Jazz Vocal Ensembles

Melinda Rodriguez, director
MUS 166 JVE | 450 JVE (grad)
MW 3:00-4:50 PM
0061 Music Building

Since its inception under Chip McNeill, Jazz at Illinois has consistently supported and fostered the study of jazz singing, both solo and group. Each year a select group of majors, both undergraduate and graduate, come to Illinois to pursue their passion for jazz singing, and some of them now head major jazz voice departments. We also draw from the university community at large, and non-majors are always encouraged to audition. The Jazz Vocal Ensemble consists of eight singers with a full, four-piece rhythm section, and explores the wide range of jazz vocal literature, from the Hi-Los and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, to Take Six and The Harlem Voices and much more. At the same time, solo singing, improvisation/scatting is encouraged and developed. The two smaller Jazz Vocal Combos give the opportunity for one to two singers to work with a rhythm section in rehearsal and performance over the course of the semester. Of course development of each singer’s sound and musical “voice” is combined with musicianship and connection with jazz history.  As with all our jazz ensembles, each group performs at least three times per semester, including Krannert Center near semester’s end.

For 2018-19, the Jazz Vocal Ensemble will be under the direction of Jazz graduate teaching assistant Melinda Rodriguez.