Michigan Jazz Educators Association
The Michigan Jazz Educators Association aims to actively support jazz education,
performance and
heighten awareness throughout the state, bridging the upper and
peninsula and the Great Lakes area.
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E D U C A T I O N 

Alma College - Alma

Central Michigan University - Mt. Pleasant

Ferris State University - Big Rapids

Lansing Community College - Lansing

Michigan State University - East Lansing

Mott Community College - Flint

Saginaw Valley State University - Saginaw


Alma College
Alma College Music Department
614 W. Superior St.
Alma, MI     48801
Ph:  (989) 463-7167   Music Department

Web Site:  http://www.alma.edu/academics/music

Jeff AyresJazz Director:  Jeff Ayres, trumpet
Director, Alma College Jazz Ensemble
Eddy Music Building
Ph:  (989) 463-7167
e-mail: ayres@alma.edu

Jeff Ayres has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University with a minor in Jazz Studies. He has also completed two years of graduate study in trumpet performance and has served as a graduate assistant at both the University of South Carolina and Bowling Green State University. He recently earned a master’s degree in Advanced Instrumental Conducting from CMU and is currently the trumpet teacher at Alma College.

Bands:   Alma College Jazz Ensemble
For its three annual concerts, the Jazz Ensemble plays a mix of big band jazz and jazz combo literature.
The group also hosts an annual high school jazz festival on Alma’s campus.

Albion Music Faculty

Jazz Events:  http://www.alma.edu/gateways/news-events/

Central Michigan University
School of Music
1400 East Campus Drive
162 Music Building ¦ Moore Hall, Room 129
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859 
Ph:  (989) 774-3281
e-mail:  musicadmit@cmich.edu

School of Music Website

Jazz Director:  Rob Smith, Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies
                                   Rob Smith - Profile
Ph: (989) 774-1269
e-mail:  smith2rm@cmich.edu

Rob SmithRob Smith, Associate Professor of Music-Jazz Studies at Central Michigan University, graduated from Central Michigan University in 1986.  He earned a Master of Music in Jazz Studies Degree from The University of North Texas (1989), where he performed in the world-renowned One O’clock Lab Band (1986-89) and can be heard on recordings  (’87, ’88, ’89).  Most recently, Smith held a faculty position at The University of North Carolina-Greensboro, the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program (2004-05).    He has also taught at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada (1991-93, 1997-98), Michigan State University (1994-97), Mott Community College (1995-97), Interlochen Arts Academy (2000) and Interlochen Jazz Camp (2010), and Central Michigan University (2000-2004). 

Bands:   Jazz Central 
¦  Jazz Lab 1  ¦  Vocal Jazz Ensemble (director: Alan Gumm)
CMUJazz Central
CMU Jazz Central - Rob Smith, Director

Jazz has been a part of Central Michigan University since 1956, when the "Swingin' Chips" were organized. Students at CMU can participate in - Jazz Lab I, Jazz Central, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and jazz percussion groups. Auditions for jazz bands generally take place the first week of classes.

CMU School of Music Faculty  ¦  School of Music Events

Jazz Festival:  CMU Jazz Weekend (February 2016)
                                        Guest artist:  Walter White, trumpet

Ferris State University
The Music Center
1201 S. State Street
Big Rapids, Michigan 49307 
Ph:  (231) 591-2501

Website:   The Music Center
Ferris State Jazz Band
Jazz Director:  Matthew Moresi, Assistant Professor, Director of Jazz Band
Music Center 110
Ph: (231) 591-2587
e-mail:  MattMoresi@ferris.edu

Besides directing the jazz band, Matt Moresi also teaches courses in Beginning Piano and Music Appreciation.  Moresi graduated from the University of Oregon earning both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, while studying trombone and jazz arranging/composition.  He has won many awards for his playing and writing including the 2003 Reno jazz Festival Outstanding College Performer, the 2004 Reno Jazz Festival Outstanding College Trombonist, and a finalist for the 2005 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards.  The UNC Jazz Press currently publishes his arrangements.  Moresi continues to remain active as an educator, performer, writer, and clinician.

