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Jazz Studies

Jazz Studies at Emory is a comprehensive instrumental program, offering courses in improvisation, history, private instruction, and large and small ensemble performance. Our mission is to educate students about the rich tradition of American jazz while providing insight into the creative process through performance and analysis.

Our program is comprised of artist-educators whose backgrounds provide a wealth of industry experience and expertise. Our students are a mix of undergraduates and graduates spanning the liberal arts. Students may choose to develop their improvisation skills through the study of classic repertory in our smaller ensembles or the big band, which focuses on essential large ensemble literature of the past and present.

All ensembles regularly perform as a part of the concert season as well as the Emory Annual Jazz Festival and other campus events. Private study with our jazz faculty and artist affiliates is available to all students.

Jazz Faculty

Gary Motley Headshot

Director of Jazz Studies

Gary Motley
Professor of Practice
Burlington Road Building, Room 305
Dwight Andrews Headshot
Dwight Andrews
Professor of Music Theory & African American Music
Burlington Road Building, Room 218
Dan Baraszu Headshot
Dan Baraszu
Artist Affiliate: Jazz Guitar
Justin Chesarek Headshot
Justin Chesarek
Artist Affiliate: Jazz Percussion
Randy Hunter Headshot
Randy Hunter
Artist Affiliate: Jazz Woodwinds

Emory Jazz Studies

The Emory Jazz Studies program currently serves over forty Emory students. These students are provided with instruction in jazz history, instrumental performance, and literature.

Our ensembles serve as the basis for the development of performance skills in the jazz genre, while our history, theory and improvisation classes provide a solid foundation in the fundamental principles and literature of traditional American jazz. This experience is complemented with the option of quality private study with Emory faculty and outstanding industry affiliates from the Atlanta community.

Our program is further enhanced by the ongoing establishment of partnerships with many of the industry's top jazz artists and educators through our concert and lecture series. Held in early February, the Emory Annual Jazz Festival regularly hosts nationally recognized musicians and features stellar performances by the Emory Jazz Ensembles. Visiting artists interact with students through master classes and courses within the jazz curriculum.

Past Performers

  • Wessell Anderson
  • Kenny Barron
  • Carmen Bradford
  • Dave Brubeck
  • John Clayton
  • Eddie Daniels
  • Jon Faddis
  • Benny Golson
  • Jon Hendricks
  • Joe Lovano
  • Russell Malone
  • Nicholas Payton
  • Herlin Riley
  • David Sanchez
  • Turtle Island String Quartet
  • The Yellow Jackets