Jazz @ Amherst

Welcome to the new Jazz@Amherst website! 

Prospective and current students: read below to find out more about our program and how you can be a part of it. Scroll further down for Jazz @ Amherst news.


What is Jazz@Amherst?

The Combo Program: small jazz groups, tailored to individual levels of experience and preferred styles. Student-led and faculty-coached, the combos are a great way to grow as a gigging musician.

The Jazz Ensemble: our "big band" jazz ensemble, directed by Bruce Diehl. The ensemble plays all sorts of charts, from Duke Ellington to Fred Sturm, and plays an original piece each year as part of our McBride '59 Commission Series.

Jazz Studies Courses: from basic jazz theory to seminars on improvised music, Amherst College offers a diverse set of courses related to Jazz Studies, taught by Prof. Robinson, Senior Lecturer Diehl and new to us this academic year-Prof. Harper. Additionally, the Music Department brings highly respected scholars to speak and perform every semester.

Extra-departmental student projects: from jazz-hip-hop fusion bands to 10-piece swing ensembles, Amherst student-musicians are constantly exploring jazz outside of the classroom or recital hall. Paying gigs are common for experienced musicians, both on and off campus, and even sometimes involve department faculty.

Prospective students:

We'd love to hear from you, and even host you for a daytime visit and evening rehearsal. Click here for more details, including tips for how to include jazz in your application. 

Current students:

Want to join our program: we want you to as well! Click here for audition materials, and make sure to email bpdiehl@amherst.edu with any questions.


Jazz @ Amherst wants to hear from Amherst Alums who participated in the jazz program during their time at Amherst. Please feel free to share via email and/or facebook what you have been up to, and where life has taken you to be.

What is Hip?

Current news about Jazz-related departmental happenings - check back frequently!

 Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos Auditions Fall 2019 info

Click the link to the left for the audition piece and to find more information on the overall (painless!!) process.

We will look forward to meeting with you between Sept. 3-6 at various times of the days-there's a sign-up sheet outside Bruce's office (216 Arms Music center). This functions as a good time to chat with returning students about their jazz performance goals and to meet students new to AC or new to our vibrant program. Email Bruce with any questions.  


Facebook Presence!

Be sure to like Amherst College Jazz on Facebook - ACJE Facebook Page

Upcoming Concerts!

The Spring Semester will be an exciting time for all things Jazz@Amherst. We will look forward to presenting the world premiere of a yet-to-be named piece composed for the Amherst College Jazz Ensemble by NYC-based Jihye Lee. Her 13 piece jazz ensemble will perform on the same evening, February 15, 2020. Join us! 

Last UpdatedJanuary 8, 2020