The jazz program is headed by three master composer/teacher/performers, and is built around the small-group experience. Students gain a wealth of solo experience in small combos, in addition to recreating classic jazz charts in the Jazz Collective.
Check out this 2014 television broadcast featuring the Webster jazz program!
Webster University Jazz Combos
The Jazz Ensembles are combos of three to eight members, directed by a faculty member or graduate teaching assistant. Each combo rehearses once weekly for two hours. The combos perform a wide range of music from composers such as Coltrane, Corea, Davis, Ellington, Liebman, Mingus, Parker, Shorter and Silver. Students work on improvisation, ensemble balance and interaction, and stylistic awareness. Combo members are required to attend the Monday afternoon jazz master class. Each combo performs on these programs regularly and on the Monday night jazz concert series. For more information contact Professor Paul DeMarinis, Director of Jazz Studies, 314-968-7032.
Webster University Jazz Collective
The Jazz Collective is a variable-membership group that recreates and reinterprets literature from all style periods of jazz, including composers such as Corea, Davis, Ellington, Holman, Jones, Nelson, and Wheeler. Focus is placed on developing individual skills of improvisation, reading, stylistic awareness and ensemble interaction. Rehearsals are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in early afternoon. For more information, contact the ensemble director, Professor James Martin, 314-968-7032.
Webster University Jazz Singers
The Jazz Singers is a highly select group of 16 vocalists (SATB) and instrumentalists. Debby Lennon, one of St. Louis's most distinguished singers and teachers, is the ensemble director. The Jazz Singers perform works from arrangers and composers such as Gene Puerling, Paris Rutherford, and Steve Zegree, as well as groups including Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and Rare Silk. For more information, contact Professor Lennon, 314-968-7032.