Jazz Ensembles at Lamont:
Click on any of these names to learn about our wonderful jazz ensembles here at Lamont:
The Lamont Jazz Orchestra
The LJO with trumpet great Frank David Greene
Under the direction of multiple Grammy-nominated artist and Co-chair of Lamont Jazz Studies Steve Wiest, the LJO is the premier large jazz ensemble at The University of Denver. Made up of five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets, piano, bass, guitar and drums, The LJO performs original music by students and faculty as well as the standard canon of modern jazz literature: Count Basie, Thad Jones, Duke Ellington, Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider, John Clayton, Darcy James Argue, Ted Nash, Bob Mintzer, Bill Holman and many, many others.
The LJO performs on and off campus throughout the year, quite often with special guest artists and also records a full audio spectrum video album each year. Among the most recent guest performers are: Frank David Greene, Wayne Bergeron, Denis DiBlasio, Brad Leali, Ryan Truesdell and Bob Mintzer. The group recently tied for First Place at the prestigious Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California and followed that up with a performance in September of 2018 at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival itself.
Check out our recent video projects:
As with all of our ensembles, membership is by audition only and open to all University of Denver students.
The Lamont Jazz Ensemble
Under the direction of our wonderful drumset professor Mike Marlier, the Lamont Jazz Ensemble (LJE) is our second large jazz ensemble (Big Band) here at DU.
Made up of five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets, piano, bass, guitar and drums, the LJE reads a large variety of literature that covers all of the mainstream modern canon including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Thad Jones, Woody Herman and many other contemporary composers and arrangers. The LJE also gives students in the LJO to double on another instrument or to get an opportunity to play another part.
The LJE performs every quarter either in conjunction with the LJO or in satand-alone events.
As with all of the ensembles at Lamont, membership is by audition only.
The Award-Winning Lamont Jazz Small Group I performing at Snug Harbor in New Orleans with the Ellis Marsalis Quartet: January, 2017
At Lamont we have a flexible number of instrumental small groups (combos) that are available to accommodate whatever our enrolment becomes on any given quarter. In other words, there are always more than enough small groups for all of our instrumental majors.
Consisting of a small number of horns with a full rhythm section, these small groups focus on the historical intricacies of making music in a cooperative "chamber group" atmosphere. Each group is required to explore the great canon of jazz composers (John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, et al) as well as the various established standards (Such as the Great American Songbook of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn et al)
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.
Recently, Small Group I coached by Eric Gunnison and Steve Wiest were awarded Co-Winners of the Downbeat Student Awards for Best Graduate School Jazz Small Group (2017)
Small Group 1 also records a full-spectrum video album every year. Check out SG1 2017!
The Lamont Vocal Jazz Ensemble
The Downbeat award-winning Lamont Vocal Jazz Ensemble is an elite group made up of 3 or 4 vocalists with rhythm section. Under the direction of Donna Wickham, the group writes and arranges 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. Membership is by audition and is open to all University of Denver students.
The Lamont Vocal Jazz Ensemble
The Lamont Vocal Jazz Repertoire Ensemble is comprised of several solo vocal soloists with rhythm section. In this group, soloists build band-leading skills while working on building solo jazz repertoire. The vocal repertoire performs at Lamont and at other venues on the DU campus, and is open to all University of Denver students by audition.