Bands:    FSU Jazz Band 

The FSU Jazz Band is sponsored by Ferris State University as part of its Music for Life! initiative.  The FSU Jazz Band performs traditional and contemporary literature for big band, along with additional instruction in improvisation.  Membership is open by audition to university students and members of the community.  Auditions are required for new and returning members.  The auditions are held on Monday and Wednesday evening in the first week of classes.  FSU Jazz Band rehearsals are Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30-6:45 p.m.

Faculty:  http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/colleges/artsands/musicwebsite/faculty-staff.htm

Jazz Events:   http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/colleges/artsands/musicwebsite/Music-Center-Concerts.htm

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Lansing Community College
Humanities & Performing Arts Department
Arts and Sciences Building, Room 255
419 N. Washington Square
Lansing, MI  48933 
Ph:  (517) 483-1018

Website:  http://www.lcc.edu/cma/music/

Jazz Director:  Jon Gewirtz, Band Instructor
Ph:  (517) 483-1507
e-mail:   jgewirtz@lcc.edu

Bands:   LCC Jazz Ensemble

Faculty:  http://www.lcc.edu/hums/music/staff/

Jazz Events:  http://www.lcc.edu/cma/events/

Michigan State University
College of Music
102 Music Practice Building, 333 West Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 353-5340

Website:  MSU College of Music - Jazz Studies

Jazz Director:  Rodney Whitaker, Associate Professor of Double Bass, Director of Jazz Studies
Ph:  (517) 432-2194
e-mail:  whitak22@msu.edu

Rodney Whitaker is an internationally renowned Mack Avenue recording artist, jazz bassist, professor of jazz double bass, director of Jazz Studies and artistic director for the Professors of Jazz at Michigan State University where he has built one of the most distinguished jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the United States of America. Whitaker, with one of the most undeniably distinctive bear-sized bass tones, is considered to be one of the leading bass performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States. Whitaker received his first national recognition performing with the Harrison/Blanchard Quintet.

A proven and committed jazz educator, Whitaker has presented numerous master classes across the nation at locations such as Duke University, Howard University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, the New School (NY), Lincoln Center, and the Detroit Jazz Festival. In addition, he is a consultant with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the development of a jazz education department, and has served on the faculties of the University of Michigan and Juilliard Institute of Jazz. Whitaker attended Wayne State University, and studied with Robert Gladstone, principal bass with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and trumpeter Marcus Belgrave.

Bands:  http://www.music.msu.edu/performance/student-ensembles/jazz-ensembles

The MSU Bebop Spartans
Jazz Orchestra I (The Be-Bop Spartans)
The nineteen-piece Jazz Orchestra I (The Be-Bop Spartans) is a young, swinging college band playing the repertoire of the great jazz masters as well as a wide range of soul, swing, blues, and gospel. The group’s instrumentation includes saxophone, trombone, trumpet, bass, drums, piano, guitar, and vocalists.
Conductor: Rodney Whitaker

Jazz Orchestra II and III
Conductors: Etienne Charles (II), Michael Dease (III)

Jazz Octet I
The eight-piece Jazz Octet I blends the sounds of big band with small group performance. This ensemble features the most advanced students of MSU’s jazz area, giving them plenty of opportunities for improvisation. The group’s instrumentation includes bass, drums, piano, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and vocals.
Conductor: Diego Rivera

Jazz Octets II-IV
Octet II - Diego Rivera, conductor
Octet III - Xavier Davis, conductor
Octet IV - Randy Napoleon, conductor

Jazz Combos
There are ten jazz combos in the Jazz Studies program, each consisting of four to six members forming quartets, quintets, and sextets. Students audition at the beginning of each school year and are placed in a combo, which is coached by one of the combo directors or graduate assistants. Class performance time takes place in Hart Recital Hall each week where combos perform two selections. Combo members are responsible for their own repertoire and arrangements.
Directors: Randy Gelispie, Michael Dease

