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Undergraduate | Auditions | Jazz Student Handbook | Music Industry

The VCU Jazz Studies Program offers its students outstanding opportunities to pursue jazz performance and writing, as evidenced in part by such successful former students as Steve Wilson (sax, Chick Corea's Origin); James Genus (bass, Saturday Night Live Band; recordings with Dave Douglas, Michael Brecker, Mike Stern and John Abercrombie); Victor Goines (sax/clarinet, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; director, Juilliard Jazz Studies); Alvester Garnett (drums, recordings with Abbey Lincoln, Cyrus Chestnut, James Carter); Mark Shim (sax, Blue Note recording artist, member of Terence Blanchard sextet); Al Waters (sax, featured with Ray Charles) and Alvin Walker (trombone, Count Basie Orchestra).

Some 60 majors are enrolled in VCU's Jazz Studies Program, providing a diverse community of students dedicated to playing and writing jazz music. VCU's student jazz orchestras have been recognized for winning top honors in four appearances at the Notre Dame Intercollegiate Jazz Festival, appearing at the Smithsonian Institution and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals and producing five acclaimed recordings: "The Tattooed Bride," "Things to Come," "Mood Indigo," "The World on a String," and "It Could Happen to You."

VCU students have benefited from visits by numerous guest artists and clinicians including violinist Joe Kennedy Jr.; vocalist René Marie; saxophonists Steve Lacy, Frank Foster, Benny Carter, Branford Marsalis, George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Fred Haas, and alumni Victor Goines and Steve Wilson; trumpeters Clark Terry, Woody Shaw, Thad Jones, Wynton Marsalis and Brian Lynch; trombonists Art Baron and Ray Anderson; guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Jimmy Bruno; pianists Jaki Byard, Barry Harris and Billy Taylor; bassists Dave Holland, Chris Lightcap and alumnus James Genus; percussionist Mayra Casales; drummers Louie Bellson, Max Roach and alumnus Alvester Garnett; composer Gunther Schuller; and the Woody Herman and Count Basie Orchestras.

If you have specific questions about the VCU Jazz Studies Program after reviewing this Web site, please contact Professor Antonio García at or (804) 827-0699. Read his "Top Ten Reasons" to join VCU Jazz!

The VCU Jazz Orchestra I performs numerous concerts on and off campus.
(photo credit: Eric Norbom)