Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation


School of
Music Header




Join us in Athens for our annual jazz festival!  This year's festival will feature guest artists James Moore, trumpet and Jeff Bush, trombone.




Saturday, April 18, 2015


Click here for details and printable application form, OR

APPLY ONLINE!  Click here to enter your High School Jazz Ensemble or Combo.




All-Star Jazz Educator Big Band Performance:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Location TBA

Student Jazz Combos Performance:

7:30pm, Sunday, April 18, 2015

Jackie O's Public House, 22 W. Union St., Athens



Jazz Studies Faculty


Roger Braun
Courses:­  Director of Jazz Percussion Ensemble,­Percussion­

John Horne
Adjunct Professor
Courses: Jazz Combo, Jazz Improvisation, Guitar, Jazz Theory


Matthew James
Courses:­  Director of Jazz Ensemble I, Saxophone 

Sean Parsons
Assistant Professor
Courses: Director of Jazz Ensemble II,­Jazz Ensemble Methods (pedagogy),­Music Theory
Richard Wetzel
Professor ­
Courses: History of Jazz



Ohio University Jazz Ensembles & Audition Information


Jazz Ensemble I - Matt James, director
Jazz Ensemble II - Sean Parsons, director
Jazz Percussion Ensemble - Roger Braun, director
Jazz Combo - John Horne, director
Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Combos, and the Jazz Percussion Ensemble form the jazz performance experience at Ohio University. These ensembles are open to all qualified students by audition, regardless of major. Concerts on and off campus, tours, and consistent contact with guest artists provide students with a variety of performance opportunities. Students also benefit from a broad range of jazz studies courses, including Jazz Improvisation I and II, Jazz History, Jazz Theory, Jazz Arranging, and Jazz Methods/Pedagogy. Auditions are held each semester and are open to all students, regardless of major field of study. Phone (740)593-0957 for additional information about Ohio University’s jazz offerings.
Auditions ­for big bands and combos occur­ during the first week of classes ­every semester. All OU students are invited to audition, regardless of major. ­Musicians who have no jazz experience are also encouraged to audition. ­Check the jazz ensembles bulletin board on the 4th floor of the School of Music (Glidden Hall, across from room 476) for sign-up sheets.­  No prepared materials are required, as the auditions involve sight reading of big band charts and improvisation (usually on a blues). Amps are provided for bassists and guitarists. Drummers - see the separate posting that describes the time/location for your auditions. Contact Matt James for more information.


Minor in Jazz Studies


The Minor in Jazz Studies is open to any Ohio University student. ­The degree includes coursework in arranging, improvisation, history, theory, electives, and jazz ensemble participation. ­For a detailed look at the Minor in Jazz Studies, please click here.


Academic Offerings in Jazz Studies at Ohio University


Jazz Arranging
Jazz Theory
Jazz Ensemble Methods (jazz pedagogy)
Jazz Improvisation I & II
Jazz History


Jazz Festival


Past Jazz Festival guest artists have included:
1998 ­Mike Steinel and Ed Soph
1999 ­Chris Vadala
2000 ­Ted Piltzecker
2001 ­Marvin Stamm
2002 ­Brad Leali
2003 ­Roland Vazquez
2004 ­John Fedchock
2005 ­Jim Riggs
2006 ­Jim Rupp and Tim Cummiskey
2007 ­Sarah Morrow
2008 ­Jeff Coffin
2009 ­Jack Schantz
2010 ­Howie Smith
2011 ­Sean Jones
2012 ­Tim Hagans and Gary Wittner
2013 ­Rob Parton and Bob Thompson
2014 Carl Allen
Additional visiting artists have included:
Bill Watrous, Jim McNeely, Ashley Alexander, Jerry Niewood, Urbie Green, Gary Carney, Dave Samuels, Jeff Halsey, Dwayne Dolphin, Jeff Tyzik, Steve Houghton, Joe Lovano, Jamey Aebersold, the Jazz Knights Big Band, Amiri Baraka with Gary Bartz, Paul Ferguson, Vaughn Wiester, Alan Baylock, Allen Vizzutti, Vince DiMartino, and more.



Matthew James

Professor of Saxophone & Jazz Studies

Roger Braun

Professor of Percussion

John Horne

Adjunct Professor of Guitar/Jazz Studies

Sean Parsons

Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Jazz