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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

Andrew Bishop (Interim Chair, Winter 2016; saxophone)

Ellen Rowe (Sabbatical leave, Winter 2016)

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

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Dean Dworkin's statement on proposed elimination of NEA and NEH

In a letter to all SMTD constituents, Aaron Dworkin lays out the importance of the NEA and NEH to our nation and to the future success of our students.  more

image for Jazz Students Travel to Cuba for Cultural Immersion Tour
Jazz Students Travel to Cuba for Cultural Immersion Tour

A group of jazz percussion student will spend spring break in Cuba, for a week of study and performance with Cuban musicians and students, as well as an immersive exploration of Cuban culture and history.   more

See more department news

image for Always Inspirational, Forever Valiant: A Bicentennial Appreciation for the Performing Arts at Michigan
Always Inspirational, Forever Valiant: A Bicentennial Appreciation for the Performing Arts at Michigan

The University of Michigan Bicentennial marks 200 years of extraordinary research, education, and public service.  more

image for  2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition: Accepting Applications
2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition: Accepting Applications

M-Prize, offering an unprecedented grand prize of $100,000, is now accepting applications, with a deadline of February, 1, 2017. more

 

events

SMTD logo for eventSMTD Commencement

Friday, April 28 - 4:00pm
Hill Auditorium
Free - no tickets required
details

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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