MSU Jazz Faculty:  http://www.music.msu.edu/areas-studios/jazz-studies
Etienne Charles Xavier Davis Michael Dease Randy Gelispe
Etienne Charles
Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet
Xavier Davis
Associate Professor of Jazz Piano
Michael Dease
Assistant Professor of Jazz Trombone
Randy Gelispie
Instructor of Jazz Drums

Randy Napoleon Kenneth Prouty Diego Rivera Rodney Whitaker
Randy Napoleon
Assistant Professor of Jazz Guitar
Kenneth Prouty
Associate Professor of Musicology and Jazz Studies, Area Chair of Musicology
Diego Rivera
Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies, Saxophone, and Improvisation
Rodney Whitaker
University Distinguished Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies

Faculty Ensemble:  MSU Professors of Jazz
The MSU Professors of Jazz has now expanded to a seven-piece ensemble featuring Etienne Charles (trumpet), Randy Gelispie (drums), Diego Rivera (tenor saxophone), Xavier Davis (piano), Randy Napoleon (jazz guitar), Michael Dease (trombone), and Rodney Whitaker (bass). It continues to perform music from the jazz canon, including standards, jazz classics, and original compositions. Members of the Professors of Jazz perform internationally, nationally, and locally to support Michigan jazz presenters and educators. 

Faculty:  http://music.msu.edu/faculty/faculty-alphabetical/by-areas/jazz-studies/

Jazz Events:   MSU Events Calendar - Jazz Studies

Jazz Festival:   MSU Jazz Spectacular (April 2016)

MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence Program

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Mott Community College
Fine Arts Division
Mott Memorial Bldg 1031, 1401 East Court St.
Flint, MI   48503
Ph:  (810) 762-0332
e-mail:  mottmusic@mcc.edu

Website:  http://www.mcc.edu/music/index.shtml

Jazz Director:  
John Hill, Jazz Ensemble Director, Jazz Appreciation
Ph: (810) 762-0332
e-mail:  john.hill@mcc.edu
Mott Memorial Building Office 1032

Frank Yon, Jazz Combo, Jazz Appreciation
Ph:  (810) 762-0459
e-mail:  Franklin.Yon@mcc.edu
Mott Memorial Building - MMB1031

James Coviak, Steelheads Director
Ph:  (810) 232-3505
e-mail:   James.Coviak@mcc.edu
Bands:   Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo
Steelheads Percussion Ensemble - James Coviak, Director
MCC Steelheads
MCC Steelheads
The Mott Middle College High School and Mott Community College Steel Bands are dynamic steel drum and percussion ensembles from the campus of Mott Community College in Flint. Nicknamed the “Steelheads”, the groups perform both separately and together in dozens of events each year throughout the community of greater Flint and across the state of Michigan. 
The steel band curriculum was created in 1993 at Mott Middle College High School — a program operated by the Genesee Intermediate School District.

Founded and directed by James Coviak (photo top center), the “Steelheads” have performed in an impressive list of major venues across North America and Europe. The group is consistently recognized for musical excellence. Highlights have included showcase concerts at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Bands of America, and the Paris Conservatoire, as well as international jazz festivals in Montreux, Nice, Vienne, Syracuse, and Detroit.

MCC Faculty:  http://www.mcc.edu/music/mus_faculty.shtml

Jazz Events:   http://www.mcc.edu/music/mus_calendar.shtm

Saginaw Valley State University
Department of Music, Arbury Fine Arts Center 226
7400 Bay Road
University Center, MI  48710
Ph:  (989) 964-4159
e-mail:  music@svsu.edu

Website:   http://www.svsu.edu/music/

Jazz Director:  Jeff Hall, Jazz Artist in Residence
Arbury Fine Arts 104A
Ph: (989) 964-2199
e-mail:  jwh@svsu.edu

Bands:   Jazz Ensemble

Faculty:   http://www.svsu.edu/music/faculty/

Jazz Events:  http://www.svsu.edu/music/currentconcertsandevents/

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