The primary objective of the Bob Cole Conservatory Jazz Studies area is to prepare our graduates for gainful employment as musicians, educators and music industry professionals. Therefore, the Bob Cole Conservatory Jazz Studies area offers a wide variety of jazz experiences. Coached and conducted by some of the foremost leaders in jazz education, these ensembles attain a high performance level, appearing regularly both on- and off-campus. Carefully chosen performance music is meticulously rehearsed and analyzed so as to impart a thorough understanding of jazz music and how it relates to other musical genres.
Concert Jazz Orchestra
Since 1974, the Concert Jazz Orchestra has enjoyed a reputation as one of the top college jazz ensembles in the United States. Led by CSULB Director of Jazz Studies Jeff Jarvis, this award-winning group is comprised of top-tier musicians performing challenging repertoire. The CJO has achieved local, national, and international recognition through numerous appearances at jazz festivals, music education conventions, and command performances. In 2014 the CJO was a Downbeat Student Music Award Winner in the graduate college large jazz ensemble category. The band has also won 1st place in the college division of the Next Generation Jazz Festival, which resulted in invitations to perform at subsequent Monterey Jazz Festivals.
Individual members of the ensemble have garnered Downbeat Awards for Best Soloist and Best Original Composition in the graduate college category. Other notable Concert Jazz Orchestra performances include the Jazz Educators Network Conference, Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, Playboy Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl, International Association of Jazz Educators, National Association of Music Educators, California Association of School Music Education, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Newport Beach Jazz Party, West Coast Jazz Party, Los Angeles Jazz Institute and more.
The CJO has performed with Wayne Bergeron, Bobby Shew, Les McCann, George Duke, Rich Matteson, Shelly Berg, Pete Christlieb, Gary Foster, Tommy Newsom, Jack Sheldon, Wycliffe Gordon, Airto Moriera, Flora Purim, Bobby McFerrin, Bob McChesney, Chad Wackerman, Ron Stout, Tom Kubis, Eddie Daniels, Dave Pike, Ashley Alexander, John Heard, Bruce Johnstone, Buddy Colette, Don Shelton, Kim Richmond, Tierney Sutton, Eric Marienthal, Christian Jacob, Gary Smulyan, and more.
Studio Jazz Band
Led by CSULB Director of Jazz Studies Jeff Jarvis, the Studio Jazz Band is an important component of the comprehensive Jazz Studies program at Cal State Long Beach. In 2014 this large jazz ensemble won the Western States Jazz Festival while competing with top bands from other California universities. Participation in this ensemble allows Jazz Studies majors, music majors, and non-music majors to hone their big band skills. Students in the SJB receive valuable instruction on improvisation, sightreading, section playing, woodwind doubling, and jazz concepts. Participants perform regularly on and off campus and are exposed to classic and cutting edge large jazz ensemble literature by writers such as Bob Mintzer, Hank Levy, Bill Liston, Bob Florence, John Fedchock, Frank Foster, and more. The SJB benefits from performing with luminary guest artists on a regular basis.
Jazz Lab Band
The Jazz Lab Band provides an excellent opportunity for Jazz Studies majors, music majors, music education majors, and non-music majors to hone their big band skills. Students in the JLB receive valuable instruction on improvisation, sightreading, section playing, woodwind doubling, and jazz concepts. Participants perform regularly on and off campus and are exposed to classic and cutting edge large jazz ensemble literature by such writers as Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Bob Florence and many more. Under the close supervision of the Director of Jazz Studies, a leading BCCM Jazz Studies graduate student who has been awarded the Beau and Jo France Graduate Jazz Studies Scholarship directs this big band.
Jazz combos are a critically important component of a well-rounded jazz education. After the September jazz auditions, interested students are assigned to small jazz groups with players of like ability. Participants are required to master a number of jazz tunes and standards from approved lists each semester. In combos, students develop a keen sense of blend, balance, jazz style, and enhanced improvisational opportunities. Regular performances are scheduled, both on campus and at local jazz venues. Jazz faculty and leading graduate students coach jazz combos. Two proficient combos are chosen by audition and receive combo class credit for rehearsing and performing with the two vocal jazz ensembles.