Photo of Laura Caviani

Laura Caviani

Director of the Jazz Program and Senior Lecturer in Jazz Piano, Music

Education & Professional History

Lawrence University, BMus; University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), MMus

Eastman School of Music, summers of 1982 and 1992

Laura Caviani received the B.M. in Composition from Lawrence University and the M.M. in Improvisation from the University of Michigan. She also studied with composer and jazz pianist JoAnne Brackeen and at the Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Japan. She directs the Jazz Area at Carleton College in Minnesota, where she conducts their Jazz Ensemble, and coordinates all jazz chamber groups and classes.

To protect the health and safety of the students during COVID, Ms. Caviani, along with her ensemble colleagues in the Music Department, collaborated with engineer Matthew Zimmerman to transform Carleton’s performance/rehearsal spaces into a multi–room recording studio, where  students developed audio/video recording skills.

Ms. Caviani is a veteran of three decades of performing, recording and composing. Highlights include touring Japan with vocalist Karrin Allyson and teaching jazz in Argentina. She has seven acclaimed recordings to her credit, and a long list of supporting roles with local musicians. Recent recording projects include: Mysterious Thelonious and Confluence, both of which feature Chris Bates on bass and Dave Schmalenberger on drums. She has set poetry to music, including Edna St. Vincent Millay for Prudence Johnson, Shakespeare for The Great River Chorale, and Rumi for Vocal Essence. She recently attended the renowned Millay Colony for the Arts, where she began setting the words of 19th century activists Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony to music for the Carleton College Choir. For more information, visit:


At Carleton since 2003.

Highlights & Recent Activity

Received “Welcome Christmas” Award for best Christmas Carol by VocalEssence, a Minneapolis based Choir, under the direction of Philip Brunelle. (2015)

Current Courses

  • Fall 2020
    MUSC 175: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 175J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 179: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 179J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 190: Carleton Jazz Ensemble
  •  
    MUSC 195: Jazz Chamber Music
  •  
    MUSC 196: Jazz Workshop
  •  
    MUSC 275: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 275J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 279: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 279J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  • Winter 2021
    MUSC 175: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 175J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 179: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 179J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 190: Carleton Jazz Ensemble
  •  
    MUSC 195: Jazz Chamber Music
  •  
    MUSC 196: Jazz Workshop
  •  
    MUSC 275: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 275J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 279: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 279J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  • Fall 2021
    MUSC 175: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 175J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 179: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 179J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 190: Carleton Jazz Ensemble
  •  
    MUSC 195: Jazz Chamber Music
  •  
    MUSC 196: Jazz Workshop
  •  
    MUSC 275: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 275J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 279: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 279J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  • Winter 2022
    MUSC 175: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 175J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 179: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 179J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 190: Carleton Jazz Ensemble
  •  
    MUSC 195: Jazz Chamber Music
  •  
    MUSC 196: Jazz Workshop
  •  
    MUSC 275: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 275J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 279: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 279J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  • Spring 2022
    MUSC 175: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 175J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 179: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 179J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 190: Carleton Jazz Ensemble
  •  
    MUSC 195: Jazz Chamber Music
  •  
    MUSC 196: Jazz Workshop
  •  
    MUSC 275: Jazz Piano
  •  
    MUSC 275J: Jazz Piano (Juried)
  •  
    MUSC 279: Jazz Improvisation
  •  
    MUSC 279J: Jazz Improvisation (Juried)