JAZZ AT WHITWORTH UNIVERSITY
The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble is an award-winning, nationally recognized collegiate jazz orchestra which is considered one of the most outstanding in the Northwest. It has been recognized for incredible performances at the Chicago-based Elmhurst Jazz Festival both in 2013 and 2017, as well as at several All-Northwest and All-State Conferences over the past three decades. Competing with much larger universities, The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has placed 1st at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival numerous times, performed at The Leavenworth Jazz Festival 2023, and has recorded twelve studio albums.
Touring annually each year both around the U.S. and internationally, the music ensembles at Whitworth University value student’s cultural experiences and interactions with all people in our globalized world. The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has experienced a dozen international performance tours to Italy, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Thailand, Cuba, with national tours to Hawaii, New York, New Orleans, and Chicago.
The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble features yearly guest artist performances with renown jazz musicians such as Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Arturo Sandoval, Kenny Garrett, Branford Marsalis, Maria Schneider, Ellis Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Steve Turre, Nicholas Payton, Steve Turre, Kenny Barron, Joe Lavano, Chris Potter, and many others. Masterclasses are held regularly with these phenomenal artists, as well as with touring world-class jazz musicians, to create a special occasion for our students to learn about and experience this artform.
The Whitworth music program offers numerous jazz scholarships of significant large amounts, which when combined with the university’s large academic scholarships, provide an opportunity to pay no more than they would at a state university.
In 2022, The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has recently released its 12th album titled Moon Mist featuring the music of Maria Schneider. It is available from the Whitworth Music Department Office. In Fall 2022, Jared Hall, D.M.A., became the new Director of Jazz Studies and director of the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble. Since Hall’s arrival, the band has performed with vocalist Tierney Sutton, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, and trumpeter Brian Lynch, and at the Leavenworth Jazz Festival, in addition to performances at numerous local high schools.