The DVC Jazz Studies Program is large and well rounded with over 200 students per semester enrolled in jazz classes. Current offerings include three sections of Jazz History, a large Jazz Ensemble, three small Jazz Combos, Vocal Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Theory and Improvisation, and Jazz/Pop Solo Voice. The Jazz Ensemble and a Combo attend jazz festivals regularly.
Major guest artists are presented once or twice a year, and have included Phil Woods, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Bob Mintzer, Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, Don Menza, Gordon Goodwin, Bobby Hutcherson, Carl Allen and many more.
The Jazz Ensemble is an inclusive big band that fosters self-reliance and collective music making. The band is comprised of saxophones, trumpets, trombones and a full rhythm section including electric and acoustic bass, guitar, vibraphone, piano, keyboards, drums and percussion. We also feature vocalists with the band. The band performs in a wide variety of styles from both classic and modern literature, including swing, Latin, funk, ballads and rock.
The Jazz Combos focus upon classic and modern jazz in the small group setting. Dynamic interplay and improvisation are explored, while repertoire is based upon the styles and bands of past masters such as Horace Silver, Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk. Student compositions and arrangements are encouraged.