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Department of Music

Jazz Program

URI's jazz performance program is a diverse, active and versatile combination of big bands and ensembles that range widely from Dixieland style to Jazz Fusion, all strongly supported by the university's course offerings and degree programs. Band jazz studentsdirectors and ensemble coaches are faculty members who are highly acclaimed performers and recording artists recognized in their field.

The groups play at many regional jazz festivals and other venues, and offer a Jazz Concert Series on campus in both Fall and Spring semesters each year. The annual URI Jazz and World Music Festival brings in name performers who work with the students - including in past years guests such as Phil Wilson, Gary Burton, Slide Hampton, Hal Crook, the Woody Herman Band, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Participation is open by audition to students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

Big Bands

The URI Jazz Big Band has performed at Lincoln Center, taken first place at the MIT New England Intercollegiate Jazz Festival, and performed at many concerts and events on campus and throughout New England. The University currently supports two big bands reflecting different emphases:

The C100 Jazz Big Band, directed by Mark Berney, and The B101 Jazz Big Band, directed by Joe Parillo, Director of the URI Jazz Program.

Jazz Combos/Small Ensembles

Ranging from Dixieland to modern to experimental jazz and each under the guidance of a faculty coach, the small jazz ensembles can change according to active interest. They service approximately 100 music majors and minors each semester, and may include:

Monk & Mingus Ensemble, directed by Eric Hofbauer
Super Sax Ensemble, directed by Jared Sims
Standards Combo, directed by Dave Zinno
Afro-Cuban Ensemble