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.

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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 click here to access the Alumni Network!   

What is Hip?

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


2019 McBride '59 Jazz Commission Series Concert

We are pleased to work with Sara Jacovino as our 2019 Jazz Commission Composer. She has created a mammoth piece for us to play.....titled "Mammoth Interruption". The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble will premiere this piece as part of a short set on March 23, 2019 at 8pm. Ms Jacovino will lead a performance of her own group, the Sara JAcovino Quartet (including Carmen Staff, piano; Peter Slavov, bass; and Dan Pugach, drums) in the second half of the concert. 

As is a treasured custom, we will donate all proceeds donated at the door to the Amherst Survival Center.

Note-you can click on the awesome poster (designed, with thanks, by Alisa Pearson, in the link at the bottom of this page.

Also-Sara will present her piece in lecture on Saturday, March 23 at 3pm in Arms Music Center Room 7. 

Facebook Presence!

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

Upcoming Concerts!

Spring 2019 (post spring break) looks very BUSY!

March 21 9pm Jazz@Schwemm's featuring Ask Me Now (featuring Prof. Dominic Poccia-Biology)

March 23 3pm "Mammoth Interruption" Composition Lecture by Sara Jacovino  Arms Music Center Room 7

March 23 8pm Amherst College Jazz Ensemble and Sara Jacovino Quartet in Buckley Recital Hall

March 28 9pm Jazz@Schwemm’s featuring the WW Project (Joe LaCreta, David Picchi, Bob Weiner, Bruce Diehl)

March 29 All Day, Evening Five College Jazz Festival hosted at Mt. Holyoke College

March 31 7pm Powerhouse Stephan Crump ’94, Jen Chapin, and Chris Cheek perform the music of Stevie Wonder

April 4 9pm ACJE plays Swing Dance at Powerhouse

April 7 Jazz Combo Masterclass featuring the Ben Kono Group

April 19 8pm Amherst College Jazz Ensemble Senior Celebration

April 22 7pm Jazz Combos in Concert Room 7 (Ascension/Blue Trane/Crescent)

April 24 7pm Jazz Combos in Concert Room 7 (Giant Steps/Impressions/Transition)

Last Updated: April 17, 2019

PDF icon 190419 ACJE Poster (1).pdf1017.41 KB