Texas Tech University



The history of the Jazz Department is extremely impressive. Under the leadership of Professors Stephen Jones and Alan Shinn, the Jazz I ensemble has taken honors at many jazz festivals. The group has performed with such renowned jazz artists as Louie Bellson, Frank Mantooth, Kevin Mahogany, Willie Hill, Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, Denis DiBlasio, Tony Campise, Phil Wilson, Bob Mintzer, Tuck and Patti, Dave Pietro, Ed Calle, Ernie Watts, Mike Mainieri, Carmen Bradford, Bobby Watson, Carla Helmbrecht, Peter Horvath, Nelson Rangell and Marvin Stamm. The Tech Jazz Ensemble has opened shows for Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets and Jay Leno. In 1996 the ensemble opened for Arturo Sandoval and the UNC Jazz Lab Band 1 at the UNC/Greeley,CO Jazz Festival.

The Texas Tech Jazz Studies Program consists of three big bands and two combos. Classes in jazz improvisation and jazz history are also offered.

The Texas Tech Jazz Department hosts two annual Jazz Festivals. Established in 1969, The Texas Tech/Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Jazz Festival is one of the longest running consecutive jazz festivals in the country. It features junior high schools, high schools and junior colleges in big band and combo performances. A major guest artist of national stature is featured each year at this festival. The TTU Lubbock Summer Jazz Festival has been a summer music staple for almost 30 years and features Texas and local artists with the TTU Summer Jazz Ensemble.

For more information or questions regarding the jazz program at Texas Tech please contact Professor 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 III
    This ensemble is basically for those new to Big Band playing. Instruction of all aspects of large ensemble playing will be taught. This ensemble will perform one concert per semester.
  • 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.