Jazz Area

Three musicians: male trumpet player, female trumpet player and male flutist standing in front of a microcphone


The Schulich School of Music's 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 two award-winning jazz orchestras, two rhythm-section ensembles, a jazz choir, chamber jazz orchestra and twenty combos.

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Student combos perform regularly at a variety of local venues. Our McGill Jazz Orchestra 1 ensemble has travelled to France, England, Ireland, Mexico, throughout the United States and Canada and has performed with world-class jazz performers and composers, including: Slide Hampton, Jim McNeely, Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez, Adam Rogers and Dick Oatts. Our students perform challenging new repertoire that embraces Canadian composers, traditional and contemporary jazz masterworks and music written by our own outstanding students.


As part of our ongoing efforts to improve equity, diversity and inclusion in personal awareness and practices, the jazz area would like to share the following statement:

Jazz Area Diversity Statement

As young, aspiring musicians, we studied and learned the music of countless Black jazz masters, from the origins to the present time. Their musical language has shaped us, their pursuit of excellence has been an example to us, and their music continues to inform and inspire us. We want to express our deep gratitude and reaffirm our admiration for this unique and powerful American art form, an art form that cannot be separated from Black people's historical and ongoing struggle in an oppressive and discriminatory society.

As jazz musicians, and more importantly, as human beings, we affirm our solidarity with the Black community, and we strongly oppose racism and discrimination of any kind. We decry any form of violence or brutality towards Black people in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere. We acknowledge that there is still tremendous work to be done towards equity and justice, and commit to educate ourselves and support the advancement of Black people to the best of our ability.

We will endeavour to convey to our students, with the utmost passion, the immense body of work, boundless creativity, and indomitable spirit which is the legacy of those Black jazz musicians to whom we owe so much.

We reaffirm our dedication to a learning environment that is supportive, welcoming to all and committed to the pursuit of excellence.

Read Dean Ravenscroft’s Message on Diversity at Schulich (June 2020)

Jazz Area Equity Statement

As members of the Schulich Jazz Community, we are bound together by a shared love of, and commitment to the great musical tradition of jazz and its spirit of openness and invention. Together, we embrace principles of inclusion, freedom of expression and mutual respect. We work together in a supportive environment where artistic directions are respected; where individuality and teamwork are both valued. As individuals and collectively, we strive to foster the qualities of empathy, generosity, tolerance, personal resilience and perseverance.


Jazz Area Faculty

Area Coordinators: Prof. Ira Coleman

Complete faculty listing: Jazz Area

Jazz faculty profiles by instrument:


Jazz Area ensembles include: McGill Jazz Orchestra I and II, McGill Chamber Jazz Ensemble, McGill Jazz Choir, McGill Rhythm Section Ensembles, Jazz Combos.

For a complete list of the School's ensembles, with descriptions and audition information, visit ;our Ensembles webpages.

For admissions information, see our Undergraduate Admissions and Graduate Admissions webpages.

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