Jazz Studies Courses and Ensembles at PLU

University Jazz Ensemble: The UJE is a jazz big band, varying in instrumentation according to repertoire. The ensemble rehearses three days a week and performs regularly on the PLU campus, at jazz venues in the Puget Sound area, regional high schools, and national jazz festivals. The UJE is also featured annually in the Holiday Jazz Jam, a live Christmas season broadcast with famous jazz artists from the local and national scenes. The ensemble performs jazz big band repertoire from all eras of the music, from Duke Ellington to Maria Schneider, and covers all styles of jazz from early swing to jazz/rock. Auditions are open to all PLU students and are held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.
Director: Dr. David Deacon-Joyner

Jazz Chamber Ensemble: This class is an organized jazz combo rehearsal and forum and also serves as a beginning improvisation class. It meets once a week and includes combo and improvisation coaching, and performance of original and standard jazz combo repertoire. PLU jazz combos have performed at jazz venues and jazz festivals. Some of the combos become “working” groups, playing paid gigs in the area. The class is available any PLU student, vocal or instrumental.
Director: Dr. David Deacon-Joyner

Beginning Jazz Theory and Improvisation: This class is a core course of study for all music majors, vocal and instrumental, at PLU and has a theory prerequisite for qualification. The course is an introduction to jazz chord/scale relationships, harmony, logical construction of improvised solos, listening and transcription skills, and discographical study. There are two sections of the course that meet Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.
Instructor: Dr. David Deacon-Joyner

Advanced Jazz Improvisation: This class is for the more advanced improviser and is available by audition only. The curriculum involves more intensive harmonic ear training, including recognition of various jazz chord qualities, basic jazz arranging, transcription, analysis, and performance of recorded jazz solos. This course is an extension of the Jazz Chamber Ensemble class. Professional artists in the area representing saxophone, trumpet, trombone, jazz vocal, and rhythm instruments will be guest lecturers.
Instructor: Dr. David Deacon-Joyner

History of Jazz: This class is a survey of the history of jazz, from its African origins to currents artists and stylistic trends. The course presents, lectures, live performances, and multi-media to nurture an appreciation and awareness of the artists and musical developments of America’s unique artistic contribution to the world. Emphasis is also placed on contextualizating jazz in issues of history, commerce, art, race, gender, and geography.
Instructor: Dr. David Deacon-Joyner

Private Jazz Instrumental Instruction: Private jazz instruction is available for electric guitar, electric or acoustic bass, piano, and drum set. Two semesters of traditional private instruction of permission from the Director of Jazz Studies is a prerequisite for private jazz instruction. Instruction focuses on technique, theory, transcription, improvisation, and repertoire. Private jazz instruction culminates at the end of the semester in a formal jazz jury performance for members of the jazz faculty.
Instructors: Steve Howland (electric guitar), Clipper Anderson (bass), Dan Kramlich (piano), Mark Ivester (drum set), David Deacon-Joyner (jazz composition and arranging).