Jazz Ensemble 1 is the flagship of the Ball State jazz program and enjoys the reputation of being one of the best collegiate bands in the country. The band rehearses five hours per week and tours throughout the United States and around the world. Many of the ensemble members are jazz studies majors.
The band has performed at the National Theatre in Costa Rica (2019), Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland (2017), toured Poland, Prague, and Berlin (2014), as well as China (2012). Jazz 1 has received numerous awards from over 20 appearances at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in Chicago, the Kansas City Jazz Fest, and the National Collegiate Jazz Fest in Mobile, Alabama. The band presented an invited two-set performance at Dizzy's Club in New York City in 2022 (pictured above).
Jazz 1 students are challenged on a number of different levels from sight-reading to preparing music sent by guest artists. The ensemble released its very first recording comprised of five student compositions and one faculty composition in the Fall of 2021, and will continue to do so each year. Jazz majors also produce a unique senior project which features their music and arrangements recorded in our state-of-the-art recording studios.
The jazz program brings in national and international guest artists per year to perform with the band. Some past guests have included Mike Clark, Jeff Coffin, Buddy DeFranco, Dena DeRose, John Fedchock, Wycliffe Gordon, Fareed Haque, Ingrid Jensen, Wynton Marsalis, Bria Skonberg, Grant Stewart, Byron Stripling, Allen Vizzutti, and Bobby Watson.
- Monday: 11-11:50 a.m.
- Wednesday: 8-9:30 p.m.
- Friday: 11-11:50 a.m.
Hargreaves Music Building (MU), room 117—Jazz Room
- MUSC 141, section 1A (0 credit – undergraduate)
- MUSC 341, section 1A (1 credit – undergraduate)
- MUSC 540, section 1D (1 credit – graduate)
Join the Ensemble
**Please note that all Fall 2021 auditions will take place via Zoom with all jazz faculty present. Please email graduate assistant Aron Callard to set up your audition time.**
- Wednesday, August 18, 2021 – saxophones
- Thursday, August 19, 2021 – brass
- Friday, August 20, 2021 – rhythm section
A Zoom link will be sent the night before your scheduled audition. Please be in the waiting room 5 minutes before your audition. Please have a backing track with a speaker so we can hear you play something that you have prepared like a jazz standard, jazz transcription, etc. Sight reading will be emailed to you during the audition.
Here are the requirements for your ensemble audition:
- Prepare something that you have been working on or have performed in the past. It could be a tune, a transcribed solo, or a piece of music in a jazz setting.
- All major scales
- Improvise over a B-flat blues
- Sight read