Carleton’s Music Department features a number of wonderful ensembles, including many in the Jazz Area.

Carleton Jazz, Spring 2017
Carleton Jazz, Spring 2017

The Carleton Jazz Ensemble

MUSC 190 – 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice

Rehearsals: Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (Shackel Rehearsal Hall)

The Carleton Jazz Ensemble’s focus is on improvisation and the fusion between jazz, rock, funk, and Latin influences. This large ensemble often features both student artists and professional musicians from the Twin Cities community.

Each term, new works are created depending on the interests of the members of the group. In addition, each concert features repertoire ranging from historically significant classics to music hot of the press. Often, compositions are also learned by ear.

Subsets of the Jazz Ensemble complement each performance. These “combos” focus even more heavily on improvisation.

Prerequisites: Admission by audition.

The PDFs on the side of the page contain Jazz Ensemble audition pieces. Here are the specific instructions for each instrument regarding their sight reading piece: 

  • Piano: Please prepare letter G though letter J
  • Bass: Please prepare letter G though J
  • Drums: Please prepare letter J to the end of the piece
  • Guitar: Please prepare J through K
  • Alto, Tenor, and Bari Sax: Please prepare K through L
  • Trumpet: Please prepare J
  • Trombone: Please prepare G through J

All auditioners: Please prepare to perform 3 things:

  1. The portion of the PDF mentioned above
  2. A prepared piece of your choice
  3. 12 measures of a blues

Drum set auditioners: Please plan on playing a sample of the following grooves: medium swing, up swing, bossa nova, samba, and funk


Jazz Chamber Groups

MUSC 194 – 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice (time/location TBA)

If you are interested in being in a Jazz Chamber Group, please let Ms. Caviani know at your audition, and she will help connect you with others who are also interested. Any combination of instruments, including vocals, is possible.

Coordinated by Nikki Melville, chamber groups meet once per week with an instructor and once per week on their own. In the Jazz Area, Chamber Group coaches are: Caviani, Harris, and Keel. 

No audition required.


Jazz Workshop 

MUSC 196 – 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice (time/location TBA)

This is a Workshop format where students learn basic techniques of combo playing, including improvisation. 

No audition required. Student cannot be simultaneously registered for Music 190, Jazz Ensemble.