Jazz Ensembles

The JU Jazz Studies Program prioritizes the art of the jazz language. The ensembles in the program are designed as a working ground for the developing jazz improviser, not simply a place to read charts.


All the jazz ensembles enjoy at least two major on campus performances each academic year, as well as visits from major artists for clinics and masterclasses. The jazz ensembles also host an annual festival, tour, and regularly perform for on campus and community events.

JU Jazz Orchestra


The JU Jazz Orchestra is an open-ended big band approach, ranging in works from the traditional to the most modern, as well as compositions and arrangement from the instructor and students in the jazz writing and arranging course.

JU Jazz Combo I, Combo II, Combo III


The combos involve special projects that incorporate arrangements, transcriptions and compositions from both the faculty and students.

JU Jazz Faculty


John Ricci, Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Courses, Jazz Combo, Instructor of Saxophone
Gary Starling, Artist in Residence, Guitar, Jazz Combo
Scott Giddens, Instructor of Jazz Piano
Stanley Piper, Instructor of Jazz Bass and Jazz Combo
Ricky Kirkland, Instructor of Drum Set
Chris Creswell, Artist in Residence, Marching Band, JU Jazz Orchestra, Brass


 Jazz Faculty