photo of jazz students performing in college club
Jazz performance majors often perform in the noonday Jazz Forum at the Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse where audience feedback is encouraged. Photo credit: Matthew Lester
Program Overview

Jazz Performance

Program Type: Major
  • Bachelor of Music (BM)
Division: Jazz Studies

Principal private study is available in the following areas: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, voice, piano, guitar, percussion, and double bass. Jazz performance students’ talents are developed through the cultivation of technique and artistic vision with the goal of building the skills and capabilities necessary to best express themselves musically. These foundations are established through the guidance of a world-class faculty that is steeped in tradition and maintains an eye on the future.

photo of student playing sax with jazz ensemble
Oberlin Jazz Ensemble concert in Finney Chapel. Photo credit: Walter Novak

Oberlin Jazz Ensemble

The Oberlin Jazz Ensemble features jazz as well as classical performance majors. The group performs in Finney Chapel during the academic year and appears at college festivals throughout the United States. The jazz ensemble presents standard repertoire and new works including pieces by student composers. Recent guest solo artists include Etienne Charles, Nicholas Payton, Michael Mossman, Rufus Reid, John and Gerald Clayton, and Eddie Henderson.

Sample Courses

  • JAZZ 120 - Jazz Theory 4 credits
  • JAZZ 130 - Basic Arranging/Composition Techniques 2 credits
  • JAZZ 201- Jazz Improvisation I 4 credits
  • JAZZ 290 - Introduction to African American Music 4 credits

Jazz Performance News

A girl draws with chalk on a sidewalk.

This Week in Photos: Creativity and Strength

November 13, 2020
Inspirational words and chalk drawn images on the sidewalks of Wilder Bowl greeted those passing by this past week. This chalk walk exercise resulted in several standout images featured in this week’s photo series.
A student sings on a stage while a pianist plays nearby.

Live From the Cat

September 2, 2020
The campus community was treated to a live-streamed jazz performance on August 28 from the Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse. The virtual concert was a first for the student-run performance space.