Jazz Department Alumni
For more information about the Jazz Studies program at VSU, please contact:
Director of Jazz Studies
The Jazz Ensembles at Valdosta State University include two large ensembles and three small combos. The ensembles are open to all students by audition.VSU Jazz Ensemble
David Springfield, Director
The VSU Jazz Ensemble is one of the oldest departmentally-sponsored jazz groups in the State of Georgia, presently enjoying its 28th year. The group performs at least four concerts per year on campus and also appears in other local concerts, school programs and workshops. 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 artists who have performed with the ensemble includes: Byron Stripling, Wycliff 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, Ed Shaughnessy, Ashley Alexander, Jack Sheldon, 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
The VSU New Jazz Ensemble is open to and comprised of Music Majors and Non-Music Majors. The ensemble performs at least two concerts a year on campus with a repertoire ranging from Big Band Era standards to contemporary styles and original jazz works.
VSU Jazz Combos
David Springfield, Joren Cain and Paul Campiglia, Directors
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.