Welcome to the award-winning Thompson Jazz Studies Program at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music! Our program offers specialized instruction in jazz performance and pedagogy for trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, saxophone, vocal jazz and drum set, and we welcome the participation of students across the CU Boulder campus, regardless of major, in our jazz ensembles.

In addition to serving as educators, our faculty continue to perform and record solo and ensemble work around the world. We also regularly host clinics by prominent guest artists such as David Liebman, Dave Douglas, Jon Faddis, Maria Schneider, Greg Osby, Matt Wilson and many others. As a program, we have received 19 awards for excellence from DownBeat Magazine’s Annual Student Music Awards.

All jazz bands and combos are placed through auditions held at the beginning of each semester, including three big bands and seven jazz combos.

Jack + Jeannie Thompson—and the Thompson Jazz Studies Program

In March 2013, Jeannie and Jack Thompson made an unprecedented commitment to our jazz studies program, building $1.6 million in combined gifts to trigger a new $2 million program endowment. “The generous endowment from the Thompsons has allowed us to do so many incredible things—from traveling with students to the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey to bringing some of the most renowned jazz artists to campus. These activities extend and enrich the student experience,” says Thompson Jazz Studies Director John Gunther.