Nationally Recognized Jazz Bands
Our award-winning Jazz Ensembles provide a place for everyone that wishes to participate in a large-group jazz experience. With two vocal jazz ensembles and three jazz big bands, there are many opportunities to explore the jazz literature available. We also have numerous fully coach jazz combos.
All ensembles are by audition. Typically rhythm section players and horn players are auditioned for groups during the first week of fall quarter. Singers for the vocal jazz groups are also auditioned during the first part of the quarter along with some auditions in the spring prior to fall quarter.
A Rich History
Did you know that many prominent jazz musicians and educators had their start at Central? This is all part of a rich legacy stretching back to 1947 and the Sweecians dance band, directed by Bert Christiansen. In the ensuing years Bob “Beep” Panerio and John Moawad continued building on the strong foundation established by Bert. The creation of the vocal jazz ensemble by John Moawad in the 70s and continued program expansion including more ensemble and combos has established CWU as one of the top jazz programs in the nation. Many of our past students have made a very successful career through jazz. Here is a sampling of just a few of them: Gary Hobbs, Jon Wikan, Norm Wallen, Greg Metcalf, Kelly Kunz, Dave Barduhn, Frank Dimiero, Bruce Babad, Reuel Lubag, Michelle Wier, Jim Sisko, Garey Williams, Paul Gabrielson, Jay Roulston, Jake Bergevin & Paul Harshman.
Not only do we give our students an incredible jazz education, CWU also offers Summer Jazz Camp and the John Maowad Jazz Festival to educate and share jazz with the next generation of up and coming students.
The board of Jazz In The Valley has established a monetary scholarship for the benefit of graduating high school students and transfer students wishing to pursue music studies at Central Washington University, with an emphasis in jazz performance and study. Vist the JIV Scholarship page for more information.