Texas Tech University




The Jazz Studies program offers classes in Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Harmony and Jazz History, as well as private lessons in Jazz Improvisation, and independent study on a variety of topics such as Jazz Arranging, Jazz Pedagogy, and Jazz Literature. Ensemble offerings include two large jazz ensembles and two to three jazz combos. Jazz faculty include Stephen Jones – Director of Jazz Studies, Benjamin Haugland - Professor of Jazz Studies, Emily Wheeler – Adjunct instructor of Jazz Guitar, and two graduate teaching assistants.

For those interested in formal jazz study at Texas Tech, a variety of programs are offered:

•Bachelor of Arts in Music – Student may select Jazz as their performance concentration.

•Undergraduate Certificate in Jazz Studies – This 17 hour certificate can be attached to any degree in music.

•Master of Music in Jazz Performance – This program is a Master of Music degree with performance concentration in Jazz Improvisation.

The Jazz Program at Texas Tech hosts internationally recognized jazz artists each year. Recent artists include Tom Harrell, Jaleel Shaw, Allen Vizzutti, Steve Houghton, Bill Watrous, Ingrid Jensen, Geoffrey Keezer, Jon Riley, Conrad Herwig, Dick Oatts, Wayne Bergeron, and many others. In addition, the Texas Tech Jazz Festival, held each spring since 1968, hosts high school jazz ensembles in a semi-competitive festival format, with a final concert featuring the Texas Tech Jazz Ensembles with an internationally recognized jazz artist. More information about this year's festival is available on this website.

One of the greatest assets to the students in the jazz program is the access to and individual attention from the faculty. The Texas Tech Jazz Program offers a unique, close-knit community of students and faculty, working and interacting together in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. Recent graduates and participants of the jazz program at Texas Tech hold positions in public schools, colleges, and universities across the nation. For more information, contact Stephen Jones, Director of Jazz Studies at stephen.jones@ttu.edu.

  • Jazz I
    This ensemble is for advanced students and requires a solid foundation in specific fundamentals such as intonation, ensemble playing, style recognition and improvisation. Soloists are expected to exhibit a satisfactory knowledge of improvisational techniques. This ensemble will perform two concerts per semester; one of each will include a guest artist. The spring semester will include a tour and jazz festival.
  • Jazz II
    This ensemble is a preparatory group for jazz I. The skills learned in this ensemble will be interpretation of the different styles of Big Band writing, sight reading, section playing and improvisation. This ensemble will perform one concert per semester, and possible other engagements.
  • Jazz Combos
    Small group performance will be the primary concern of these ensembles. Writing, arranging and improvisation for small ensembles will be addressed extensively.

* All ensembles will require an audition.

Jazz Faculty