Skip to main content Skip to navigation
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

Audition Sign Up and Guidelines

Audition Guidelines will be available by August 1, 2020. Please check back here for updates.

Jazz ensemble auditions (big bands, combos and rhythm sections) for 2020-21 are tentatively scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23, in Kimbrough 454, top floor, Greg Yasinitsky’s office, for all instruments except drums. However, there is the possibility that auditions will be held by auditionees submitting recordings. A final decision will be announced by August 1. Please check back here for updates.

Drum auditions are tentatively scheduled Monday, August 24 in B48, the Band Room. However, there is the possibility that auditions will be held by auditionees submitting recordings. A final decision will be announced by August 1. Please check back here for updates.

Audition Guidelines

Below are guidelines for live auditions. However, there is the possibility that auditions will be held by auditionees submitting recordings. A final decision will be announced by August 1. Please check back here for updates.

Horns: Auditions – 10 Minutes 

Prepared piece, preferably in a jazz style. Sight-reading will also be required; improvisation will be optional. If you don’t have music, some will be available at the Dropbox link here.

Piano/Guitar: 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. If you don’t have music, some will be available at the Dropbox link here.

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. If you don’t have music, some will be available at the Dropbox link here.

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.

Questions

Contact Greg Yasinitsky 

Washington State University