Jazz @ Lawrence
Featuring a faculty of outstanding depth and breadth along with a robust array of courses and performance opportunities, Lawrence has one of the leading undergraduate jazz education programs in the nation. Whether you're interested in pursuing a career as a jazz artist or simply looking for an introduction to this demanding musical discipline, Lawrence can provide you with an unparalleled experience.
In September of 2019, the Lawrence Jazz Department introduced their new Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree in Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation, which allows students interested in jazz and contemporary improvisational music the great flexibilty to explore and develop their own unique musical path. More information about this new degree and how to apply can be found here.
In addition, Lawrence offers a Bachelor of Music Degree with a Jazz Emphasis and a broad range of jazz ensembles, courses, and private instruction. Long recognized among the finest undergraduate jazz ensemble in the country, the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble (LUJE) has been cited four times as the winner or outstanding U.S. collegiate jazz group in the "Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards", including the Lawrence Jazz Band and the Jazz Workshop Ensemble round out the large jazz ensemble experience.
6-8 Lawrence Jazz Small Groups meet twice weekly throughout the school year in “jazz performance classrooms.” Working combos of 5-8 students study small group performance practice and improvisation in sessions that thoughtfully link theory and practice, emphasize jazz repertoire and explore contemporary improvisational concepts. IGLU (Improvisation Group of Lawrence University) is an ensemble dedicated to improvising in various styles including rock, 20th century classical, Arabic Taqasim, klezmer, jazz, electronic and Korean Sinawi music to name a few. The large ensembles, small groups, IGLU and an intense sequence of jazz composition and arranging courses are closely integrated, allowing for frequent performances and recordings of student works. Lawrence jazz students have won numerous Downbeat Magazine “Student Music Awards" in the instrumental soloist, original composition, arranging and recording categories.
The Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble was named the "Undergraduate College Winner" in Downbeat's 2019 Student Music Award's large jazz ensemble category for a second year in a row, winning as the top large ensemble in 2018 as well. In 2018, seniors Jake Victor and Jack Kilkelly-Schmidt (in the Jake Victor 5TET ensemble) also took top honors in the undergraduate college category for their small jazz combo project “Twisted Heads", which they recorded while studying abroad at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. This is the fifth year in a row that Lawrence students have been the recipients of these prestigious honors.
In 2017, senior Sam Genualdi received the "Outstanding Original Composition" award for his piece "Treelight", and senior Tim Carrigg earned national recognition from DownBeat as the 2016 "Undergraduate Winner" for "Namaste", an original composition for large ensemble. It was the second year in a row Carrigg has been honored by DownBeat. In 2015, he won the undergraduate jazz arrangement category for his large ensemble chart “Once Upon a Time.”
Tambo Toké, Lawrence’s Afro-Cuban percussion group, was cited for an Outstanding Performance award in the college undergraduate Latin Jazz Ensemble category as well. Lawrence has been recognized 30 times since DownBeat launched its student music awards competition in 1978.
READ MORE about Lawrence's Downbeat award recipients:
- 2019 Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble
- 2018 Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble, Jake Victor 5tet
- 2017 Sam Genualdi
- 2016 Tim Carrigg
- 2015 Tim Carrigg, Tambo Toké