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Jazz

One of Australia’s most respected and established jazz programs
Start your career in jazz performance. Excel at your instrument, expand your musical knowledge, improve your ear and learn to compose.

Begin your professional career in music performance through individual and ensemble tuition from our industry experts, many of whom also perform in highly regarded jazz ensembles around the world. We provide tuition in:

  • brass
  • bass
  • drums
  • guitar
  • piano
  • vibraphone
  • woodwind
  • voice.

You can combine your chosen instrument with ensembles or chamber studies, and you’ll undertake core studies such as musical thinking and skills, analysis, history, culture, pedagogy and music education.

We’ll train you in jazz improvisation, ensemble playing and repertoire development supported by studies in aural and harmony subjects.

Our aim is for you to achieve both artistic individuality and a high level of musical proficiency, and we encourage you to collaborate with your musical peers.

Why study jazz with us?

Our Jazz alumni are at the cutting edge of performance and composition in all genres of contemporary music at home and abroad.

If you see yourself as a professional performer, we provide the pathway. Here's how: 

  • individual instrument training
  • the largest University Big Band program in Australia with 4 full Big Bands and 12 small ensembles, with many opportunities for performance
  • three big bands and 11 small ensembles, with many opportunities for performance
  • superb venues and facilities, including more than 100 practice rooms, extensive library resources and the latest in music technology
  • various opportunities for international tours with professional ensembles, bands and chamber music groups
  • small class numbers for maximum contact with staff and other players
  • regular masterclasses and performance workshops
  • we present an annual International Jazz Festival with opportunities for top students and ensembles to perform as part of the festival program alongside international Leaders in their field
  • guest lecturers – recent visitors include Jim Black, Greg Osby, Jo Lawry, Will Vinson, Mat Jodrell, Rodney Whittaker, Marc Hannaford, Dave Douglas, Maria Schneider, Miguel Zenon, Henry Cole, Ellery Eskelin/Tom Rainey, Eric Harland, Joe Farsnworth, Guillermo Klein, Ed Partyka, Ed Neumeister, Florian Ross, Bert Joris, Gretchen Parlato, Tony Malaby/Kris Davis and more
  • guest lecturers – recent visitors include Maria Schneider, Miguel Zenon Quartet, Ellery Eskelin/Tom Rainey, Eric Harland, Joe Farsnworth, Guillermo Klein, Ed Partyka, Greg Osby, Will Vinson, Gretchen Parlato, Tony Malaby/Kris Davis and more
  • expert tutors who are active professionals and leaders in their fields
  • weekly improvisation classes
  • classes in jazz music business skills so you’re prepared for all aspects of your career
  • an excellent reputation abroad – we have alumni on full postgraduate scholarships at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory.

Who can I study jazz with?

  • Mr David Theak, Program Leader Bachelor of Music (jazz Performance), Senior Lecturer in Jazz (Saxophone, Big Band, Improvisation, Ensemble and Music Business Skills)
  • Mr Phillip Slater, Lecturer in Jazz (Trumpet and Ensemble)
  • Dr Simon Barker, Senior Lecturer in Jazz (Drums and Ensemble)
  • Mr Craig Scott, Senior Lecturer in Jazz (Bass, Improvisation and Ensemble)
  • Dr Kevin Hunt, Lecturer in Jazz (Piano and Ensemble)
  • Ms Hannah James, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Ensemble)
  • Mr James Greening, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Trombone, Ensemble)
  • Ms Judy Bailey, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Piano, Improvisation, Ensemble and Composition)
  • Mr Matt McMahon, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Piano, Ensemble, and Ear Training)
  • Dr Steve Barry, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Piano, Hammond Organ, Ensemble)
  • Dr Jeremy Rose, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Saxophone, Ensemble)
  • Warwick Alder, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Trumpet, Ensemble and Improvisation)
  • Mr Jason Isaac, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Pedagogy)
  • Mr Brett Hirst, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Bass and Ensemble)
  • Dr Darren Heinrich, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Ensemble and Hammond Organ)
  • Ms Virna Sanzone, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Voice and Ensemble)
  • Mr Andrew Robertson, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Harmony & Arranging, Big Band)
  • Mr Mike Rivett, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Saxophone & Improvisation)
  • Mr Steve Brien, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Guitar, Improvisation and Ensemble)
  • Mr Carl Dewhurst, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Guitar, Improvisation and Ensemble)
  • Mr Andrew Dickeson, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Drums, Jazz History, and Ensemble)
  • Mr Sean Coffin, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Saxophone and Improvisation)
  • Mr Col Loughnan, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Saxophone)
  • Mr Florian Ross, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Composition)
  • Mr Simon Sweeney, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Trumpet, Big Band)
  • Mr James Waples, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Drums)
  • Dr Chris Coady, Senior Lecturer in Jazz (Analysis and Transcription)
  • Mr Steve Williams, Casual Lecturer in Jazz (Big Band)

Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra

Walkin' tiptoe

Mr Dodo

Only for the honest

Innocent blues

What are my study options with jazz?

Where Jazz can take you

Jazz is an extensive genre offering many and varied careers:

  • performer: solo, ensemble, orchestra, chamber
  • session musician
  • composer
  • conductor
  • concert manager
  • festival or venue manager
  • music journalist
  • music producer
  • music teacher