JMU offers an undergraduate Jazz Studies concentration, a jazz subtrack for the Music Education concentration, and a minor in Jazz Studies. Course offerings include private Applied Jazz Study, four levels of Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Theory and Ear Training, Jazz Keyboard Skills, Arranging for Small Jazz Ensemble, Big Band Arranging, Jazz Composition, Advanced Topics Jazz Seminars, Jazz History, and Jazz Pedagogy. Students also have the option of advanced private jazz lessons and coursework through JMU's popular four-week Study Abroad program held each summer in Montreal, Quebec.

JMU offers a variety of opportunities for students to learn about and perform jazz. Performing groups include two large jazz ensembles and multiple jazz chamber ensembles. The JMU Jazz Ensemble has a long tradition of excellence and has performed at the Montreux, North Sea, and East Coast Jazz Festivals, VMEA convention, and at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater. The small groups, coordinated by Chuck Dotas, are student organized (coached weekly by a faculty member) and participate in a regular gig at Clementine Cafe.

For questions or more information about the jazz program, please contact our Director of Jazz Studies, Dr. Chuck Dotas at

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Jazz Professors and Instructors

Chuck Dotas

Chuck Dotas
Director of Jazz Studies

Masa Ishikawa

Masa Ishikawa
Assistant Professor
Jazz Piano

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