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Department of Music

Jazz Combo

Jazz Combo is a survey of performance, improvisation and sight-reading for a small group in the following areas:

  • Latin
  • Fusion
  • Be-bop
  • Modal
  • Swing
  • Ballad
  • Rock
  • Straight ahead jazz
  • Vocal jazz

This group focuses on developing advanced improvisation skills while studying the democratic process of musical collaboration and the standard business practices expected of professional jazz musicians. Musical repertoire will be addressed through visual and aural instruction, as learning from recordings is a crucial aspect of the development process. We partner with regional businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to challenge students with a variety of venues and audience expectations.

The group performs several times during the course of the semester. A thorough knowledge of jazz theory, chord and scale relationships, and melodic soloing is recommended. Students can register each semester, but no more than eight credits can be counted toward graduation.

The Jazz Combos rehearse at various times throughout the year. Fall sections include the Advanced Combo (Service Learning) which rehearses every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 2 - 2:50 p.m. and a Monday evening section. Spring Jazz Combo sections include both Monday and Tuesday evening sections.

First day of class, 1-5 p.m.
Band Rehearsal Hall, Room A100 (until 3 p.m. then location TBD)

You must audition and be accepted into the ensemble to participate in the Jazz Combos at Christopher Newport University. Auditions will consist of a prepared jazz piece of the student’s choosing and optional improvisation. Each audition will be about five minutes long.


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