The University of Louisville School of Music is pleased to be the home of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Studies Program. Established in 1985, the program was named for Mr. Aebersold in 2000. Mr. Aebersold, a retired faculty member, is one of the leading proponents of jazz education and largest publisher of jazz education materials in the world. Additionally, the School of Music has hosted the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1977. The Jamey Aebersold Jazz Studies Program is recognized throughout the nation and world for its commitment to quality and innovative programs.
The latest addition to our jazz degrees is a Bachelor of Music with an Emphasis in Jazz Performance. This degree will offer students a complete undergraduate experience. Other jazz degrees offered at the School of Music include a Master’s Degree in Performance with a Concentration in Jazz and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with an Emphasis in Jazz Studies. Scholarship assistance is available for graduate and undergraduate students wishing to focus their study in jazz.
The program features extended residencies by leading jazz artists as well as a continuation of the exciting Jazz Fest which features a celebration of jazz annually in February with concerts, workshops, and clinics. Jazz Fest is an event that regularly features some of the biggest names in the jazz world including the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, Wynton Marsalis, Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Marion McPartland, McCoy Tyner Trio, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Slide Hampton, Ahmad Jamal, Roy Haynes, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and Terell Stafford, just to name a few. Jazz Fest 2008-09, formally Jazz Week, featured Lee Konitz, Jim Walker, Dave Samuels and more. Other artists who have recently appeared at the School of Music include: Chick Corea, Dave Liebman, James Moody, the Heath Brothers (Percy, Jimmy and Tootie), Marcus Printup, Jerry Bergonzi, Joe La Barbera, Kenny Werner Trio, Jeff Hamilton Trio, and Peter Erskine Trio.
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Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance
The Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance degree is appropriate for students who wish to prepare for a career in music performance and related fields. The Bachelor of Music degree with an Emphasis in Jazz Performance is intended to prepare students with the skills needed to perform, compose and arrange within the jazz idiom. Among the goals of the degree are to prepare students to be skilled in the art of jazz improvisation, be well versed in a variety of performance techniques, be able to compose and arrange within the jazz idiom, and to have an understanding and appreciation of the jazz tradition through the study of and performance with jazz masters. Among the particular career emphases for which the BM in Jazz Performance is an appropriate preparation are professional performer, music arranger or composer, or teacher. Since it is unlikely that graduates of the program will have developed all the requisite skills to enter the professional ranks of performers or university teachers, most graduates will continue to develop their skills through additional study.
Bachelor of Arts with Emphasis in Jazz Studies
The Bachelor of Arts with Emphasis in Jazz Studies degree is aimed at introducing students to elements of jazz within the context of a liberal arts program. The outcome of the degree is to prepare students to develop skills in performing and improvising music in a variety of jazz styles on primary and secondary instruments, and to have an understanding of a variety of performance techniques in jazz, and an appreciation of the jazz tradition through the study of and performance with jazz masters.
Students in the Bachelor of Arts with Emphasis in Jazz program:
- Develop musical skills and knowledge through music performance experiences on a principal instrument and on secondary instruments. Students perform in a stylistically appropriate manner in both traditional and jazz performance settings.
- Develop musical skills and knowledge through the study of music theory and jazz theory, music history and literature, composition and improvisation, and the development of aural skills appropriate to traditional and jazz styles.
- Develop knowledge of cultural perspectives through the study of music from a variety of styles, locations, and periods.
- Develop the ability to improvise in an appropriate jazz style
Every University of Louisville School of Music student must complete the following degree requirements:
- 2-4 semesters of Piano (individual to major)
- 4 semesters of Theory
- 4 semesters of Music Literature
- Private Lessons
- Principal Ensemble Performance
- Recital Attendance (15 per semester for 6 semesters)
- General Education Requirements (hours vary)
The liberal arts degree in music affords the student the opportunity to pursue the study of music at the collegiate level and also to combine the study of music with an outside field. In some cases, we have developed some specific areas of emphasis but the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree offers the student a wide array of choices, limited only to his imagination. This degree is popular with students who want to eventually earn an advanced degree in medicine, law, or some other area.
A professional degree in music is a highly concentrated degree with approximately 85 of the 131 hours in music. There is a solid general studies core of subjects included in this degree as well. Most of the students who pursue this degree will go on to graduate school and to more advanced study in music.