Experience Jazz

…an innovative ensemble experience, connecting students across communities & genres

“While rooted in jazz, this program will embrace the power and artistry of hip-hop, rhythm & blues and other genres students and instructors want to explore together. Our goal is to bring together students of various cultural and musical backgrounds in an innovative music-making environment.”

– Justin Christy, DFJE Board Chair

Who is this for?

  • Up to 25 middle and high school musicians with varying levels of experience
  • For student instrumentalists and vocalists seeking musical mentorship and creative collaboration

What will students do?

  • Collaborate with other like-minded musicians in an ensemble setting
  • Learn repertoire and musical vocabulary from established professional musicians
  • Explore the spirit of jazz and other musical traditions, while directly influencing the material

How is it organized?

  • Auditions will help place participants in ensembles according to skill level and instrument
  • Three different ensembles will meet on Saturday afternoons, twice monthly, Sept. 2017-June 2018
  • Each ensemble will be led by a professional teaching artist and McNally Smith student mentor
  • Each ensemble will prepare repertoire selected by their teaching artist
  • Ensembles will give regular performances for their peers, and periodic public performances

What is required?

  • Students must provide their own instruments (in reasonable working order)
  • Students must have some experience playing their instrument
  • Preferred instruments include: brass (trumpet, trombone, French horn, euphonium, tuba), woodwind (saxophone, clarinet, flute, bass clarinet), percussion (drum set, hand percussion, electronic percussion), keyboard (piano, vibes, marimba, synthesizers), and stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello, electric or acoustic bass, guitar). Other instruments may be considered.


  • Saturday, Sept. 23,12:30-3:30pm at McNally Smith College of Music. First session: October 7
  • All participants will be asked to commit for the duration of the Sept-June program
  • To audition, sign up by clicking here by Wednesday, Sept. 20.


  • $125 for the year – full or partial scholarships will be made available upon request

Experience Jazz is presented in partnership with


Click here to view this information as a PDF: Experience Jazz Flyer


DFJE programming is made possible by jazz supporters like you! Help make the inaugural year of Experience Jazz possible by clicking here to make a donation today!


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