The Liberty University Jazz Ensemble is looking forward to travelling to Chicago to perform in the Elmhurst Jazz Festival, Feb. 21-24, 2013.  If you live in the Chicago area, let us know so we can include you in our plans.  We perform on Friday evening at 8:15 p.m. on the campus of Elmhurst College.



Liberty University Jazz Ensemble

The Liberty University Jazz Ensemble provides an experience in working with traditional and modern jazz styles that will strive to be both educational and enjoyable to the members of the band, as well as the audience. Most instrumental music majors who earn teacher licensure and subsequently teach in public schools will be required to teach jazz ensemble as part of a band director’s faculty responsibilities. This course will allow Liberty University to offer music majors an ensemble experience that will make our graduates more competitive among graduates contending for the same position from other universities.

Membership in the Liberty University Jazz Ensemble is based upon an audition. Auditions will be held at the beginning of the fall semester. Members selected are expected to participate in both the fall and spring semesters of the academic year.

The Liberty University Jazz Ensemble will perform in concert on the campus of Liberty University each semester. In addition, the Jazz Ensemble performs at selected events, such as banquets, balls, social functions, Military Appreciation events, and festivals each year. 

Check out some of our previous pieces on our SoundCloud page


What concert attendees are saying about the Liberty University Jazz Ensemble 2012:

               I honestly was expecting that the music would sound more like blues music because I had never listened to Jazz before this concert. The rich history behind each piece of music was immense and the conductor did an elaborate job of describing the reasons and settings for the original writing of the music. During this entire semester I have discovered the great amount of variety of musical styles that have all contributed to the music have come to take for granted to an extent. The call and response form that we studied earlier in the semester helped the original jazz style of music make more sense. The immense amount of culture that is poured into particular styles of music has been so enlightening. - Student attendee

            The Jazz Ensemble is a hidden treasure at Liberty, one that I had not expected to enjoy as much as I did.  The jazz drumming infiltrates your head and makes it almost impossible to keep from tap your foot, the bass guitar follows suit and provides the backbone of the melody, the piano and the guitarist further define the melody, and the horns add such a rich diversity of tones and signature sounds that I would think it impossible to find someone who could not find something to enjoy about the ensemble.  I have decided that attending the Jazz Ensemble will have to be something I do every year, as I continue to learn more about music, and learn how to perform.  After all, some of the greatest guitarists of all times got started playing the blues and listening to jazz, including the great Jimi Hendrix. - Student attendee

            In addition to being impressed by the various musicians’ solos, I was equally impressed with the song choice, with songs ranging from Gordon Goodwin, to Cole Porter, to Earth, Wind, and Fire; I found the variety something to be applauded.  Perhaps the most important pillar of jazz music is its down-to-earth nature, the fact that the music is almost directly coming from the artist’s soul and not being overly produced or too meticulously being examined to be made palatable to the masses.  Instead, jazz music comes from the heart and its bold and heart-felt natures are things that I did not recognize in the songs by Michael Bublé.  Nevertheless, I found the song range to be quite impressive, as it showcased the ensemble’s ability to perform a variety of songs, in different time signatures and in a variety of moods.  Another thing I noticed about jazz music is that it is a very mood-based.  In the early twentieth century, jazz musicians moved away from the classically defined strict musical stylings, and began to incorporate the folk roots and spirituals that were a part of black society.  As the two worlds merged, jazz was formed, leading the musicians to write and sing songs about anything and everything. - LU Student

            Overall, the music featured a great selection of jazz music. Starting off with It’s Alright With Me by Cole Porter, and ending with East Coast Envy by Gordon Goodwin, the ensemble left no room for the audience to become bored of the music. Perhaps one of the most memorable parts of the ensemble to me was the bass guitar. Each song featured predominant bass lines which seemed to bring every instrument together, and provide a driving force for each composition. Overall, the rhythm section which featured a guitarist, bassist, and two percussionists, left no beat unheard, and without response from the audience. With such a spectacular rhythm section, one was able to practically see the energy that seemed to radiate from the rhythm section. By producing a driving rhythm which featured a strong emphasis on quarter beats and incorporated walking bass lines, the reaction of the audience only further contributed to the energy generated. During heavy rhythm sections, one could observe members in the audience dancing in their seats as they tapped their feet to the beat or even clapped their hands.

            Another memorable moment of the night was right before the intermission. Unseen to me anywhere else and totally unexpected, right before the intermission, the members of the band left the room one section at a time until only the rhythm section remained, which left as well. During the intermission, one could hear the audience discussing their favorite highlights of the ensemble. The praises from the audience only furthered the experience due to the fact that everyone who attended the jazz ensemble seemed to enjoy it. Overall, after hearing multiple praises about the jazz ensemble, they only furthered my conclusion that the jazz ensemble was a success in the sense that it pleased everyone and far exceeded anyone’s expectations. Overall, the jazz ensemble’s concert was one that is unforgettable, and definitely corrects any ill-conceived notions that I had prior to attending it in the sense that I did not expect a school production to be so wonderfully and professionally executed. - LU Student