Jazz Ensemble

jazz ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble is a standard 17-member big band dedicated to the study and performance of classic jazz and popular music from the 1920s through today. Emphasis is placed on ensemble interaction and individual improvisation.

Hear the Jazz Ensemble

Listen now to this live performance of Duke Ellington's Cotton Tail. 


The ensemble gives several on-campus performances yearly—at Christmas on the Promenade, the Wind Symphony Christmas Concert, the School of Music Pops Concert, and a full concert in the spring. Additionally, the Jazz Ensemble performs at civic functions, wedding receptions, and other social events in the greater Chattanooga area.
View School of Music Calendar »

Conductor's Philosophy

"Along with my deep love of wind concert music, I have a passion for jazz. Even after directing jazz ensembles for 20+ years, the combination of swinging ensemble playing and inspired improvisation still energizes me as almost nothing does. It tends to do that for audiences and players, too!" —Ken Parsons
More about the conductor »


Mabel Wood Hall 241, Wednesday, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.


Wind and percussion players are selected by the director from the ranks of the Wind Symphony, while piano, bass, and guitar players are chosen by audition. The audition consists of two parts:

  1. Prepare and perform two pieces in contrasting jazz styles, displaying your ability to both comp and play soloistically.
  2. Sight-read several chart excerpts in various jazz styles—swing, ballad, samba, funk, etc.

Results will be discussed at the end of the audition.


As the ensemble meets only once weekly, it is a non-credit-bearing ensemble. However, members are still expected to make a yearlong commitment to the ensemble. Punctual, regular attendance and outside preparation are conditions of continued membership.

