Jazz Combos
Studio Jazz Ensemble
IMP (Improvised Music Project)

Performance opportunities are plentiful at the UW. In addition to the excellent UW ensembles there are myriad opportunities outside the UW. Due to the UW’s location in Seattle, students have access to one of the most creative, vibrant and healthy music scenes in the country.

Jazz Combos

An ensemble approach to the teaching of jazz improvisation and ear training, designed to develop students skills and knowledge of playing in a small jazz combo. Students in Jazz Combos participate in performances held over two consecutive nights each quarter in Brechemin Auditorium.

There are mul­ti­ple Jazz com­bos cre­ated each quar­ter, all of which are coached by Jazz Fac­ulty. Stu­dents are placed by the jazz fac­ulty based on their audi­tion per­for­mance.

For Jazz combo auditions, stu­dents will be asked to per­form pre-selected jazz stan­dards, solo over chord changes, and sight read. Lead sheets and charts will be pro­vided for all play­ers at the audi­tion. For more infor­ma­tion con­tact pro­fes­sor Cuong Vu.

Rehearsals are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30 – 3:20. * The group coached by Tom Collier will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3pm – 3:50pm unless otherwise indicated.


The Modern Band, led by Cuong Vu, is a jazz rooted-ensemble with a primary focus on repertoire encompassing innovative trends in jazz of the last decade. Ensemble members are exposed to a wide range of musical influences that have pushed the boundaries of jazz as an art form. Students are encouraged to write original material for the ensemble and to apply the musical innovations of the artists of their generation to the sound of the group and its repertoire.

For the ensemble audition, stu­dents are encour­aged to bring reper­toire of their choos­ing to per­form solo or with any com­bi­na­tion of instru­men­tal­ists that are avail­able at the time. Stu­dents should audi­tion with what they are most com­fort­able with, how­ever impro­vi­sa­tion in a mod­ern style of your choos­ing and/or free impro­vi­sa­tion are rec­om­mended. Stu­dents may fur­ther be asked to per­form an impro­vi­sa­tion with any com­bi­na­tion of musi­cians that will be auditioning.

**Exam­ples of pos­si­ble audi­tion reper­toire to choose from include a jazz stan­dard, a Monk or an Ornette orig­i­nal, a selec­tion from Schoenberg’s “Book of Hang­ing Gar­dens” or an Ives “Song”, a Bea­t­les clas­sic to a Radio­head tune, to any piece from one of today’s musi­cal artists of per­sonal inspi­ra­tion. Stu­dent orig­i­nals are encour­aged.

For more infor­ma­tion con­tact pro­fes­sor Cuong Vu

Rehearsals are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 pm – 2:20 pm

Studio Jazz Ensemble

The award winning University of Washington Studio Jazz Ensemble aspires to set
the highest standards of excellence in the performance of jazz in the large ensemble
setting.  The bands is responsible for performing the latest in big band material
while maintaining the roots of the region’s healthy jazz tradition.  The ensemble is
open by audition to both music majors and non-music majors and is designed to
provide professional training in the full range of musical styles inherent to jazz.

The Stu­dio Big Band audi­tion will con­sist of some sight read­ing and impro­vis­ing. For infor­ma­tion con­tact pro­fes­sor Paul Harsh­man.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 pm to 5:50 pm

IMP (Improvised Music Project)

The IMP is based in and out of the School of Music at the University of Washington where it is a Registered Student Organization. It’s vision is to work with the local music culture by serving as a voice, network and source for live improvised music.

In addition to monthly concerts and other events, its flagship event is the annual spring music festival, IMPfest. UW jazz and improvised music students are regularly involved with IMP concerts and play with IMP guest artists for IMPfest. Past guest artists have included Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, Chris Cheek, Steve Swallow, Billy Hart, Ben Street and many others.