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Jazz Studies

Welcome to Jazz at UW-Eau Claire

No matter if you want to pursue your love of jazz at the highest level or keep playing in an ensemble while following interests outside of music, UW-Eau Claire is your destination.

The Eau Claire campus of the University of Wisconsin has one of the most well regarded jazz studies programs in the country.

New York Times

 The Jazz Culture

In the Jazz Studies area, we make a point to be as inclusive as possible of all types of students so that everyone can benefit from the many opportunities we offer students. The program has participants from many cultural, academic, and musical backgrounds. The goal here is for all students to learn from our faculty as well as from one another. In order to facilitate this kind of group learning, we regularly host Jazz Series events such as clinics and masterclasses, which bring phenomenal artists from around the world to the University. Additionally, there are open jam sessions every Monday night that are held at and sponsored by The Lakely eatery in downtown Eau Claire.

All Inclusive: Vibrant Environment 

UW-Eau Claire prepares students for today's music industry by NOT offering a Jazz Studies Degree. The world is changing and in order for students to be successful in it, they need to be trained in all music. When coming to UW-Eau Claire as a music major, the curriculum is primarily classical to give you a solid foundation for expressing yourself musically in any genre, including jazz, at the highest level.

"If no Jazz Studies Degree, how do students receive necessary training in jazz arranging and composition, improvisation and pedagogy for teaching?" The same way our innovators received it; through a rich, buzzing environment of over 100 students participating in four big bands, endless combos and countless events and projects. Training also comes from improvisation, combo classes and private lessons from nationally-renowned jazz educators on every instrument.

The opportunities that have been granted to me here are extraordinary. From accompanying professional musicians, playing in jazz bands, to conducting operas and musicals, I have had experiences that have not only shaped me as a musician, but as a human being as well. There just isn’t another place like Music & Theatre Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Miles Plant | Student

Our Alumni 


Amidst the countless outstanding middle and high school music educators from UWEC, many of our alumni have gone on to reach the highest ranks in the chosen fields. From performing on Broadway or at the. Hollywood Bowl, composing television and movie scores, winning Grammy awards and teaching at the nation's top music universities, you will find Blugold all over the world doing amazing things. 

Join Us

We would love to have you! Auditions are open to all students of all levels.
If you have played in the jazz ensembles at UW-Eau Claire before or miss playing in Jazz Ensemble from high school and your instrument has been collecting dust, now is the time to use your favorite tarnish remover, buy new reeds, try out new mouthpieces, start practicing and audition for one of four Jazz Ensembles. 

For more information on our Ensembles and auditions, go to our Ensembles page.

Check out what our students are doing right now!

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