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.

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 three times as the 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.

DownBeat Magazine recognized the talents of Lawrence's jazz students in its 38th annual Student Music Awards competition. Tim Carrigg '16, is an Undergraduate  College Winner for his large jazz ensemble arrangement of "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. Lawrence has been recognized 26 times since DownBeat launched its student  music awards competition in 1978.

READ MORE about this year's award winners.

Visiting Artists

  • Vocalists Jackie Allen, Theo Bleckman, Eliane Elias, Kurt Elling, Jon Hendricks, Diana Krall, Carolyn Leonhart, Kevin Mahogany, Kate McGarry, Bobby McFerrin, Jane Monheit, Gretchen Parlato, Dianne Reeves, Marlena Shaw, Janis Siegel, Luciana Souza, Tierney Sutton, Steve March Tormé, and Cassandra Wilson
  • Saxophonists Michael Brecker, Wayne Escoffery, Joel Frahm, Kenny Garrett, Benny Golson, Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, Donny McCaslin, Gerry Mulligan, Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, Wayne Shorter, and Phil Woods
  • Trumpeters Terence Blanchard, Dave Douglas, Dizzy Gillespie, Tim Hagans, Roy Hargrove, Clay Jenkins, Ingrid Jensen, Brian Lynch, Wynton Marsalis, Jeremy Pelt, Terrell Stafford, Clark Terry, and Kenny Wheeler
  • Trombonists Bob Brookmeyer, Robin Eubanks, Alan Ferber, Wycliffe Gordon, Slide Hampton, Conrad Herwig, J.J. Johnson and Jim Pugh
  • Guitarists John Abercrombie, Bill Frisell, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Ben Monder, and John Scofield
  • Pianists Uri Caine, Bill Carrothers, Gerald Clayton, Chick Corea, Eliane Elias, Matt Harris, Fred Hersch, Ahmad Jamal, Lars Jansson, Geoffrey   Keezer, Lyle Mays, John Medeski, Brad Mehldau, Danilo Perez, Marcus Roberts, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and McCoy Tyner   
  • Bassists John Clayton, Jr., Scott Colley, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Marc Johnson, Christian McBride, John Patitucci, Ike Sturm, Steve Swallow, and Eberhard Weber
  • Drummers Brian Blade, Jonathan Blake, Art Blakey, Jack DeJohnette, Peter Erskine, Zach Harmon, Dave King, Billy Kilson, Bill Stewart, and Matt Wilson
  • Composers Bob Brookmeyer, Uri Caine, Alan Ferber, Benny Golson, Matt Harris, Lars Jansson, Gunther Schuller, Maria Schneider, and Wayne Shorter
  • Ensembles The Bad Plus, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Chris Potter Underground, Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Mingus Big Band, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Chick Corea Elektric Band, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, New York Voices, Dave Holland Quintet, Phil Woods Quintet, Bill Frisell Trio, The Clayton Brothers, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

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