Jazz Ensembles performance
Welcome to the Jazz Ensembles at CU Boulder!

Audition information

CU Boulder Jazz Ensembles 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. The Concert Jazz Ensemble was recognized in DownBeat Magazine’s 2014 Student Music Awards as one of the nation’s outstanding big bands and—in 2015—was invited to perform at the "Next Generation Festival" in Monterey, California. Our Jazz Ensembles take pride in performing arrangements and original compositions by CU Boulder students and faculty.


Concert Jazz Ensemble

The Concert Jazz Ensemble, the Thompson Jazz Studies Program’s premier ensemble, performs music from the rich legacy of big band music, from its early swing days to music by contemporary innovators.

Jazz Ensemble II

Jazz II, comprised of both jazz and non-jazz majors, perform a wide selection of repertoire for big band. Students develop their mastery of styles, ensemble playing and improvisation.

Jazz Ensemble III

Jazz III is made up of College of Music students focusing on both performance and music education. Students explore concepts of jazz pedagogy related to ensemble performance and improvisation while developing their skills in different jazz styles.

Thompson Latin Jazz Ensemble

The Thompson Latin Jazz Ensemble studies music from the Caribbean and South America and its integration and ties with jazz. Traditional and contemporary forms of Latin music are surveyed, including Afro jazz, Afro-Cuban, danzón, salsa, calypso and cha-cha-chá, as well as Brazilian forms such as samba and baião.

Jazz Combos

Jazz combos are organized to develop improvisational skills in a small group setting and to study significant periods, styles, and artists in jazz history. One of our combos was recently recognized in DownBeat Magazine’s 2016 Student Music Awards as one of the nation’s outstanding small jazz ensembles. 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.


John Gunther
Director, Thompson Jazz Studies Program

Brad Goode
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies

Paul McKee
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies

Jeff Jenkins
Instructor, Jazz Studies

Bijoux Barbosa
Instructor, Jazz Studies

Paul Romaine
Instructor, Jazz Studies