Jeffrey C. Brown, conductor
The Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble is the premier Jazz performance ensemble at Valparaiso University. Membership is by audition and students of all majors are encouraged to participate. The ensemble performs professional level repertoire in concert as well as outreach performances at schools, community events, as well as numerous alumni events.
In addition to numerous performances on campus throughout the year, each February the ensemble performs for the Valparaiso University Chicago Alumni Chapter at the Polo Café in Bridgeport (Chicago), Illinois. It was the first university ensemble to perform in the new Harre Union as part of its Grand Opening.
The Jazz Ensemble has performed with and indeed prepared the incredible compositions and arrangements of James Moody, Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Frank Foster, Johnny Frigo, Bunky Green, Bobby Shew, Jon Faddis, Ernie Watts, Henry Johnson, Clark Terry, Lew Tabackin, Eddie Henderson, Christine Jensen, Ingrid Jensen, Claire Daly, Jerry Bergonzi, Bobby Watson, Maynard Ferguson, Billy Pierce as well as numerous Chicago based musicians.
For the past ten years the ensemble has played monthly at a local pub. Three years ago the ensemble switched venues and now performs at “Duffy’s Place.” In the fall the ensemble is there the first Tuesday of the month and in the spring it is the last Tuesday of month. This is an excellent as well as fun experience for the students involved as it teaches them to “think on their feet” in a live performance setting that is a very traditional setting for jazz musicians.
Click Here for a video of Jazz Ensemble students talking about the 2010 25th annual Jazz Fest.