Jazz bands offer students exposure to a variety of jazz styles through the rehearsal and performance of classic literature as well as the most current writing for jazz ensemble. Jazz Ensemble I was recognized in DownBeat Magazine’s 2003 Student Music Awards as one of the nation’s outstanding big bands. It was featured at the 2004 and 1999 IAJE Conferences and continues to perform at festivals both in and outside of Colorado. The Jazz Ensembles take pride in performing arrangements and original compositions by CU students and faculty. The bands perform both on and off campus throughout the year and are open to all students regardless of major.
Jazz ensemble auditions take place that the beginning of each school year.
Jazz combos are organized to develop improvisational skills in a small group setting and to study significant periods, styles, and artists in jazz history. Combo members are also encouraged to develop their own arranging and composing skills and to use the combos as a vehicle for their own creative efforts. CU combos have been recognized for their excellence by Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards.