UNLV Jazz Ensemble I

First Place Winner (Tie) in the College Big Band Division from the 2017 Next Generation Jazz Festival

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Jazz Studies Program has been active for more than 45 years and the UNLV jazz faculty is considered to be one of the most exceptional groups of world-class musicians teaching in our university system. Today, the UNLV School of Music, Division of Jazz Studies offers degrees in instrumental or vocal jazz performance, and composition at the undergraduate and graduate level. Currently, the Program has three big bands, 10 combos, jazz vocal, jazz guitar, and contemporary and Latin jazz ensembles.

Since its inception, the Program has received numerous prestigious Student Music Awards from DownBeat magazine and rave reviews from JazzTimes for CD recordings. The UNLV Jazz Ensemble has traveled internationally including several trips to Europe, Africa, Japan, Australia, and performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Reno Jazz Festival, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference, the Hawaii International Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, and the Village Vanguard in New York City. 

Students from the Program have been recognized for superlative achievements in solo and ensemble performances in acclaimed jazz festivals throughout the nation. UNLV Jazz Studies alumni have enjoyed successful careers as jazz performers, composers and arrangers with the Count Basie Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, directed by Wynton Marsalis, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, John Scofield, the Mingus Big Band, Chicago, Lionel Ritchie, the Dukes Of Dixieland, the Saturday Night Live Band, Santana, Celine Dion, Bette Midler and many others. UNLV Jazz Studies alumni also teach at a variety of distinguished universities and colleges worldwide.

UNLV jazz students participate in clinics and performances with renowned jazz artists including Chris Potter, Tim Hagans, Peter Erskine, Ed Calle, Alan Ferber, Bob Sheppard, Carl Saunders, Wayne Bergeron, Bill Cunliffe, Chuck Findley, Marlena Shaw, George Garzone, Don Cunningham, Eric Marienthal, Joe LaBarbera, Brandon Fields, Bobby Shew, Kenny Rampton, and many others.  UNLV music students have performed with Academy, Tony and Grammy award-winning entertainers in prominent Las Vegas venues including Marvin Hamlisch, Ben Vereen, the Manhattan Transfer, Take 6, Nnenna Freelon, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Usher, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Adam Levine, Harry Connick Jr., Garth Brooks, Zach Brown, Seth MacFarlane, Carrie Underwood, Katherine McFee, and Tricia Yearwood.