The Jazz area in Richland's Music program teaches all aspects and historical periods of jazz to music majors, minors and general students. Students perform while developing career skills for all contemporary music settings.
Important features include annual festival appearances, performing with top jazz guest artists and hosting a Richland Jazz Festival and Clinic: Carnival of Steel Festival.
Big Band Jazz Ensemble
The Richland Big Band Jazz Ensemble explores each era of jazz in the large ensemble format. Developing ensemble sound and performing over 30 charts annually are the keys to this successful group. Performances on and off campus with guest artists occur annually with this trademark ensemble of Richland. Various guest artists have appeared with the Big Band, including Steve Weist, Rodney Booth, Mike Steinel, Tim Ishii, Tim Miller, and Kathy Kosins.
Chamber Jazz: Small Group Jazz Combos
Jazz Combos at Richland are used to develop the improvising soloist musician through many periods of traditional to avant-garde small group jazz. Functioning artistically in the chamber jazz setting is the focus for each individual player and singer. Learning standard jazz repertoire, improvisational techniques and reading and listening skills allow Richland jazz students to excel. Several small groups are available each semester.
Contemporary Jazz styles in world music, rock and fusion embody the repertoire of Richland’s Fusion Band. Challenging music from various modern commercial music periods provides exciting opportunities to students and audiences.
Jazz Improvisation Ensemble
Learning improvisation techniques in a laboratory setting with much focus on soloing styles and devices that is the focus of this group. Fewer performances and more discussion create a methods class for this ensemble to develop related skills.
The Richland Jazz Singers is a select vocal jazz group that explores all styles of jazz composed or arranged for vocalists with and without rhythm section accompaniment. Everything from beatbox to big band styles and ballads can be found in the concert program for this excellent showcase ensemble. See the Choral/Vocal webpage for all details and contact information about the Jazz Singers.