Jazz & African-American
MUSIC ADMISSIONS INFO: Grad Undergrad
Audition Requirements for Undergrad Admission
Jazz Ensemble Auditions are held on the week of Sept. 8, 2015. Audition sign up is outside Rm. 252, Fine Arts Center Music wing. Click for instrumental Jazz Ensemble Audition details (pdf).
Audition music available in Music office or online: Saxophone Trumpet TenorTrombone BassTrb/Tuba Guitar-Piano Bass Drumset
Vocal Jazz Ensemble: click for Ensemble/Audition info, excerpts for Soprano/Alto or Tenor/Bass
Jazz & African-American
Music & Dance Department
For more campus jazz events, see the Fine Arts Center site and click on Jazz under the Calendar tab.
Sun. Sept. 27, 4:30pm, Bezanson
JEFF HOLMES & FRIENDS
Celebrating Billie Holiday & Billy Strayhorn on their centennial birth year; with Dawning Holmes, vocals, UMass faculty, alumni, friends & members of the Jeff Holmes Big Band Tickets
Fri. Oct. 16, 7:30pm, Concert Hall
41st ANNUAL MULTIBAND POPS
Showcase of 15 Jazz, Wind, Brass, Orchestral, Choral, Dance & Percussion Ensembles, plus Minuteman Marching Band
Thurs., Oct. 22, 7:30pm, Bowker
JAZZ ENSEMBLE I & CHAPEL JAZZ
Jeffrey W. Holmes & Felipe Salles, directors Tickets
Tues. Oct. 27, 7:30pm, Bezanson, FREE
JAZZ LAB ENSEMBLE
Mike Caudill & Christian Tremblay, directors
Tues. Nov. 10, 7:30pm, Bezanson
JUDI VINAR, GUEST JAZZ VOCALIST Tickets
Jeffrey W. Holmes, piano; Shigefumi Tomita, bass & Thomas Giampietro, drums
Fri./Sat. Dec. 4/5, 7:30pm, Bowker
UNIVERSITY DANCERS with
JAZZ ENSEMBLE I
Paul Dennis & Jeffrey W. Holmes, directors Tickets: Fri Sat
Includes the Nutcracker Suite, Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn, arrangers with dance alumni choreographers
Mon. Dec. 7, 7:30pm, Bezanson
VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Catherine Jensen-Hole, director
Tues. Dec. 8, 7:30pm, Bowker
JAZZ ENSEMBLE I & CHAMBER CHOIR Tickets
Jeffrey W. Holmes & Tony Thornton, directors
Thurs. Dec. 10, 7:30pm, Bowker
CHAPEL JAZZ & JAZZ LAB ENSEMBLES Tickets
Felipe Salles, Mike Caudill & Christian Tremblay, directors
top of page
JAZZ ENSEMBLE I/STUDIO ORCHESTRA
Jeffrey W. Holmes, director
This award-winning Big Band has gained national and international recognition including top honors at major collegiate jazz festivals and conferences, and ensemble, individual performing, and writing citations from Downbeat Magazine's Annual Student Music Awards. Guest jazz artists are commonly featured with this ensemble. (Recent guests: Sheila Jordan, voice; Jovino Santos Neto, piano)
Strings, winds and percussion augment Jazz Ensemble I to form the Studio Orchestra, seven times named Best Collegiate Studio Orchestra and three times Best Blues/Pop/Rock Ensemble by Downbeat. Faculty and student works are performed prominently along with significant historic repertoire.
CHAPEL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Felipe Salles & Thomas Giampietro, directors
Presents traditional big-band literature, experimental compositions, and pop and rock music.
JAZZ LAB ENSEMBLE
This big-band ensemble performs a varied repertoire, and is conducted by Graduate Jazz majors.
|VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Catherine Jensen-Hole, director
The primary ensemble for vocal jazz studies, it has been named Best Collegiate Jazz Choir by Downbeat magazine. Consisting of 8-12 singers and a rhythm section that is often augmented by horns, the ensemble performs both standard and contemporary jazz repertoire arranged by faculty, students and nationally-recognized vocal jazz arrangers.
CHAMBER JAZZ ENSEMBLES
Jazz Faculty and Jazz Graduate students, directors/coaches
Multiple ensembles perform standard and student-written materials in concert and weekly recital settings.
JAZZ IN JULY
This Fine Arts Center two-week summer program, although not a part of Music Department curricula or degree programs, takes place in the Music wing of the Fine Arts Center and includes jazz faculty members from the Department. (To learn more, please see the website)
Jazz Degree Programs
Undergraduate Jazz Degree Program:
Jazz & African-American Music Studies (JAAMS):
Director: Professor Jeffrey W. Holmes, email@example.com, (413) 545-6046
A jazz performance program which requires junior and senior recitals, plus courses that include jazz history, African-American music, jazz arranging and composition, jazz theory and improvisation, instrument- and voice-related classes, and applied lessons. Students also participate in a broad range of performance styles and ensembles, which is of great use when entering professional careers.