Recent Repertoire

Autumn Leaves Joseph Kosma
Moten Swing Buster & Benny Moten
Big Swing Face Bill Potts
Such Sweet Thunder Duke Ellington
Here Comes the Sun George Harrison
Sweet Georgia Brown Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard & Kenneth Casey
Cute Neal Hefti
Li'l Darlin' Neal Hefti
Things Ain’t What They Used to Be Mercer Ellington
La Fiesta Chick Corea
Emancipation Blues Oliver Nelson
Brazil S. K. Russell & Ary Barroso
I Wish Stevie Wonder
I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
Rachel Elliott, soprano
 Irving Berlin
Angels We have Heard on High Rich DeRosa
Go, Tell It On the Mountain Roy Philippe
Satin Doll Duke Ellington &
Billy Strayhorn
Always and Forever
Joshua Gardner, guitar
Pat Metheny
Brazilian Love Affair George Duke
Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson
Silver Bells
Alyson Zapara, alto
Jay Livingston & Ray Evans
The Christmas Waltz Sammy Cahn
Yo, Tannenbaum! Gordon Goodwin
Bugle Call Rag Jack Pettis, Billy Myers &
Elmer Schoebel
Come Rain or Come Shine
Rebecca Elliott, soprano
Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer
Black Hole Sun Chris Cornell
Such Sweet Thunder Duke Ellington
Here Comes the Sun George Harrison
Sweet Georgia Brown Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard & Kenneth Casey
Cute Neal Hefti
Li'l Darlin' Neal Hefti
Belly Roll Quincy Jones
Hunting Wabbits Gordon Goodwin
Emancipation Blues Oliver Nelson
Brazil S. K. Russell & Ary Barroso
I Wish Stevie Wonder
La Fiesta Chick Corea
Jingle Bells John LaBarbera
The Christmas Song Bob Wells & Mel Tormé
Good Swing Wenceslas Sammy Nestico
Joy to the World Rich DeRosa
That's A Plenty Lew Pollack
Pennsylvania 6-5000 Carl Sigman &
Jerry Gray
"Somewhere" from West Side Story
Savannah Brown, soprano
Leonard Bernstein
Eleanor Rigby John Lennon &
Paul McCartney
Whiplash Hank Levy
Alexander's Ragtime Band    Irving Berlin
Back Home Again In Indiana   James F. Hanley
Bugle Call Rag   Jack Pettis, Billy Myers & Elmer Schoebel
I Ain't Got Nobody    Spencer Williams
Royal Garden Blues   Clarence & Spencer Williams
Tiger Rag    Nick La Rocca
Linus and Lucy    Vince Guaraldi
Still, Still, Still    Paul Clark
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
     Erin Brandon, tenor
   Hugh Martin &
Ralph Blane
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer   Johnny Marks
Salt Peanuts    Dizzy Gillespie
Doodlin'   Horace Silver
Blue Monk   Thelonius Monk
Well, You Needn't    Thelonius Monk
Malagueña    Ernesto Lecuona / Bill Holman
Lester Leaps In    Lester Young
In a Mellow Tone    Duke Ellington
Bye Bye Blackbird    Ray Henderson
Stormy Weather
Savannah Brown, soprano
   Harold Arlen &
Ted Koehler
Spain     Joaquin Rodrigo &
Chick Corea
Parisian Thoroughfare    Bud Powell
Living for the City    Stevie Wonder
Count Bubba   Gordon Goodwin
When the Saints Go Marching In   Dean Sorenson
One O’Clock Jump
    Count Basie
Take the "A" Train   Billy Strayhorn
'Round Midnight   Cootie Williams & Thelonius Monk
Nathan Warner, trumpet
   Hoagy Carmichael
Bluesette    Toots Thielmans
Manteca   Dizzy Gillespie
What's New?
Anthony Burrell, alto saxophone
   Bob Haggart
Horn of Puente   Gordon Goodwin
Oye Como Va    Tito Puente
One Note Samba    Antonio Carlos Jobim
Sing, Sing, Sing   Louis Prima
Ever Braver Ever Stronger    Gordon Goodwin
Hot Chocolate   Alan Silvestri
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day    Johnny Marks, arranged by Gordon Goodwin
Home for the Holidays
Emily Mulder & Erin Brandon, voice
  Al Stallman & Robert Allen
Adeste Fidelis   Rich DeRosa
Let it Snow! Let Snow! Let It Snow!   Alan Baylock
Ol' Man River   Jerome Kern
You Make Me Feel So Young    Josef Myron & Mack Gordon
Summer Wind
Krystal Morris, soprano
  Heinz Meier & Johnny Mercer
That's Life   Dean Kay & Kelly Gordon
Fly Me to the Moon   Bart Howard
New York, New York
Erin Brandon, tenor
  John Kander & Fred Ebb
Let the Good Times Roll   Sam Theard & Fleecie Moore
Struttin' With Some Barbecue   Lillian Hardin Armstrong & Don Raye
Things Ain't What They Used to Be   Mercer Ellington
Work Song   Nat Adderley
Count Me In   Billy Byers
Baby Elephant Walk   Henry Mancini
Dizzy Atmosphere   Dizzy Gillespie
The Goodbye Look   Donald Fagen
Birdland   Josef Zawinul
Cotton Tail   Duke Ellington
Jump, Jive and Wail   Louis Prima
Crazy Little Thing Called Love   Freddie Mercury
At Last
Megan Mocca, soprano
  Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
Isn't She Lovely   Stevie Wonder
We Can Work It Out   John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer   Chris Sharp
Carol of the Bells   Rich DeRosa
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming   Michael Praetorius
arranged by Bob Curnow
The Little Drummer Boy   Katherine Davis
arranged by Joe Jackson
One O’Clock Jump   Count Basie
Take the “A” Train   Billy Strayhorn
What’s New?
Anthony Burrell, alto saxophone
  Bob Haggart
Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise
   Felipe Paccagnella, piano
  Sigmund Romberg
Bluesette   Toots Thielemans
Manteca   Dizzy Gillespie
One Note Samba   Antonio Carlos Jobim
Floating Home   Gordon Goodwin
Pick Up the Pieces   Alan Gorrie
Deck the Halls   Ted Blumenthal
I’ll Be Home for Christmas   Walter Kent
Jingle Bells
 Krystal Morris, soprano
  James Pierpont, arranged by John Clayton
Go, Tell It on the Mountain   Roy Philippe
I Can’t Stop Loving You   Don Gibson
I Left My Heart in San Francisco   George Cory and Douglas Cross
Come Fly With Me
   Erin Brandon, tenor
  Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?   Fred Rogers
Make Me Smile   James Pankow
Tickletoe   Lester Young
It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)   Duke Ellington
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?   Louis Alter
Taking a Chance on Love
   Bobby Jepson, tenor
  Vernon Duke
Stumbling   Zez Confrey
You Are the Sunshine of My Life
   Yeshara Acosta, alto
  Stevie Wonder
Blue Train   John Coltrane
Chameleon   Herbie Hancock
High Maintenance   Gordon Goodwin
White Christmas   Irving Berlin
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!     Gordon Goodwin
Everybody's Waitin' for the Man with the Bag
Krystal Morris, soprano
    Harold Stanley, Irving Taylor,
Dudley Brooks
The Nutcracker Suite     Peter Tchaikovsky
arr. by Frank Comstock
Bugle Call Rag     Jack Pettis, Billy Myers,
Elmer Schoebel
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Yeshara Acosta, Erin Brandon,
   Jordan McKee, Keren Pagan,
   Josh Martin, vocals
    Mack Gordon and
Harry Warren
The Girl from Ipanema     Antonio Carlos Jobim
Punta del Soul     Dave Grusin
Blue Rondo à la Turk     Dave Brubeck
Satin Doll     Duke Ellington
Bye Bye Blackbird     Ray Henderson
St. James Infirmary     Joe Primrose
Polkadots and Moonbeams
Josh Martin, tenor
    Johnny Burke and
Jimmy Van Heusen
Afro Blue     Mongo Santamaria
Bistro Latino     Jeff Jarvis
Always and Forever

