MSU Jazz Ensemble
The Montclair State University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. Oscar Perez, performs classic jazz standards and contemporary works for large jazz ensemble. Comprised primarily of jazz studies majors and other music majors, the group studies originals and arrangements by such classic artists as Thad Jones, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and contemporary writers such as Alan Ferber, Maria Schneider and Rob McConnell. The band performs regularly on campus, and occasionally at local jazz venues, as well as at a variety of festivals and educational conferences. Along with having the opportunity to collaborate with our talented jazz faculty, recent guest artists have included John Daversa (trumpet, composer), Mario Adnet (Brazilian composer, arranger, and Grammy winner), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Ed Palermo (arranger of Frank Zappa’s music for big band), Tom “Bones” Malone (trombone), Terrell Stafford (trumpet), Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica, vibes) Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar) and Michael Philip Mossman (composer, arranger, trumpet).
The Redhawk Jazz Band, directed by jazz bassist Bill Moring, develops skills in improvisation and performance of a wide variety of classic jazz standards and contemporary works for large jazz ensemble. The Redhawk band is designed to serve as a training ground for participation in the MSU Jazz Ensemble, while still retaining its own strong identity. It is open, by audition, to anyone on campus but is comprised primarily of music majors.
Vocamotion vocal jazz ensemble directed by Aubrey Johnson, focuses on rehearsing and recording (for now, in its virtual format) traditional and modern vocal jazz repertoire. Artists covered may include Take 6, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, The Manhattan Transfer, Singers Unlimited, Moss, as well as music composed and arranged by modern jazz vocalists Theo Bleckmann, Sara Serpa, Dominique Eade, and Aubrey Johnson, and others.
In addition to learning repertoire, solo singing, and improvisation, the main focuses of this ensemble are: vocal technique, blend, vowel formation, tuning, ear-training, sight-reading, and singing in jazz/popular styles.
Opportunities for solos and vocal improvisation within the group will be offered, an end of semester online broadcast of recordings/videos created throughout the semester.