Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music College of Communication and Fine Arts Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music
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Jazz Studies

Curriculum offered in Jazz and Studio Music 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. Graduates of the University of Memphis 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.

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.

Interaction with guest artists and music professionals is an important part of the Jazz and Studio Music program. Recent visiting guest artists have included:

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

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.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are offered through the program.

For more information on Jazz and Studio, contact Jack Cooper at


Jazz Curriculum
Student Jazz Ensembles
Faculty Jazz Ensembles

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Last Updated: 5/15/14