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2014 Jazz Ensemble Excerpts and Information

The UIndy Jazz Combo and UIndy Jazz Ensemble perform concerts twice during each semester. Both groups appear during Jazz Week in April. Guest artists frequently perform with the UIndy Jazz Ensembles. Auditions take place the week before the start of each school year. For more information, please contact Freddie Mendoza.

Auditions for the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo are open to ALL UIndy students regardless of major.

All students must audition to be placed in a large jazz ensemble.
**registering for a jazz ensemble does not guarantee placement in an ensemble.

Auditions will take place on Friday, August 22, in room 105 of the CDFAC during the following times:

  • 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Saxophones
  • 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Trumpet/Trombone
  • 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.: Rhythm Section (bass, drums, guitar, piano)
  • Singers may sign up anytime between 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Sign-up sheets with individual times will be posted outside CDFAC 109 on the bulletin board by Monday, August 18. Please sign up for a time near someone else to avoid large gaps in the schedule.

Pending the audition results, you will be assigned to the Jazz Ensemble and/or Jazz Combo. Results will be posted following the final audition. Rehearsals will begin on the first day of classes. If you have any questions or problems regarding auditions, please contact Freddie Mendoza.

Auditions will consist of the following:


Bring a song to sing in the jazz style. Jazz Standards are preferred.


  1. One prepared piece — Music in the jazz style is preferred, but a student may audition on a classical piece if they wish.
  2. Sight-reading — generally a piece selected from an actual big band chart.
  3. Improvisation — (optional, but preferred) a student may choose either Bb or F blues, or bring in a music minus one track such as a Jamey Abersold CD.

Example/Options of appropriate jazz style repertoire for the prepared piece:

  • A be-bop head from the Real Book – please choose a piece that will demonstrate technical ability such as Ornithology, Prince Albert, Donna Lee, Au Privave etc. A ballade is not a good choice for this audition.
  • Region/All-State Jazz tryout music from previous years.
  • A transcribed solo from a solo transcription book. (Omni Book for instance or a transcription done by the student)
  • An jazz solo etude from a Jazz Etude Method book by an artist like Lennie Niehous, Bob Mintzer, Jim Snidero, etc.

Rhythm Section auditions (bass, drums, guitar, piano)

Rhythm section players will be asked sight-read big band charts and demonstrate competency in the following styles:

  • Jazz/Swing
  • Rock/R&B
  • Latin

Bassists/Guitarists must bring instrument and patch chords. Amps will be provided.

Drummers must bring sticks and brushes – a drum set will be provided.

Jazz Combo Auditions

Combo auditions will be a short assessment of your playing ability.

  • Horns: There is no prepared music. You will be asked to read a lead sheet of a jazz standard and play a short improvised solo on the tune.
  • Piano and Guitar: Knowledge of jazz voicings and comping styles is required to be placed in a jazz ensemble/combo. Student will be asked to solo over changes as well.
  • Bassists: (Walking/Time-keeping in swing, bossa nova, ballad etc.)
  • Drummers: Ability to demonstrate grooves in multiple styles (swing, bossa nova, ballad/brushes)
  • Singers: Bring a song to sing in the jazz style. Jazz Standards are preferred.

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