Links to detailed course subplans (pdf format) in Jazz:
See also the Undergraduate Music Programs page & the
Undergraduate Audition Requirements page
Graduate Jazz Degree Program:
Jazz Composition & Arranging
Director: Prof. Jeffrey W. Holmes, firstname.lastname@example.org, (413) 545-6046
Entry Requirements on the Graduate Audition Requirements page
For Subplan/Degree Checklist:
(PDF, Word Doc)
Download Graduate Music Handbook (pdf)
See also the Graduate Music Programs page
The jazz composition and arranging Masters program is intended for musicians who desire to pursue graduate study in the field of jazz studies in order to enhance their own artistry and prepare for professional careers in the jazz field.
Please note: There is no graduate degree in Jazz performance, but candidates for the Masters degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging (click for requirements) may study one of the traditional jazz instruments: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion/drums, bass, piano, voice or guitar, as well as play in jazz ensembles.
Jazz Program News
Jazz Ensemble I & Studio Orchestra performed at the National Association for Music Education 2013 Biennial Eastern Division Conference under the direction of Jeffrey W. Holmes. The guest singer was Sheila Jordan, 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Masters Honoree and vocal jazz icon.
Recent Visiting Jazz Artists:
Randy Brecker, trumpet
Mike Baggetta Quartet
Cyrus Chestnut, piano
Kenny Garrett Quintet *
Dave Liebman, sax
Sheila Jordan, voice
Earl MacDonald's New Directions Ensemble
Royal Hartigan: Blood Drum Spirit
Free Planet Radio
Chris Merz, MM'90, sax
Ernie Watts, sax *
Dave Samuels & Caribbean Jazz Project *
Jovino Santos Neto, piano
Matt Wilson, drums
Paul Winter, sax
New England Jazz Ensemble
U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors Big Band
U.S. Marine Corps, Jazz Ensemble
* = Sponsored by the Fine Arts Center
Blood Drum Spirit
Student Award Winners:
Downbeat Winners 2015, Outstanding Performance
Caleb Davis, Drums, Jazz Soloist
Jazz Ensemble I, Blues/Pop/Rock Group
||At the Villanova Jazz Festival: Our jazz combo City of Four placed first in the Combo Division. Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Jeff Holmes, was first in the Big Band Division. Drummer Caleb Davis '15, trumpeter Sean Elligers MM'15 and saxophonist Mike Caudill '14 (pictured) received Outstanding Soloist awards. The sax and trumpet sections of Jazz Ensemble I received the Best Section awards.
Christian Tremblay won the Fletcher Henderson/Max Roach Endowed Scholarship Award.
Jeffrey Schneider MM'14 and Michael Caudill '14 each won an ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award.
Lucas Apostoleris '15 received the Howard M. Lebow Memorial Scholarship. At the Jazz Education Network conference in Dallas, Lucas' September Again was selected for performance in the Student Composition Showcase.
Mike Caudill MM'16, tenor sax; Christian Tremblay '16, piano; and Lucas Apostoleris '15, drums, auditioned and were selected for the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra. Led by acclaimed jazz recording artist and former member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Sean Jones, the group played two sets at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in Manhattan as well as two nights in Cumberland, MD. http://www.macjo.org
Jazz drummer Thomas Giampietro was featured on the Sabian Cymbal artist's page. http://www.sabian.com/de/artist/tom-giampietro He released his first CD as a leader, A Faith Rewarded, available on CDBaby (see Recordings, below).
Catherine Jensen-Hole was guest conductor of the Maine All State Honors Jazz Choir. She performed and taught for two weeks at the 2012 Jazz in July program.
Of One's Own, the CD of the Jeff Holmes Quartet, was released by Miles High Records. The CD includes acoustic jazz quartet music featuring five original works by Professor Holmes, re-workings of the standards Poinciana and So Long Farewell (from the Sound of Music), and arrangements of contemporary and more traditional straight ahead jazz with Latin and Gospel influences. The CD is available locally at Turn It Up, Barnes & Noble, Newbury Comics, Amherst Music House and Gerry’s Music, and on amazon.com, itunes and cduniverse.
Felipe Salles’ CD Ugandan Suite made Downbeat's Best CD's of 2014 list and received this review from All About Jazz: "Shape-shifting tunes, influences from all over the globe, superb musicianship, layered percussions, an inspired two reed front line rising up from those ebullient layerings, and an ensemble groove of the highest order make Ugandan Suite one of the year's highlights." Salles' previous CD, Departure, was on Downbeat's Best CDs of 2013 list. Salles' Northeastern Suite is being performed by the New England Conservatory's Symphonic Winds, William Drury, conductor, in November 2015.
Jazz Alumni News:
Alto saxophonist Libby Richman '76 performed in the New York City area with her jazz group (including her husband John Philpott) at Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center, Bronx, as part of the BxIndie Music at Sunset concert series. She celebrated Women's History Month with a concert at The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT.
|Fantasia on an Ellington Theme by Rick Hirsch '92 was performed by the 2013 All-State Jazz Ensembles in Arizona and Kentucky; his work Free Food? was played at the 2013 Pennsylvania All-State Jazz Ensemble. His Mirage won First Prize in the 2015 Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble Composition Contest, professional division (listen at www.RickHirschJazz.com). He also conducted the 2015 Delaware All-State Jazz Band. Keep in touch!
