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 and Senior Lecturer Diehl. 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!

Amherst College Jazz Ensemble Family Weekend Concert.

Stop by Buckley Recital Hall this Saturday, November 4th at 8:00 p.m. to see the Amherst College Jazz Ensemble perform. Pieces performed will include John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Bill Byers, arrangements by Dan Langa and much more. Clarinetist, alumn and visiting professor Daryll Harper will be featured in the concert. We'll be receiving donations in cash and canned food for the Amherst Survival Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

Amherst College Jazz Ensemble Homecoming Concert.

The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble, directed by Bruce Diehl, will be performing Friday, October 20th at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall. Trombone player Rob tapper will be featured. We'll be receiving donations in cash and canned food for the Amherst Survival center. The concert is free and open to the public.

Jazz@Schwemm's October

Make sure to stop by Schwemm's Coffee House in Keefe Campus Center during the month of october! Every Thursday of the month, a professional musician's ensemble will be performing at 9:00pm, followed by student groups. The events are free and open to the public.

Jeff Holmes Jazz Ensemble Performance

Jeff Holmes Big Band @ The Powerhouse facebook event

The Jeff Holmes Jazz Ensemble will be performing this Thursday 9/28 9:00 p.m.at the Powerhouse, featuring Dawning Holmes on vocals.


2017 Audition Materials are posted and ready for all to prepare!  Look for these on the Audition Materials web page and there will be hard copies posted outside of Bruce's Office (216 Arms Music Center).  Auditions will take place September 5-8.  

Facebook Presence!

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

Upcoming Concerts!


Join the Adjunct Faculty on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 7pm in Buckley Recital Hall to hear their annual performance.

This concert is free and open to the public and represents a great chance to learn about our fabulous teachers and how they can help you learn in this genre.


Last Updated: April 4, 2018