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Jazz Ensemble Performance

NYU Jazz Ensembles

Music and Performing Arts Professions Ensembles

NYU Jazz Ensembles are a credited class that students register for.  Please refer to the course catalog for more information regarding registration for these courses.

  • MPAJZ-UE 1089
  • MPAJZ-GE 2088

Jazz Ensemble auditions are held at the beginning of each Fall semester. Students may elect to keep their ensemble seats into each Spring semester. Non-jazz majors may inquire about potential available seats for Spring semesters by emailing no later than December 21st.

Jazz Orchestras

*Audition dates and information 

NYU Jazz Orchestra conducted by Alan Ferber
This group is the flagship ensemble of the NYU Jazz Studies Department and presents public concerts throughout the year. It is dedicated to performing new works by faculty and students. A high level of sight reading, ensemble playing and doubling (for saxes) is required.

All-University Jazz Orchestra conducted by Dion Tucker
This group is open to any student at NYU that has experience with instrumental performance and wishes to participate. It focuses on classic repertoire from the big band era and beyond.  Auditions are required. An ability to sight reading and doubling for saxes is highly desirable.

Artist-Faculty Ensembles

Dave Liebman Ensemble
The ensemble’s repertoire will be split evenly between standards and students' compositions, all styles of jazz included: free, bebop, modal, chamber, 20th century, and more.

Chris Potter Ensemble
Chris Potter, renowned saxophonist, received the prestigious "2004 Jazz Critics Award for Tenor Saxophonist of the Year." Finalists for that award included NYU alumnus Wayne Shorter and Joe Lovano. Chris is a member of bassist Dave Holland's touring band, leads his own band, and has toured and recorded with Steely Dan. 

John Scofield Guitar Ensemble
5 Guitars - a jazz “guitar section!” Scofield originals and standards arranged for 5 guitars, bass, and drums by Rich Shemaria. The ensemble learns the tunes and discusses different guitar and improvising approaches.


The NYU Wayne Shorter Ensemble (Dave Pietro)
This ensemble explores the compositions of Wayne Shorter from the earliest parts of his career (Art Blakey, Blue Note sessions), through his work with Miles Davis and Weather Report up to his more recent bands and projects (Atlantis, Alegria).

The Mingus Ensemble (Mike Richmond)
Charles Mingus' compositions and arrangements provide the foundation for extended improvisation and group interplay. Mike Richmond was the musical director of the original Mingus Dynasty.

Brazilian Music Ensemble  (Rogerio Boccato)
This ensemble will perform a large repertoire of music covering the most important composers, styles, and regions of Brazil.

Brazilian Percussion Ensemble (Rogerio Boccato)
This group offers a hands-on approach to Brazilian percussion techniques as applied to Samba, Baião, Maracatu, Choro, Afoxé, and Partido Alto. In addition to performing, video and audio examples will also be discussed.

Latin Music Ensemble (Michael Rodriguez)
This group will explore a repertoire of Afro-Cuban Jazz music.

World Music Ensemble (Brad Shepik)
This ensemble will explore the fusing of various world folk music with jazz improvisation and aesthetics. The group will focus on Balkan styles and use traditional, contemporary and original pieces to gain an understanding of odd meters and melodic and harmonic conventions. Students will be strongly encouraged to produce an original work for the ensemble by the term’s end.

World Percussion Ensemble (John Hadfield)
This ensemble will explore the musical traditions of South India and the Middle East. Students will learn South Indian compositions and vocalization techniques as well as the frame drum techniques of the Kanjira, Riq and Darbuka. Participation in this ensemble is determined by the instructor. 

Patricia Brennan Ensemble
This ensemble explores compositions by contemporary and influential improvisers as well as standard jazz repertoire with an open minded and creative approach. Also, students are encouraged to explore their own compositions. In addition to learning, arranging, and rehearsing new repertoire, the students explore improvisation-based activities that help develop their own voice as improvisers and composers.

Dezron Douglas Ensemble
This ensemble is focused on getting inside the music. Focusing on the vibration and emotion beyond the notes on the page. Dezron is currently an integral piece in the bands of Ravi Coltrane, Louis Hayes, and Trey Anastasio. The music is a mixture of original compositions, standards, and cultural music.

Billy Drewes Ensemble
"The Green Light Ensemble" is an orchestral improvisatory ensemble. In addition to jazz students, classically trained students with an affinity for improvisation are welcomed. The goal of this group is to play freely in a way that one has never experienced before. It is all about creating in the moment! Members are encouraged to write original pieces for the group.

Drew Gress Ensemble
Drew’s ensemble will focus on integrating composition and improvisation, focusing on ways to derive forms and concepts for elaboration from the written material itself. Bandleading concepts will also be addressed. Each student is encouraged to compose/arrange for the ensemble, where their material will be workshopped. Students will receive feedback and hear suggestions from the ensemble about the possibilities and ideas they hear within the music. Additionally, Drew’s original music will also be performed, as well as music from artists with whom he’s recorded and performed. Extra care will be taken to treat each piece as unique and special, requiring a mindset that allows one to play what they don’t know, rather than what they already do.

Brandon Lee Ensemble
Link it to his faculty page. Include this description - "Students will explore how to be their most creative selves while experiencing a range of jazz repertoire. Students will compose and arrange for the ensemble, giving them the opportunity to practice bandleading skills while workshopping their own music.  Students will focus on producing a cohesive sound as a group while maintaining individual expression."

Ron McClure Ensemble
This ensemble performs a variety of music including jazz standards and original arrangements by director Ron McClure who has performed with the bands of Charles Lloyd (with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette), Maynard Ferguson and Buddy Rich.

Tony Moreno Ensemble
These ensembles will work on a wide repertoire of material including original compositions by the instructor, students (2 required), other composers as well as jazz standards.  Focus will be on form, harmony, harmonic rhythm, meter, polyrhythms, and mixed meter. 

Michael Rodriguez Ensemble
This ensemble is directed towards playing a mix of jazz standards and students' original compositions.

Adam Rogers Ensemble
This group is geared towards playing a mix of jazz standards and students' original compositions.

Brad Shepik Ensemble 
This ensemble explores jazz repertoire of different eras with an emphasis on odd meters – rearranging songs in meters such as 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 as well as delving into the richness of the jazz canon.

Dion Tucker Ensemble
This ensemble focuses on the compositions and arrangements of inimitable legends like Thad Jones, Slide Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver and others, who shaped the landscape of jazz. We take a deeper look into the intricacies and complexities of their original works and explore the context behind the conception of their compositions. Students are encouraged to write original compositions that will be workshopped and performed throughout the semester.

Lenny White Ensemble
This ensemble performs a variety of music, including jazz standards and original arrangements.

Martin Wind Ensemble
This group is geared towards playing a mix of jazz standards and students' original compositions.

Michael Wolff Ensemble
Michael Wolff's ensemble concentrates on performing jazz music in an interactive manner. Repertoire will be drawn from jazz standards and Michael Wolff's compositions as well as student compositions. Emphasis is on improvisation and making sure the rhythm section is in sync and swinging and grooving at all times. The value system is Rhythm, Melody, Harmony. As Sonny Rollins has said, "Michael Wolff is one of the greatest musicians I've ever played with.”

Jazz Studies

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