemble includes: John Clayton, Vincent Gardner, Fred Sturm, David Gibson, Byron Stripling, Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Printup, Victor Goines, Ernie Watts, John Fedchock, Jim Snidero, Red Rodney, Urbie Green, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Rob McConnell, Jamey Aebersold, Rich Matteson, Pete Christlieb, Frank Mantooth and Nick Brignola . The group has also served as the opening act for the Buddy Rich Band. Full-time residencies have been held by Willie Thomas and Duffy Jackson.
VSU New Jazz Ensemble
Joren Cain, Director
MUSC 3870 B, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00am-12:15pm
The VSU New Jazz Ensemble performs at least two concerts a year on campus and is ideally suited to students wishing to gain valuable experience in the jazz idiom. The repertoire is exciting and varied, with a strong emphasis on fundamentals of the jazz style. Recent guest artists with the New Jazz Ensemble include trombonist John Fedchock and saxophonist Aaron Lington.
VSU Jazz Combos
David Springfield, Joren Cain, Paul Campiglia and Tod Leavitt, Directors
MUSC 4870 A-D, Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00-2:50pm
The Valdosta State University Jazz Combos are small performing groups comprised of five to eight players. The combos perform material from the traditional and contemporary jazz repertoire with emphasis on small group performing skills and jazz improvisation. The combos have performed at a number of jazz festivals, clinic workshops, and social events over the years. Recent VSU Jazz Combo tours have been to perform at the 1998 Georgia Music Educators Conference, and the 2000 and 2001 Savannah Jazz Festival.