Jazz Ensembles

Jazz Combos

Elmhurst enjoys a national and international reputation for its jazz program.

Its performing groups are the Elmhurst University Jazz Band, the Elmhurst University Jazz Lab Band and the vocal jazz ensembles Late Night Blues and Blue. There are also small group performance opportunities in the Gretsch Guitar Ensemble, “Supersax” Saxophone Ensemble and several Jazz Combos.

Elmhurst University Jazz Band

The Elmhurst University Jazz Band has gained international acclaim as a truly outstanding collegiate jazz ensemble. Under the direction of Doug Beach, the band has received outstanding ratings at jazz festivals from many jazz greats. In addition, the band has received numerous awards from DownBeat magazine.

The band has toured 17 nations and twice has been honored with invitations from the U.S. State Department to tour Europe. Frequent performances with well-known guest artists are a regular part of the band’s schedule.

The band also hosts the annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival, a major event that attracts the best jazz bands from around the country and is adjudicated by the greatest names in jazz today. The band has produced numerous recordings, all available on CD.

Elmhurst University Jazz Lab Band

Repertoire is drawn from contemporary big band literature. Provides jazz performance opportunities for jazz studies majors and majors in other disciplines. Fulfills the music major ensemble requirement for jazz studies majors after four terms of choir, concert band or orchestra have been fulfilled.

Elmhurst University Jazz Combos

There are several Jazz Combos at Elmhurst University coordinated by adjunct faculty member Dan Nicholson, and directed by our internationally acclaimed jazz faculty. These small group settings provide music students with the opportunity to learn jazz standards and contemporary pieces and to work on their improvisation skills.

Performance Schedule

  • Jazz Combos 18 April 2024, 7:30PM, Buik Recital Hall in Irion
  • Jazz Combos 2 May 2024, 7:30PM, Buik Recital Hall in Irion

Late Night Blues Vocal Jazz Ensemble

“Some Other Time”
Composed by:  Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by:  Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Arranged by:  Gayle Bisesi, Director of Late Night Blues
Recorded by: John Towner, Director of Music Business

The vocal jazz ensemble Late Night Blues is an internationally acclaimed group that performs a variety of styles of music including jazz, funk, swing and pop. The students’ non-stop energy, talent and professional standards have brought the group elite status as one of the most exciting collegiate vocal jazz ensembles in the United States.

Late Night Blues has won numerous honors and awards at the Collegiate Showcase Festival in Chicago. In addition to giving concerts frequently in the Chicago area, the group has been invited to perform at the International Association of Jazz Educators Convention, the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Music Conference, and John Jacobson’s “America Sings” Festival.

Blue Vocal Jazz Ensemble

The vocal jazz ensemble Blue is for the study and performance of vocal jazz literature of all styles. This ensemble gives a concert each term as well as performances off campus.

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