The extensive curriculum in Jazz includes studies in Jazz Theory and Harmony, Keyboard, History, Performance Practice, and two years each of Improvisation, Composition, and Arranging. The program also includes private instrumental instruction and participation in McGill's three award-winning Jazz orchestras, the chamber jazz orchestra and twenty combos. Student combos perform regularly at a variety of local venues.
The McGill Jazz Orchestra 1 has earned a reputation as one of the finest University jazz ensembles anywhere. The band has performed in France, England, Ireland, Mexico, Switzerland and throughout the United States and Canada and has released nine highly regarded CD's. The ensemble has also performed with many world-class jazz performers and composers, including Slide Hampton, Jim McNeely, Joe Lovano, Joe LaBarbera and Ranee Lee. With the recent appointment of jazz composer and trumpeter Joe Sullivan as its new musical director, the MJO takes on a challenging new repertoire that embraces Canadian composers, traditional and contemporary jazz masterworks and music written by our own outstanding students.