Jazz at Alabama State University has a long and storied history. ASUs first jazz group, the ‘Bama State Collegians was started in the late 1920s. During the 1930s, the band was lead by the well-known trumpeter Erskine Hawkins, one of the composers of the famous swing era hit Tuxedo Junction. Many former students went on to play with big names during these early years.
In recent years, we have had many important jazz figures visit ASU as Guest Artists to give clinics and concerts. These artists include Jerry Coker, Terrell Stafford, Sam Rivers, Fred Wesley, Conrad Herwig, Cleve Eaton, Steve Ellington, Jackie McClean, Howard Johnson, and Marcus Printup.
We offer courses in Jazz Improvisation, the History of Jazz, and Composition. Ensembles include the big band and jazz combo. These ensembles are open to any ASU student by audition. So, even if music is not your main area of study, but you are interested in jazz and would like to learn more, we encourage you to contact us.