CMU Faculty Jazz Ensemble
Jazz is alive and well at Central Michigan University. Every February, high school students from all over the State of Michigan participate in the Central Michigan University/Phi Mu Alpha sponsored Jazz Weekend. Jack Saunders started this annual event in 1974 and the first contracted artist was Duke Ellington and his fabulous orchestra. Since that time we have had many prestigious guest artists perform as musical models for high school students, including Phil Woods, Louis Belson, Chuck Mangione, Buddy Rich, and Clark Terry.
Jazz education is a major part of the mission within the School of Music at CMU. For future jazz performers and educators, we currently offer two jazz bands as well as courses in arranging, improvisation, and jazz history. In addition, the Central Michigan University Faculty Jazz Ensemble frequently presents exciting jazz concerts to the public, and eight of CMU’s music faculty are active jazz performers and teachers.