Jazz Studies Program
The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Jazz Program is an integral part of the Music Department at the university. Students are afforded the opportunity to participate in performing jazz groups and to study the workings of jazz music that include jazz theory, jazz improvisation, jazz history, jazz arranging, and jazz pedagogy. A new degree program, the Bachelor of Music in Performance with an Emphasis in Jazz Studies, began in 2013. This program offers students the opportunity to study jazz music at a deeper level. This increased exposure to jazz studies enables students to explore further in-depth jazz studies in graduate school, to focus their performance skills in jazz music, and to expand their knowledge of jazz music and how to teach it.
Jazz Studies Ensembles
Jazz Band I
Jazz Band I is the premiere-performing group within the jazz program at TAMUK. Membership in Jazz Band I is open to all TAMUK students and determined by audition. The students within the group represent the most accomplished jazz musicians within the university.
Jazz Band I was selected to perform at the TMEA Convention in 1995, 2003, and 2009. Jazz Band I has also performed at the TAMUK Jazz Festival, the Coastal Bend Jazz Festival, the UT Longhorn Jazz Festival, the Texas Jazz Festival, the RioFest Jazz Festival, the Fiesta Jazz Festival, the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival, and the Mobile Jazz Festival. In both 1997 and 1999, Jazz Band I was selected as one of eight college jazz bands invited to compete in the National Jazz Band Competition at the Mobile Jazz Festival.
Jazz Band I has performed with a long list of professional jazz musicians representing some of the world’s most renowned jazz artists and performers. Jazz Band I has performed with Ernie Watts, Richie Cole, Chris Potter, James Moody, Bob Mintzer, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Faddis, Arturo Sandoval, Marvin Stamm, Bobby Shew, Claudio Roditi, Steve Hawk, Wayne Bergeron, Byron Stripling, Galen Jeter, Rich Matteson, Slide Hampton, Conrad Herwig, Bill Reichenbach, Louis Bellson, Peter Erskine, Ed Shaughnessy, the Jeff Hamilton Trio, and the Maynard Ferguson Band.
In 2004 and 2010 respectively, Jazz Band I was selected as the winner and runner up of the College Big Band Category in the DownBeat Magazine 27th and 33rd Annual Student Music Awards. Jazz Band I is directed by Dr. Paul Hageman.
Jazz Band II
Jazz Band II performs standard literature as well as some of the finest new music written for jazz band. Membership in Jazz Band II is open to all TAMUK students and is determined by audition. These students represent the “up and coming” jazz musicians within the program.
Jazz Band II has performed at the TAMUK Jazz Festival, the Texas Jazz Festival, and the Jazz On the Rio Jazz Festival. They have performed with notables such as Vaughn Nark and other local musicians such as Ginny Lamar, Bennett Wood, and Russell Haight. Jazz Band II is directed by Mr. James Warth
Jazz Band III
Jazz Band III performs standard and basic jazz literature that demonstrates an emphasis on developing stylistic and characteristic jazz performance. Jazz Band III has performed at the TAMUK Jazz Festival and the Texas Jazz Festival. Membership in Jazz Band III is open to all TAMUK students and is determined by audition. These students generally represent the less experienced jazz musicians within the program. Jazz Band III is directed by Dr. Kyle Millsap.
Latin Jazz Ensemble
The Latin Jazz Ensemble was formed to expose the jazz students to the music and performance practices of the various forms and styles of Latin jazz music. Students study the different styles of Latin jazz music and learn to differentiate between them to promote characteristic stylistic interpretations of the music. Membership in the Latin Jazz Ensemble is open to all TAMUK students and is determined by audition. The Latin Jazz Ensemble has performed at the TAMUK Jazz Festival and the Texas Jazz Festival. The Latin Jazz Ensemble is directed by Dr. Jason Kihle.
Jazz Combo I
Jazz Combo I is the premiere small jazz ensemble within the jazz program. The focus of this ensemble is to perform the best jazz combo literature available. Students in this group will often arrange or write their own compositions and the emphasis of this group is on the art and practice of improvisation. Membership in Jazz Combo I is open to all TAMUK students and is determined by audition. These students represent the most experienced improvisers within the jazz program. Jazz Combo I is directed by Mr. James Warth.
Jazz Combo II
Jazz Combo II performs standard and new jazz combo literature. The emphasis in this group is to provide students with knowledge about combo rehearsal and performance practices and to expose them to the standard jazz repertory. Membership in Jazz Combo II is open to all TAMUK students and is determined by audition. These students represent the moderately experienced improvisers within the jazz program. Jazz Combo II is directed by Mr. James Warth.
The TAMUK Bones is a jazz trombone ensemble consisting of five trombones and rhythm section. The group performs standards and original compositions arranged and written for a jazz trombone ensemble. Membership in the TAMUK Bones is open to all TAMUK students and is determined by audition. These students represent the strongest jazz trombone students within the jazz program. The TAMUK Bones have performed at the TAMUK Jazz Festival and the Texas Jazz Festival. The TAMUK Bones is directed by Dr. Oscar Diaz.
Jazz Studies Annual Events/Performances
The jazz program sponsors several events and concerts annually. These events are presented by the jazz program to provide multiple opportunities for the jazz students to perform and to expose music students, the campus community, and the surrounding area to the musical art form of jazz.
Annual TAMUK Jazz Festival
The TAMUK Jazz Festival, now in its 48th year, is a two-day event that features high school and middle school jazz band competitions and clinics as well as evening concerts featuring TAMUK jazz bands and combos. The festival is usually held on the last weekend in March each year. Middle school bands perform during the afternoon on Friday and the high school bands perform during the day on Saturday. The Friday Evening Concert features TAMUK jazz groups and the middle school awards presentation. The Saturday Evening Concert features the high school awards presentation and more TAMUK jazz groups along with a world-renowned jazz artist who performs with Jazz Band I.
Annual TAMUK Jazz Bash
The TAMUK Jazz Bash, now in its 31st year, is the culminating concert of the fall semester. This concert features the big bands along with the Latin Jazz Ensemble and is presented each year on the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving.
Annual TAMUK Jazz Blast
The TAMUK Jazz Blast, now in its 6th year, is the final performance of the academic season for the jazz program. The concert is presented late in the spring semester in an outdoor setting right outside the music building. The Blast features all of the jazz groups in the TAMUK Jazz Program in a casual, relaxing outdoor setting.
Jazz Combo Concerts
The Jazz Program presents jazz combo concerts each semester. The concerts consist of the Latin Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos I, II, and the TAMUK Bones. Other combos may be formed and presented at the concerts.
For information about Jazz Studies at Texas A&M University Kingsville contact Directors:
This page was last updated on: January 7, 2016