Jonathan Mele ’93, MM’95 plays in and around New York City, including gigs with Dave Lalama and backing the late Joan Rivers. He recorded and mixed tracks at his studio for the band Brewster and singer Jerry Costanzo. In Spain, he played in Seville and Cadiz with Carlos Bermudo ’93 and presented a drumset masterclass at the Andalusia Center for Contemporary Art's Monastery of Cartuja in Seville.
David Pope '95, saxophonist and composer, was named Distinguished Teacher of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at James Madison University for 2012-13. He has been on the faculty since 2000 and recently presented a recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Big Boss, a new CD by composer and jazz guitarist Charlie Apicella ’01, released on the ZOHO label, reveals his jazz-funk style with his band Iron City. One of his lessons was published in Downbeat.
|Ibeji, a CD by Paul Lieberman MM'08 , appeared on several Best of 2011 lists including Jon Garelick's of the Boston Phoenix. He received twin nominations on the website Latin Jazz Corner, for Brazilian Jazz Album of the Year and Latin Jazz Flutist of the Year. His music received outstanding reviews on Step Tempest and Jazz Times. All About Jazz said: stunning, heartfelt, and emotional. Lieberman, [who] is a soulful player on any instrument, conveying deep emotional content... demonstrates his instrumental mastery and reveals himself as a formidable composer.
Alex Lee-Clark MM’10 won the Ithaca College Jazz Composition Competition in the College/Pro category for his work Rolo Tomassi.
Student & Faculty Recordings
Student Ensemble Recordings (click to listen to audio mp3 file)
Irving Berlin's Let's Face the Music and Dance (arr. Mike Tomaro/Jeffrey W. Holmes)
Alex Lee Clark's The Big Lebowski Suite, "Walter Sobchak"
Jazz Ensemble I
Chris Lapidas' Black Jack
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Brooks Bowman's East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)
(Additional lyrics by Catherine Jensen-Hole)
JAZZ FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a live, 2-disc CD set, featuring highlights from five "Jazz for the Holidays & Beyond" concerts by UMass' award-winning Jazz Ensemble I and guests, directed by Jeffrey W. Holmes; also includes a special bonus track featuring the late Horace Clarence Boyer. Available online at billsrecording.com (lowest price, $11.99 plus tax & shipping, listen to samples) or cdbaby.com.
Thomas Giampietro, Drummer
A Faith Rewarded - Tom Giampietro Quartet (2013)
with Don Aliquo, Chris Walters & Jonathan Wires
CDUniverse, CD Baby, Itunes & Amazon
The Affinity Trio (2010)
with Don Aliquo and Jonathan Wires
CD Baby, Amazon
As a sideman:
Go Round - Jeff Coffin
Commonality - Jeff Coffin
Cool Blue Swing - Chris Walters
Joy Unspeakable - Liz Johnson
Annie and the Hot Club- Annie Sellick
Refreshingly Cool - Rachel Price
As a sideman:
Aquafier - Andy Hall
Sound of the Slide Guitar - Andy Hall
Comin' On Strong - David Peterson
Jeffrey W. Holmes, Jazz Bandleader, Composer, Trumpeter & Pianist
Of One's Own, Jeff Holmes Quartet (Release Oct. 16, 2012)
Jeff Holmes, piano, composer/arranger all tracks; Adam Kolker, tenor, soprano & bass clarinet; James Cammack, basses; Steve Johns, drums
Label: Miles High Records
Available: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, MilesHighRecords.com
Artist: New York Latin All-Stars featuring Eddie Ganz
Jeff Holmes, trumpet/flugelhorn and horn arranger, all tracks
Chicago II Records, available: Amazon, Chicagotheband.net, Itunes
It's A Grand Night For Swinging,
New England Jazz Ensemble
with guests John Abercrombie, guitar; Ali Ryerson, flute & Giacomo Gates, vocal
Jeff Holmes, Lead trumpet all tracks; arranger: It's A Grand Night For Swinging, Jazz Folk, Labour Day, Risky Business
Earth Music, Paul Winter Consort
Jeff Holmes composer, and performer (piano)
Mind Motions, Brazilian, Latin & traditional jazz, Fresh Sound/New Talent, 2003
Felipe Salles, Jazz Composer & Saxophonist
Listed: Felipe Salles Group/Quintet recordings. Click for complete list.
Ugandan Suite, Tapestry Records, 2014
Departure, featuring Randy Brecker, Tapestry Records, 2012
Timeline, modern jazz-Brazilian to Afro-Cuban, Curare Records, 2009
South American Suite, Jazz harmony & improvisation with Brazilian rhythms, Curare Records, 2007
Further South, Brazilian, Latin & traditional jazz, Fresh Sound/New Talent, 2001