Jazz Studies—Minor

Study Jazz at MTU's Historic Jazz Program

MTU's Jazz program was started in the 1950's by Don Keranen and has been an integral part of the Visual and Performing Arts department at Michigan Tech for more than 6 decades. Run by trumpeter, composer, and entrepreneur Adam Meckler, the Jazz Studies program consists of two full size big bands, a New Orleans-style Brass Band, and four jazz small groups. Students who perform in Tech's premier Jazz Ensemble, The Jazz Lab Band, will enjoy a yearly outreach tour. Recent tours have gone to Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Students on tour have performed in historic Jazz clubs like Crooners in Minnesota, Cliff Bell's in Detroit, and DIY arts spaces like the Fulton Street Collective in Chicago.

Students who minor in Jazz Studies will play in jazz ensemble(s), and take a series of jazz courses including: 

  • History of Jazz
  • Jazz Theory and Aural Skills 
  • Jazz Improvisation 
  • Jazz Arranging 
  • Final Project: Independent Study

Tech's Jazz Studies program is an in-depth and hands-on program for players who want to explore the rich heritage of Jazz. Students will learn music by ear, improvise in a variety of contexts, arrange and compose new music, learn about the history of the music, and discover broad historic and modern styles—all while making music with life-long friends in one of the oldest Jazz programs in the Midwest.

Try out for any of Michigan Tech’s accomplished Jazz Ensembles Workshop Jazz Band, R&D Jazz Band, Jazz Lab Band, and Jazz combos. Get more involved by joining the student-lead Video Game Jazz Ensemble.