College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Jazz Bass

  • CU Jazz Ensemble 1

THE CU JAZZ STUDIES PROGRAM is recognized for its excellence in jazz performance, jazz theory, and scoring and arranging.  Jazz Studies students have annually won numerous prestigious Downbeat awards.  The CU Jazz Ensembles have gained national acclaim, and have recorded several CDs.  Jazz ensemble concerts often feature world-famous guest jazz artists.  Throughout the school year, top jazz bass artists perform in the Denver/Boulder area.  Many, including Victor Wooten, Rob Kassinger, John Clayton, Rob Fahie, Marc Johnson, John Goldsby, Mark Dresser, Reggie Workman, Stafford James, have come to the College of Music to work with CU double bass students.  Jazz bass players are involved in an active schedule of big band concerts on campus, and weekly Combo performances off campus.

TEACHING:   Bijoux Barbosa and Dr. Paul Erhard work together in guiding undergraduate jazz bass students’ development of technique, scales, fingerings, intonation, and general musicality.


1) Improvisation  2) Time/Feel   3) Building Bass Lines   4) Sound   5) Technique   6) Memorizing Tunes

UNDERGRADUATE JAZZ BASS STUDIES:  The College of Music offers a Bachelor's in Jazz Bass which combines study in jazz and classical double bass.  A supplemental Jazz Certificate is available for undergraduate double bass majors who have taken a sufficient number of excellent courses offered by the CU College of Music Thompson Jazz Studies Program, including Jazz Theory, Jazz Scoring and Arranging, Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble.   CU College of Music Jazz Bass Instructor Eduardo “Bijoux” Barbosa teaches lessons both to students pursuing Jazz Students and interested bass students in the classical double bass program.

GRADUATE JAZZ BASS DEGREES:  At the graduate level, masters and doctoral programs are available for jazz bass players: the Master of Music Performance & Pedagogy, and the Doctorate in Jazz Studies.  The CU College of Music is one of only a few music schools offering the Jazz Doctorate degree.  Jazz bass players at the graduate level have a curriculum of jazz courses which includes lessons with CU College of Music Jazz Bass Instructor Eduardo “Bijoux” Barbosa. Classical lessons are also available with Paul Erhard.  For more information, contact Dr. John Gunther, interim director of Jazz Studies.

JAZZ BASS CLASS: Double Bass professor Paul Erhard draws upon his extensive background playing jazz to teach Jazz Bass Class for students pursuing degrees in classical double bass.  Being able to play jazz gives any bass player versatility, opening doors to a wider range of professional performance opportunities.  Jazz Bass Class focuses on the essentials of playing jazz bass: keeping good steady time, playing walking bass lines, soloing, and learning tunes.  In the regular double bass studio lessons, Paul Erhard also teaches Jazz to interested students.


Bijoux Barbosa takes a solo

Wednesday 11/13

Bijoux Barbosa's bass solo in the studio.