Jazz Studies

A uniquely American art form, jazz is an essential part of the nation’s history and culture. Jazz studies is part of the Department of Music's Arts and Humanities program at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, and students study under the direction of GW jazz faculty. Coursework includes basic tune writing, a survey of jazz styles and an introduction to recording-studio technology.

Related Majors, Minors, and Concentrations

Students may choose GW’s big band or small groups such as the Ubercombo, blues band, Latin band and jazz vocal ensemble, among others.

What can I expect to learn in the Jazz Studies program at GW?

Students learn a variety of subject areas within the field, including elements in music theory, jazz musicianship and the history of jazz.

What is the Jazz Studies community like at GW?

Student jazz groups entertain regularly on campus, most notably as headliners at the Colonials Weekend Jazz Brunch. Our students have also recently performed at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument and at clubs such as Blues Alley. The jazz community comes together every Friday for informal jam sessions, where students have played with guest artists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Walt Weiskopf and Tito Puente.

What can I do in the Jazz Studies field?

Career options include performer, music critic, music teacher, arranger and composer.