University of Mary Jazz Ensembles

Under the direction of Dr. Brian Lydeen, the University of Mary Jazz Ensembles are comprised of outstanding student musicians. These ensembles are open to all students by audition and perform a wide range of styles ranging from the Swing Era and Great American Songbook through contemporary jazz and popular music styles of today. In addition, they commission new works from professional as well as student composers.

The Jazz Combo is a select group that focuses on improvisation and performs at various events on and off campus throughout the community. The Music Department also hosts a Jazz Combo Camp for high school students during the first week of June.

Each year at the end of January, the Music Department presents the annual University of Mary Jazz Festival bringing hundreds of students from across the region to campus. Over the years, our ensembles have shared the stage with world-renowned guest artists including Terrell Stafford, Bob Mintzer, Tom “Bones” Malone, Jon Faddis, Don Ellis, Bill Watrous, Jeff Coffin, Kevin Mahogany, Kenny Werner, Nestor Torez, and The New York Voices.

University of Mary jazz ensembles have won numerous awards at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in suburban Chicago, performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and released two recordings on the Sea Breeze record label.

Jazz and Steel Band Tour