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Jazz Studies at Elmhurst University, Elmhurst, IL

This blog contains direct quotes from websites as of 2023. Programs and policies do change, at colleges, from time to time, so please check with the colleges directly to receive any updates. These are not, necessarily, the biggest, best, or most popular programs at the college, but they are the ones that just “caught my eye” as unique, special, interesting, or just plain awesome. They are randomly listed in the blog section of this website. Enjoy!


From the Elmhurst University website, 2023: “The bachelor of music in jazz studies degree offers a wealth of instructional resources, including coursework in improvisation, jazz history and theory; applied jazz lessons; and an abundance of performing experience, both in small combos and in large ensembles.


“With an extensive roster of performer/teachers, a wealth of Chicago-area cultural opportunities, and a nationally recognized jazz band and Jazz Festival, we have an established reputation in America’s signature art form. Our degree program strives to prepare musicians for a variety of performance and composing careers in jazz and commercial music.”


“The Elmhurst University Jazz Band has gained international acclaim as a truly outstanding collegiate jazz ensemble. Under the direction of Doug Beach, the band has received outstanding ratings at jazz festivals from many jazz greats. In addition, the band has received numerous awards from DownBeat magazine.



“The band has toured 17 nations and twice has been honored with invitations from the U.S. State Department to tour Europe. Frequent performances with well-known guest artists are a regular part of the band’s schedule.


“The band also hosts the annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival, a major event that attracts the best jazz bands from around the country and is adjudicated by the greatest names in jazz today. The band has produced numerous recordings, all available on CD.


“The Elmhurst University Jazz Band has earned worldwide acclaim. In June of 2014, the Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards named the Elmhurst University Jazz Band the Undergraduate College winner in the large jazz ensemble category.


“The band has performed in Greece, Romania, England, Croatia, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Indonesia, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, Canada and the Bahamas. It has twice toured Europe at the invitation of the U.S. State Department. It has appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Northsea Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival and others. In 1997, the band was the only college jazz ensemble invited to perform at the Jak Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.


“Closer to home, the Jazz band has performed at festivals across the United States, received outstanding ratings from jazz greats Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Rob McConnell, Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker and Bob Brookmeyer among others. In 2001, the band accompanied Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Chicago Jazz Festival in Grant Park.


“The band regularly appears with some of the top musicians in professional jazz. Recent guest artists have included Bobby Shew, the Yellowjackets, Patti Austin, John Pizzarelli, Nnenna Freelon, Denis DiBlasio, Michael Davis, Tom Scott, Bill Watrous, Patrick Williams and Doc Severinson.”


Elmhurst is one of the colleges featured in my new book (click image for additional information):



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