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Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation

about

Art forms evolve through the interplay of two contrasting, yet complementary forces--the ongoing quest for new possibilities, and the continual inquiry into past forms and practices. When this present-past interplay is centered at the heart of artistic training, students not only gain optimal mastery of skills and concepts within their field, they also experience their field as a vehicle for a broader, cross-disciplinary exploration.

The Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation has harnessed these principles and emerged as a leading new educational voice. Combining the finest in traditional jazz training with systematic study of jazz's eclectic offshoots, along with innovative, interdisciplinary options which are at the cutting edge of pedagogical thought, the department offers students a variety of educational pathways few schools can match.

faculty

Ellen Rowe (Chair, piano)

Andrew Bishop (saxophone)

Michael Gould (drums/percussion)

 

Associated Faculty

Sean Dobbins (drums)

Marion Hayden (bass)

Mark Kirschenmann (Creative Arts Orchestra)

Benny Green (piano)

Robert Hurst (bass)

Edward W. Sarath

Dennis Wilson (trombone)

 

 

Cary Kocher (vibes)

William Lucas (trumpet)

Miles Okazaki (guitar)

Martha Travers

news

Bob James
U-M Homecoming Features Star-Studded Free Events

Homecoming weekend (Oct. 30-Nov. 2) to feature free concerts and events with celebrated SMTD alums. more

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Anisha Nandi, from The Michigan Daily, sat down with professor Michael Gould to talk about his "Remember Me" show. The video can be seen on the Michigan Daily website.

See more department news

George Gershwin at piano that was donated to SMTD. (Photo courtesy of the Ira Gershwin Archive)
U-M Unveils Historic Gershwin Piano at Free Public Concert

A fully restored 1933 Model A Steinway piano, previously belonging to George Gershwin, will be unveiled at a free public concert in Hill Auditorium on Friday, October 10 at 8:30 p.m. more

SMTD logo for newsSMTD Welcomes New Faculty

Meet Danielle Belen. Jason DeBord, Joseph Gascho, Benny Green, Tim McAllister, Kola Owolabi, and Courtney Snyder. more

 

events

SMTD logo for eventLatin Jazz Ensemble

Sunday, March 15 - 7:00pm
Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium
Free - no tickets required
details

SMTD logo for eventCreative Arts Orchestra

Thursday, March 19 - 8:00pm
Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium
Free - no tickets required
details

See more department events

image for Don Chisholm Jazz Masterclass Series: Sunny Wilkinson, voiceDon Chisholm Jazz Masterclass Series: Sunny Wilkinson, voice

Sunday, March 22 - 3:00pm
Stearns Building, Cady Room
Free - no tickets required
details

SMTD logo for eventMichigan Youth Chamber Singers and Jazz Improvisation Ensemble

Sunday, March 22 - 4:00pm
Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium
Free - no tickets required
details

SMTD logo for eventJazz Combos

March 22 - 23
Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium
Free - no tickets required
details

SMTD logo for eventJazz Lab Ensemble and Campus Jazz Ensemble

Wednesday, April 1 - 8:00pm
Rackham Graduate School (Horace H.)
Free - no tickets required
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Jazz Ensemble's Rhythm Section
Professor Ellen Rowe directs the Jazz Ensemble Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Masters Student Colin Campbell  Undergraduate jazz trumpeter Joshua MizruchiReed & Brass Section of the Jazz EnsembleUndergraduate Jazz drummer Quentin Joseph
"My years at Michigan helped me to expand my creative horizons in every dimension....After graduating I moved to Austin, TX in May of 2012, got married, and am working 3 jobs which I love. I'm a performer, a music teacher and a fitness coach. My education at the University of Michigan prepared me to approach all of these jobs with creativity, awareness, and the integration of individuality, tradition, and innovation."
Billy Satterwhite, MM 2012

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

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