Jazz Ensemble

A student plays a trumpet, while other students in the background play saxophone in the background

The Brandeis Jazz Ensemble, open to the entire Brandeis community by audition, is comprised of 15-20 musicians led by one of Boston's best-known jazz men, Professor of the Practice Robert Nieske. In addition to the classic jazz repertory, the ensemble performs original compositions written specifically for the group. Students are encouraged to compose for the ensemble and receive guidance from the director.

Interested vocalists, saxophone, brass (including horn, euphonium or tuba), guitar, piano, bass or drum players will be asked to play scales and arpeggios, sight read and play a prepared piece at the audition. Improvising experience is not required, but reading skills are. Rehearsals are held on Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Slosberg Music Center.

Audition Requirements for Jazz Ensemble:

Everyone except drums: [this includes all Brass, Saxes, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Vocalists and any non traditional instruments who wish to audition]

 1- Prepare one medium tempo jazz piece of your choice, no Ballads
[pieces by Ellington, Charlie Parker, Gershwin, Mingus, Monk, Porter ect.]

 Prepare these SCALES IN EIGHT NOTES at quarter note = 60

 2- Major scales: B flat and F two octaves if possible

 3- minor scales: C and A two octaves if possible

 4- Sightread chart chosen by the director

Piano, Guitar and Bass must, in addition, comp/walk over 12 bar blues

Drums: play various tempo swing and latin grooves and sightread a drum part.
[Ideally drummers will have their own cymbals]

Vocalists: In addition to 1-4 Sing various intervals above a given root