• University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Alex Stewart

  • Latin Jazz Combo, directed by Ray Vega

  • Post-Bop Combo, directed by Ray Vega (playing at the Jazz Education Network's Annual Conference in New Orleans)

  • Jazz Vocal Ensemble, directed by Amber deLaurentis and Tom Cleary

The Department of Music is home to several jazz groups: the University Jazz Ensemble, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Post-Bop, Nonet, Guitar Ensemble, Chromaticats Jazz Combo, and Jazz Vocal Ensemble. Auditions are open to all UVM students.

The University Jazz Ensemble (20 members) performs classic big band repertoire as well as works by contemporary composers and arrangers. Past concerts have featured the music of Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Charles Mingus, Neal Hefti, Frank Foster, Oliver Nelson, Frank Zappa, Bob Brookmeyer, Chico O'Farrill, Maria Schneider, and many others. In addition, the ensemble frequently works with inspiring guest artists in master classes, workshops, and collaborative performances. The group often tours in the spring.

  • University Jazz Ensemble rehearses Tuesday & Thursday 4:25-5:40

UVM's small jazz groups (6-9 members) provide a setting where students can improve their improvisational skills and learn jazz and Latin repertoire. Expert coaches teach the role of each instrument and encourage players to listen and interact. Groups meet once a week.

The jazz combos consist of three or four rhythm section players (piano, bass, drums, and guitar) and three or four horns (sax, trumpet, trombone, flute, etc.). The groups typically play written arrangements, head charts, and lead sheets as well as original arrangements and compositions that the students may contribute. In performances, students count off and announce tunes, make cues, and, in general, lead their own groups. In the Afro-Latin group students become familiar with basic rhythm patterns, hand percussion, and may sing simple coros in addition to learning standard Latin jazz and other repertoire.

Co-enrollment in University Jazz Ensemble is required of participants in jazz combos unless no positions on their instruments are available in that group.

  • Nonet  rehearses Monday 7:30-9:00
  • Latin Jazz Ensemble  rehearses Monday 5:15-7:15
  • Chromaticats Jazz Combo rehearses Tuesday 4:25-6:00
  • Guitar Ensemble rehearses Thursday 4:25-6:00
  • Post-Bop rehearses Wednesday 6:00-7:30

The Jazz Vocal Ensemble (15-20 members) performs both a cappella and with a rhythm section; rehearses Monday & Wednesday 5:00-6:00.

Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Combo Auditions

Jazz Vocal Ensemble Auditions

Returning members: You need not audition, but please make sure you register for the course  so we know who is returning.

Prospective members: Audition requirements are as follows: One prepared piece, preferably jazz, performed either a cappella, or, if you provide sheet music/chart, accompanied by one of the directors. If you do not have written music for your audition piece, make sure you know your key or starting note for the piece. The audition will also include sight reading. (The ability to read music is preferred, but not required.)

Concerts and Performances

Each group plays at least one concert every semester. One of the jazz combos performs after the annual Homecoming celebration in the fall, and Jazz Ensemble often tours in the spring.

UVM Jazz Ensemble

Contact the Directors

Jazz Ensemble (Big Band) and Latin Jazz Ensemble

Alex Stewart, Alexander.Stewart@uvm.edu

Nonet, Latin Jazz, & Post Bop

Ray Vega, Raymond.Vega@uvm.edu

Jazz Guitar Ensemble

Joe Capps, Joseph.Capps@uvm.edu

Chromaticats Jazz Combo

Tom Cleary, Thomas.Cleary@uvm.edu

Jazz Vocal Ensemble

Amber deLaurentis, Amber.deLaurentis@uvm.edu

Listen to the Jazz Combos

Latin Jazz Ensemble: "La Tercera" by Ray Vega