WIU Jazz

Jazz Studies at Western Illinois University is a comprehensive degree option at the undergraduate level and as a minor as well. Graduate options include both performance and composition. Our students who graduate have been accepted into some of the most elite jazz programs in the country, doctoral programs, after finishing an MM in Jazz, and some are teaching at the university level. The program is highly visible and our students perform approximately 50 performances per semester. The jazz area produces and participates in three festivals annually and brings many internationally renowned guest artists each year to work with our talented students. Recent guests have included Jim McNeely, Duffy Jackson, Rob Parton, Jon Faddis, Bobby Shew, Roger Ingram, Chris Vadala, Rick Simerly, Gunnar Mossblad, Chris Collins, Bob Mintzer, John Clayton, Jeff Halsey, The Eddie Gomez Trio, The Jeff Hamilton Trio, The Harold Danko Trio, John Fedchock, Matt Wilson, Tom Garling, Johnny Trudell, Jack Grassel, Jill Jensen, Leroy Jones, Ashlin Parker, Andy Martin, Mike Vax, and Brian Coyle.



Our undergraduate BM curriculum is a diverse program of study that focuses in three areas.  School of Music Requirements, General Education Studies (Liberal Studies), and specific jazz courses.  In the jazz area we offer courses in Jazz Fundamentals, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Arranging and Composition, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz History, and Jazz Piano.  Students can also study Applied Jazz on their instrument, and can participate in both large and small jazz ensembles.  Students must also complete a 1/2 junior recital and full senior recital.


The graduate program in Jazz Studies includes options in both performance and composition.  The program consists of a set of core courses in music research, theory, and history, applied study in the area of focus with one of our artist faculty, large and small ensemble experience, and other specialized course offerings.  The degree plan is highly adaptable and is tailored to student's long-term goals and needs.


To apply, please visit School of Music

Spotlight On
Jazz Festival Entry

Jazz Series 2021-22

25 - Post 6 Big Band - 7:00 to 9:00 American Legion - 

5 - JSO Colchester Labor Day Celebration 
10 - JSO Balloon Rally 3:30 Call 5:30-6:30 Vince Grady 
17 - School of Music Collage Concert 
24 - JSO with Guest Artists James Buennig and Crystal Rebone, 7:30 COFAC Recital Hall
29 - Post 6 Big Band 7:00 - 9:00 American Legion

6 - Hopper Jazztet 7:30pm COFAC
12- All Jazz Showcase 7:30pm COFAC
27 - Post 6 Big Band 7:00 - 9:00 American Legion

15- 17 JSO Tour with special guest Leroy Jones
17 - JSO with special guest Leroy Jones 7:30 COFAC recital Hall

3 - Jazz Band Concert 7:30pm COFAC
26 - Post 6 Big Band - 7:00 to 9:00 American Legion

18 - 19 Jazz Festival with jazz trumpeter Ashlin Parker
23 - Post 6 Big Band - 7:00 to 9:00 American Legion

2 - Hopper Jazztet COFAC Recital Hall 7:30
26 - Jazz Combo Concert 7:30pm COFAC Recital Hall
30 - Post 6 Big Band - 7:00 to 9:00 American Legion

20 - JSO Concert 7:30 pm COFAC
28 - Jazz Band Concert 7:30pm COFAC
27 - Post 6 Big Band 7:00 to 9:00 American Legion