Jazz Studies


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jazz studies area


Bruce Johnstone, Lecturer, Jazz Area Head
Harry Jacobson, Associate Professor
Linda Phillips, Professor
John Bacon

About the area:

Jazz has been an integral part of The State University of New York at Fredonia since the 1930s. Through the years this ongoing ensemble developed into a concert jazz ensemble and was responsible for launching the careers of many of today’s top studio recording artists, jazz performers and noted jazz educators.

The concentration in Jazz Studies is available to all music majors as a specialization within their major and is designed to encourage the pursuit of jazz through performance, historical context, and theoretical background. There are several jazz ensembles to choose from: Jazz Ensemble, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Jazz, and small groups of nearly any instrumental combination.

Class instruction is offered in jazz history, theory, harmony and improvisation, with additional private study for individual players. These developing skills are channeled into the curricular jazz ensembles, one of which specializes in Latin Jazz and all of which feature vocalists.

Additional guidance and instruction is offered for those players interested in creating small jazz combos.

Participation in the curricular jazz ensembles is not limited to music performance majors. Students pursuing degrees in other fields who are also jazz instrumentalists are solid contributors to the success of the ensembles.

Participants in the curricular jazz ensembles are also encouraged to become involved in the student run Fredonia Jazz Workshop, which currently operates two big bands and a vocal jazz ensemble. While involvement in the student-run group does not carry a credit, it provides students a platform on which to utilize skills gained in the curricular ensembles.

Since the inception of the curricular jazz studies program, many graduates have gone on to study for advanced degrees in jazz performance at major graduate schools.

Fredonia stands behind these graduates in the role of mentor as they launch their careers.

Degrees Available

Undergraduate Degree Offerings
Graduate Degree Offerings

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School of Music Office

Mason Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3151
(716) 673-3154 fax