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Jazz School

Kennesaw State University: Jazz Studies



Located in North Metro Atlanta, the Jazz Studies Program at Kennesaw State offers an entrepreneurial and hands on approach to learning the jazz idiom. 

Students in Jazz Studies at KSU learn from renowned jazz educators and apply their skills in a wide range of settings both on campus and in the wider Metro Atlanta Community.  

Tery Wright in class…

Students in Jazz Ensembles and Combos at KSU perform a variety of styles and music by a wide range of composers. 

Recent performances have included programs of Brazilian and Latin jazz, swing, musical theatre songbook, jazz rock, and retrospectives of composers such as Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Don Ellis, Maria Schneider, Radiohead, Pat Metheny, Darcy James Argue, and others. Students in KSU jazz ensembles and combos develop general jazz performance and improvisational skills giving them the flexibility to meet the varying demands of today’s musical world. 

Jazz Ensembles I, II, III
7 Jazz Combos
Jazz Guitar Ensembles I and II
Vocal Jazz Lab

KSU jazz students enjoy a wide range of performance opportunities off campus in a variety of settings from jazz clubs to musical theater.

They also perform a minimum of twice per semester in both Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo concerts in the beautiful Bailey Performance Center.

KSU Guitarists

KSU Jazz Ensembles and Combos have performed at the Jazz Education Network conference, the Georgia Music Educators Association in-service conference, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards, the International Festival of University Theatre of Casablanca, as well as performances in Montepulciano, Italy. In 2017, KSU Jazz Combo I released Global, an album of 7 original works that can be found on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music.  Recent graduates of the program can be heard performing on Broadway and with the Count Basie and Glen Miller Orchestras.

Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance
Bachelor of Music in Music Education
Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies, Composition, Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Theory

Trey Wright in concert at KSU

The KSU jazz faculty includes active performers who play nationally and are in constant demand as clinicians and soloists.

Sam Skelton: Saxophone, Director of Jazz Studies
Trey Wright:  Guitar, Jazz Combo Coordinator
Luke Weathington: Saxophone
Rob Optiz:  Trumpet
Wes Funderburk:  Trombone
Karla Harris:  Jazz Voice
Tyrone Jackson:  Piano
Marc Miller:  Bass
Justin Chesarek:  Drums

Trey Wright Trio with students from KSU “Sitting Still”

Latest KSU News:

The KSU School of Music is excited to announce the recent launch of the KSU Music History in Europe Study abroad program!  As part of the Jazz in Europe course taught by Professor of Jazz Guitar Trey Wright, in the Summer of 2018 students attended concerts at the historic Jazzkeller in Frankfurt (the oldest jazz club in Germany), JazzLocal in Cologne, the Kölner Philharmonie (the WDR Big Band led by Bob Mintzer), Sunset in Paris, La Chope de Puces (the home of French Jazz Manouche/Gypsy jazz) and attended performances by Marcus Miller and Snarky Puppy at the Django Reinhardt festival in Fountainbleau, France! 

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