Jazz Studies

Degrees offered are Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Jazz and Studio Performance and Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Studio Composition/Arranging.

Jazz and Studio Music has a long and successful history at the University of Memphis. Initiated by Dr. Tom Ferguson in the 1960s, the School of Music has developed one of the most comprehensive programs in the United States, currently offering both undergraduate and master's degrees in Jazz Performance and Composition/Arranging. Both music majors and non-majors at the University of Memphis are strongly encouraged to participate in the performing groups, classes, and applied lessons offered in the Jazz and Studio Music curriculum.

Our Jazz and Studio Music curriculum is designed to prepare students for a professional career performing, composing, researching, or teaching in all fields of music. The division works closely with other music faculty at the University of Memphis to offer students an inclusive music curriculum that prepares them for the contemporary music field.

Alumni of the program include performers such as James Williams, Mulgrew Miller, Donald Brown, Bill Mobley, and Tony Reedus. Our graduates hold teaching and research positions at Pacific Lutheran University, the New Zealand School of Music, Belmont University, Colgate University, University of Tennessee, Xavier University, University of Eastern Washington, and other institutions of higher education.

Interaction with guest artists and music professionals is an important part of this program. Recent visiting guest artists have included:

Astral Project
Benny Powell
Kurt Elling
Kurt Whalum
Marvin Stamm
Mulgrew Miller
Roseanne Vitro
Roy McCurdy
Rufus Reed
Sheila Jordan
Slide Hampton
The U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note
The U.S. Navy Commodores
The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
The Woody Herman Orchest

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are offered through the program.

For more information on Jazz and Studio, contact Jack Cooper at jcooper1@memphis.edu.


Michael Assad (M.M.)
Joyce Cobb (B.A.)
Dr. Jack Cooper (D.M.A.)
Sam Shoup


Jazz Curriculum
Student Jazz Ensembles
Faculty Jazz Ensembles