Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences School of Music

WSU Jazz Big Bands

About

WSU Jazz Big BandThe award-winning WSU Jazz Big Band has received national-level praise. Jack Bowers, writing for the blog All About Jazz, says that WSU is recognized for “high caliber big band jazz.” He goes on to say that the big bands at WSU understand “the importance of color, dynamics and unison, each of which is present in abundance,” and that they “never lose sight of what big bands are all about, namely swinging, regardless of mood or tempo.” He continues by exclaiming that “these bands mean business.”

Students playing jazz saxophonesWSU has been described by Jazziz magazine as one of the “best educational institutions for jazz.” Ensembles and individuals have received awards from Down Beat magazine and top honors at major festivals, including numerous first-place awards at the annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. WSU groups regularly present invited performances at prestigious conferences. Additionally they tour, record, and perform with distinguished guest artists. Guests have included saxophonists Ed Calle, Jeff Coffin, and Ernie Watts; vocalists Kevin Mahogany and Rebecca Parris; vibist Gary Burton; and many others.

Read More about WSU Jazz »

Stduent playing saxophone

WSU has two big bands. The top group, the award-winning WSU Jazz Big Band, is directed by Regents Professor Greg Yasinitsky

The Jazz Big Band’s latest CD is Singular Vision. Listen here

Watch video and listen to WSU Jazz Studies recordings

Watch video from WSU Jazz Festivals

Jazz Big Bands and Combos for Fall 2021

The WSU Jazz Big Bands and Combos are looking forward to being face to face on campus for fall of 2021. We are planning for in person auditions a few days before classes start in August. Updates will be posted here as things develop, so check back throughout the summer for the most current information.

Audition Sign Up and Guidelines

Auditions for horns, guitar, piano bass and vibes for WSU Big Bands and Combos are scheduled for Saturday, August 21 and Sunday August 22, with drum auditions scheduled for Monday, August 23 (the first day of classes). For an information packet and links to sign up, please click here

Jazz Audition Requirements

Horns: Auditions – 10 Minutes
Prepared piece, preferably in a jazz style. Sight-reading will also be required; improvisation will be optional. For the improvisation section, please bring a copy of the chord changes for the piece you will be performing.

Piano/Guitar/Vibes: Auditions – 10 Minutes
Prepared piece, preferably in a jazz style. Comping and creating chord voicings from chord changes and sight-reading will also be required; improvisation will be optional. For the improvisation section, please bring a copy of the chord changes for the piece you will be performing.

Bass: Auditions – 10 Minutes
Prepared piece, preferably in a jazz style. Playing and creating bass lines from chord changes and sight-reading will also be required; improvisation will be optional. For the improvisation section, please bring a copy of the chord changes for the piece you will be performing.

Drums/Percussion: Auditions – 10 Minutes
Grooves played with sticks and brushes: swing, ballad, Latin, rock, etc. Improvisation-solo breaks, fills, trading fours, etc. Sight reading will also be required.

Download the Audition Requirements

Questions

Contact Greg Yasinitsky