Under the direction of J. Estes Milner Professor of Music Bill Lawing, the Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned “big band” of approximately 18 musicians. The group rehearses and performs throughout the year, with several events highlighting the schedule.
Each season, the Jazz Ensemble opens the Town of Davidson’s Concerts on the Green with the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra in September, and holds their first full concert during Family Weekend in late October.
After touring with the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra, the Jazz Ensemble takes the stage of Tyler-Tallman Hall at the end of January for a riveting guest artist concert, featuring an accomplished member of the jazz faculty at Davidson. The ensemble has had the pleasure of performing with saxophonist Patrick Brown, percussionist Adam Snow, guitarist Dustin Hofsess, and, most recently, saxophonist Tim Gordon. The group also hosts a “Sing with the Jazz Ensemble” competition each spring, allowing student singers a chance to perform backed by the full big band ensemble in a crowd-favorite Live Thursday concert.
Over the past several seasons, the Jazz Ensemble has collaborated with the Berklee College of Music to bring a major guest artist to campus in April. The group first welcomed Latin jazz guitarist Bernardo Hernández, followed by trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti. In 2014, the young, internationally recognized jazz saxophonist and singer Grace Kelly came to Davidson’s campus for a three-day residency, culminating in a thrilling performance in a packed Duke Family Performance Hall. This season, the Jazz Ensemble will be collaborating with award-winning trombonist and jazz vocalist Aubrey Logan.
The Jazz Ensemble also has the privilege of closing out the Town of Davidson’s Concerts on the Green towards the end of their season, as well as offering a fun-filled Senior Soirée performance during graduation weekend. Senior members of the ensemble serve as featured soloists, in recognition of their talent and their dedication to jazz at Davidson.
Tuesday & Thursday, 4:30-6:15 p.m., Tyler-Tallman Hall
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Prof. Bill Lawing.