Jazz Ensembles

Jazz Combos performance
For more information about

jazz ensembles and our work,


Dean Sorenson

Director of Jazz Studies


Ensemble Coordinator


Big Band Jazz

Director: Dean Sorenson

Audition required. The University jazz ensembles play a variety of big band repertoire and perform for many events both on and off-campus. Entrance is limited to traditional big band instruments: trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion. Course Numbers: Jazz Ensemble I (MUS 3340/5340-001) / Jazz Ensemble II (MUS 3340/5340-002). (Registration takes place AFTER auditions).

  • Jazz I Meeting Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 5:00 pm
  • Jazz II Meeting Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 11:15 am – 12:05 pm

Jazz Combos

Director: Phil Hey 

Audition required. Jazz combos—dedicated to playing small-group jazz—consist of a rhythm section (bass, drums, piano, or guitar) and one to four other instruments, depending on balance and ability level. Combos are open to players of all instruments. Combos meet twice per week and perform several times throughout the semester. The experience level in combos varies widely, and every effort is made to match players of similar ability levels. Course Numbers: MUS 3350, section 001, 002, or 003 (Registration takes place AFTER auditions).

Jazz Combo Meeting Times:

  • Combo I: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:10 – 11:00 am
  • Combo II: Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:15 – 12:05 pm
  • Combo III: Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:20 – 1:10 pm

Repertoire Highlights

  • The American Express by Bob Brookmeyer
  • Beautiful Beatrice by Adam Meckler*
  • For Maria by Bob Brookmeyer
  • Invitation by Bronislau Kaper (arr. Jason Fabus*)
  • It’s You Or No One by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn (arr. Nelson Devereaux*)
  • The Tao of Heavy D by Rex Richardson (arr. Adam Meckler*)
  • T Rex by Dean Sorenson

*Student composition

Learn more about jazz studies at the University of Minnesota.