 Adam Dunka, guitar
  Pat Metheny
The Chicken     Alfred James Ellis
Boogie Stop Shuffle     Charles Mingus
Sleigh Ride   Leroy Anderson
You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch     Albert Hague
Christmas Time is Here   Vince Guaraldi
Hot Chocolate   Alan Silvestri
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
   Jordan McKee, soprano
  Irving Berlin
Yo! Tannenbaum   Gordon Goodwin
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy   Josef Zawinul
Ain't She Sweet   Milton Ager
Four Brothers
  Jimmy Giuffre
Mood Indigo
   Jordan McKee, soprano
  Duke Ellington, Irving Mills,
Barney Bigard
Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)
  Antonio Carlos Jobim
La Fiesta   Chick Corea
After You've Gone   Turner Layton
Josie   Walter Becker and
Donald Fagen
Better Get Hit in Your Soul   Charles Mingus
Peter Gunn   Henry Mancini
Rockit   Herbie Hancock
East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)   Brooks Bowman
Fly Me to the Moon
   Steven Blondo, tenor
  Bart Howard
Michael Pichette, trumpet
  Hoagy Carmichael
Pennsylvania 6-5000
  Carl Sigman and Jerry Gray
Concerto for Clarinet
Tim Mercer, clarinet
  Artie Shaw
Lassus Trombone   Henry Fillmore
They Can't Take That Away From Me
Josh Martin, tenor
  George and Ira Gershwin
Alright, Okay, You Win
   Josh Martin, tenor
  Sid Wyche and Mayme Watts
Just Friends   John Klenner
Afro Blue   Mongo Santamaria
The Jazz Police   Gordon Goodwin
Home for the Holidays   Robert Allen
The Look of Love   Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Deck the Halls   Ted Blumenthal
Freddie Freeloader   Miles Davis
Ol‘ Man River   Jerome Kern
Blackbird   John Lennon and Paul McCartney
What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?   Frank Loesser
Peter Gunn   Henry Mancini
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer   Johnny Marks
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered   Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Bye Bye, Love   Felice and  Boudleaux Bryant
Better Get Hit in Your Soul   Charles Mingus
La Fiesta   Chick Corea
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy   Cannonball Adderley
Peg   Walter Becker and Donald Fagen
Still, Still, Still   Paul Clark
Straighten Up and Fly Right   Nat King Cole
The Litlle Drummer Boy   Katherine Davis
Cotton Tail   Duke Ellington
Night Train   Jimmy Forrest
Shiny Stockings   Frank Foster
Floating Home   Gordon Goodwin
Cry Me a River   Arthur Hamilton
Autumn Leaves   Joseph Kosma
Baby, It’s Cold Outside   Frank Loesser
Bellavia   Chuck Mangione
Haitian Fight Song   Charles Mingus
Go Tell It On the Mountain   Roy Phillippe
Night and Day   Cole Porter
The Christmas Waltz   Jule Styne
When the Saints Go Marchin’ In   Dean Sorenson
Superstition   Stevie Wonder
Tickletoe   Lester Young
Alexander's Ragtime Band   Irving Berlin
Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree   Lew Brown
Jingle Bells   John Clayton
Santa Claus is Coming to Town   J. Fred Coots
So What   Miles Davis
Blue Bossa   Kenny Dorham
In a Mellow Tone   Duke Ellington
It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)   Duke Ellington
Leap Frog   Joe Garland
Salt Peanuts   Dizzy Gillespie
Pick Up the Pieces   Alan Gorrie
Maiden Voyage   Herbie Hancock
On Green Dolphin Street   Bronislau Kaper
Jelly Roll   Charles Mingus
Emancipation Blues   Oliver Nelson
Jump, Jive, and Wail   Louis Prima
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy   Don Rae
The Christmas Song   Mel Tormé
When I Fall in Love   Victor Young
I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm   Irving Berlin
In the Mood   Joe Garland
I Got Plenty of Nuttin’   George Gershwin
The Man I Love   George Gershwin
Count Bubba   Gordon Goodwin
Yo, Tannenbaum!   Gordon Goodwin
Splanky   Neal Hefti
Woodchopper’s Ball   Woody Herman
A Child Is Born   Thad Jones
The Way You Look Tonight   Jerome Kern
Jingle Bells   John LaBarbera
After You’ve Gone   Turner Layton
‘Round Midnight   Thelonius Monk
Libertango   Astor Piazzolla
Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise   Sigmund Romberg
I Wish   Stevie Wonder