About Us

Long a cat­a­lyst for inno­v­a­tive direc­tions in new music and prepar­ing stu­dents to per­form at the high­est lev­els of musi­cian­ship in the pro­fes­sional realm, the Jazz and Impro­vised Music pro­gram pro­vides a foun­da­tion in the sig­nif­i­cant his­tor­i­cal fig­ures, works, styles, and move­ments of jazz, cou­pled with encour­age­ment to push artis­tic bound­aries and extend the art form. Among the most vibrant and ener­getic musi­cal com­mu­ni­ties at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton, if not in all of Seat­tle, the pro­gram ben­e­fits tremen­dously from its prox­im­ity to the atmos­phere of exper­i­men­ta­tion and cama­raderie in the clubs and cof­fee­houses of the Seattle’s rich and var­ied music scene.

Renowned Faculty

Faculty in the program—all seasoned professionals with serious touring and recording credits—guide students in mastering their chosen instruments and in applying musical concepts and training to performance in small and large ensemble settings. Our faculty represent a range of strengths and areas of interest from traditional jazz to the avant- garde.

Performance Opportunities

On-campus performance opportunities run the gamut from traditional big bands to small ensembles creating original works and new arrangements of the great works from the jazz repertoire. Students interested in exploring musical opportunities beyond campus will find abundant avenues for expression in both casual and more formal settings. Many students perform regularly outside the UW. For more information about UW ensembles, see the Ensembles page.

Esteemed Guest Artists

The program regularly hosts workshops, clinics, and performances by visiting musicians, many of them giants of jazz and improvised music.  Some of our recent guests have included: Pat Metheny, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, John McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, Alex Acuña, Ralph Alessi, Tim Berne, Brian Blade, Don Byron, Matthew Garrison, The Bad Plus, Regina Carter, Ron Carter, Larry Coryell, Dave Douglas, George Garzone, Marcus Miller, John Patitucci, Eric Revis, Antonio Sanchez, Mike Stern, Craig Taborn, Ernie Watts, Chris Cheek, Steve Swallow and Matt Wilson, among many others.