The KSU Jazz program includes three jazz ensembles, seven jazz combos, two jazz guitar ensembles and the Vocal Jazz Lab. Jazz Ensembles I, II, and III perform a variety of styles and music by a wide range of composers. Recent performances have included programs of Brazilian and Latin jazz, swing, musical theatre songbook, jazz rock, and retrospectives of composers such as Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Don Ellis, Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue, and others. Students in KSU jazz ensembles and combos develop general jazz performance and improvisational skills giving them the flexibility to meet the varying demands of today's musical world. These goals are pursued through rehearsals, workshops, and performances.
Our outstanding jazz faculty includes active performers who play nationally and are in constant demand as clinicians and soloists. The KSU Faculty Jazz Parliament performs regularly on campus each semester.
KSU jazz students enjoy a wide range of performance opportunities off campus in a variety of settings from jazz clubs to musical theater. They also perform a minimum of twice per semester in both Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo concerts in the beautiful Bailey Performance Center.
KSU Jazz Ensembles and Combos have performed at the Jazz Education Network conference, the Georgia Music Educators Association in-service conference, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards, the International Festival of University Theatre of Casablanca, as well as performances in Montepulciano, Italy. In 2017, KSU Jazz Combo I released Global, an album of 7 original works that can be found on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music.
KSU Faculty Jazz Parliament:
Sam Skelton, reeds, Director of Jazz Studies
Luke Weathington, reeds
Rob Opitz, trumpet
Wes Funderburk, trombone
Trey Wright, guitar
Tyrone Jackson, piano
Marc Miller, bass
Justin Chesarek, drums
Karla Harris, vocals