Jazz Ensembles

Jazz groups vary in size from quartets to octets, depending on our pool of players. We play a variety of jazz-inflected music—from swing to bebop, fusion to free jazz. (Music 2711/2712).

Students are encouraged to suggest tunes or to compose and arrange for the group. The focus is on small group interaction and improvisation. We have a thriving jazz program and we are excited to welcome new players.

Anthony Gaboury

Visiting Director of Jazz Ensembles


Practices and Performances

Jazz groups rehearse twice per week (one-and-a-half hour sessions) and perform in concert at the end of each semester. We sometimes play at functions on campus and occasionally play a concert off campus. Rehearsals are usually in the late afternoon or evening; we try to work around peoples’ schedules.

We aim to bring guest artists in to conduct workshops and masterclasses with the jazz ensembles every year. This semester, drummer and composer Devin Gray will perform with his group and offer a workshop with the student combos.

Five women students studied jazz last year in Bowdoin’s jazz program: two pianists, a bass player, and two singers. Though small in number, they're undaunted by being a minority, and all express unequivocal enthusiasm for playing at Bowdoin.

Course Credit

All ensembles count for one-half credit per semester and are graded on a Credit/D/Fail basis. Two semesters will count towards the VPA (Visual and Performing Arts) requirement.


Auditions are held during the first week of the semester or by appointment with the director.


"Eternal Triangle," Sonny Stitt "First Snow," Dave Holland "Little Sunflower," Freddie Hubbard "Monk's Dream," Thelonius Monk