The Lamont School of Music is a superb place to study and perform jazz. World-class, award-winning musicians direct our big band and vocal ensembles. We regularly perform with guest artists at nationally acclaimed festivals and competitions, and we host quarterly performances on campus.
Membership to all ensembles is determined by audition and open to all University of Denver students. For audition repertoire and to schedule your audition, please contact the director of the associated ensemble.
Lamont Jazz Orchestra
Director: Steve Wiest
Under the direction of multiple Grammy-nominated artist and Lamont Jazz Studies co-chair Steve Wiest, the Lamont Jazz Orchestra (LJO) is the University of Denver's premier large jazz ensemble. Made up of five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets, piano, bass, guitar and drums, the LJO performs the standard canon of jazz literature as well as original music by students and faculty.
The LJO performs on and off campus throughout the year, often with special guest artists. Guest performers have included Frank David Greene, Wayne Bergeron, Denis DiBlasio, Brad Leali, Ryan Truesdell and Bob Mintzer. Recently, LJO tied for first place at the prestigious Next Generation Jazz Festival and performed as part of the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival.
Lamont Jazz Ensemble
Director: Mike Marlier
The Lamont Jazz Ensemble (LJE) is the second largest jazz ensemble at DU. The group is made up up of five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets, piano, bass, guitar and drums. LJE's repertoire encompasses the modern canon of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Thad Jones, Woody Herman and many other contemporary composers.
The Lamont Jazz Ensemble performs every quarter either in conjunction with the Lamont Jazz Orchestra or in stand-alone events.
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Director: Donna Wickham
Our award-winning Lamont Vocal Jazz Ensemble is an elite group of three to four vocalists backed by a rhythm section who write and arrange all of their own music. The Vocal Jazz Ensemble performs classic jazz, world jazz and contemporary jazz both at DU and off-campus in a variety of venues.
Vocal Repertoire Ensemble
Director: Donna Wickham
The Lamont Vocal Repertoire Ensemble is comprised of several solo vocal soloists with a rhythm section. In this group, soloists build band-leading skills while developing a solo jazz repertoire. The vocal repertoire ensemble performs at Lamont and other venues on the DU campus.
Consisting of a small number of horns with a full rhythm section, these small groups or "combos" focus on the historical intricacies of making music in a cooperative chamber group atmosphere. Each group is required to explore the canon of jazz composers (John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver) as well as the various established standards (Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn).
The small groups also serve as a wonderful laboratory for student composers and arrangers to explore and perform their own material. All of the small groups perform in concert each quarter and many of the groups play extra gigs on and off campus as well.