Minor in Jazz Studies
The minor in jazz studies consists of a minimum of 21 credit hours (five courses), as follows: MUS 225, 238, 239; 4 credit hours of MUS 168; and 8 credit hours of MUS 287.
The Jazz Combo course is designed around small student ensembles and serves as applied practice of concepts learned in jazz theory. Several jazz combos are organized each semester and range from beginning level improvisers to more advanced groups. All of the combos perform at least once a semester on campus.
History of Jazz surveys the origins of jazz through each major developmental period and culminates with contemporary artists. Students will be able to identify individual periods in jazz through extensive listening to instrumental as well as vocal soloists and larger groups.
Jazz Theory I is an introduction to the application of the major-minor modes, chord changes, and the use of the supertonic seventh, dominant seventh, and tonic chords (ii-V-I) for improvisation, composition, and arranging.
Jazz Theory II introduces chromatic chord substitutions. Other areas of emphasis in this course include non-diatonic diminished chords, whole tone scales, and tritone applications that are not normally found in the major/minor scales.
Applied Jazz study is available on piano, guitar, percussion, voice, or winds. The course may be repeated for additional credit. Applied Jazz (MUS 290) requires that the student demonstrate the requisite musical skills, regardless of his/her major. Students enrolled in MUS 290 or 390 are required to enroll in Music 091 (Student Recital) and perform on a recital at least once a semester.
Applied Jazz Faculty
The members of the applied jazz faculty at Rhode Island College are recognized both at local and national levels for their achievements as soloists, arrangers, composers, and band leaders. Several of the faculty have released jazz compact discs and tour nationwide both as soloists and/or with combos, big bands, etc.
Concert Jazz Band
The Concert Jazz Band is a 20-member big band that performs in all jazz styles both at on-campus and off-campus engagements. Traditional big band arrangements are performed as well as contemporary settings of standards, new big band literature, Latin, funk, and blues. Several guest artists have appeared with the Concert Jazz Band, including Marvin Stamm and Bill Prince. An audition is required for this ensemble.