Furman’s Jazz Studies program is proud to offer a wide variety of courses and performing ensembles that focus on all styles of jazz and the art of improvisation. The Furman Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Matt Olson, performs traditional and contemporary big band literature, entertaining groups with concerts on campus and throughout the Upstate. Smaller jazz combos are an important part of that jazz experience. Their focus is on small-group jazz performance and the art of jazz improvisation for a wide variety of instrumentation.  The combos perform for a variety of functions, from formal Furman galas to lunch time in the Trone University Center. The groups are open to all Furman students regardless of major or instrument. Placement auditions are held at the start of the school year.  No prior jazz experience needed!

Our jazz students can be found in multiple local venues performing alongside their teachers and regional professional musicians. In addition to the extensive interaction we have with the local jazz scene, the Jazz Studies program brings several world-class guest artists to campus each year to perform and work with our students.

Recent artists include:

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Fall Placement Information

Jazz Faculty

Matt Olson

Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies

Keith Davis

Adjunct Instructor, Jazz Piano

Matt Dingledine

Visiting Lecturer, Music

Ian Bracchitta

Adjunct Instructor of Music, Double Bass and Bass Guitar

Justin Watt

Adjunct Instructor of Music, Drum-Set

Shannon Hoover

Adjunct Instructor-jazz piano, improvisation, jazz combos