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Jazz Ensembles

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All Jazz ensembles rehearse 7:10-8:00 (zero hour). Students are expected to attend to all rehearsals. Students need instructor approval prior to registration.

Combos meet MWF, Big Bands meet T/TH.



Ensembles will study and perform in a variety of jazz styles. High-level musical performance is the emphasis of all ensembles at Southwest. Ensembles focus on: stylistic interpretation and fundamental performance practices, improvisation and music theory, Jazz history and American history, aural skills training and terminology. Corey Needleman, teacher.


Big Bands: Southwest has two Big Band Jazz Ensembles. Big bands rehearse twice a week (T, TH) during zero hour. Auditions are required for all instruments in Jazz One and rhythm section parts for Jazz Too. Brass and woodwind players may join Jazz Too with teacher approval.  Auditions will be held in August and materials will be available online in June. Big Bands will perform at evening concerts throughout the year.


Jazz Combos: Southwest has up to five small-group Jazz Combos. Jazz Combos are designed to be teacher-facilitated and student-led. Groups may form on their own, or with the help of the instructor. Combos will perform at various events throughout the year. Tune memorization, improvisation, and performance practice are the emphasis of Jazz Combos. Jazz Combos meet MWF during zero hour. 9th grade students seek instructor approval prior to registration.


Jazz One Big Band - Audition required each year. As a premiere ensemble that meets semiweekly, co-enrollment in daily music ensemble / music course is required. Jazz One participates in an annual tour. Performs 3-4 concerts per year including Lake Harriet Bandshell.

Tues / Thurs 7:10-8:00 (zero hour).


Jazz Too Big BandBrass and Woodwind students must be able to read music and have at least 1-2 years of playing experience.

Rhythm Section players (drums, piano, guitar, bass) must pass audition. 2-3 concerts per year including Lake Harriet Bandshell.

Tues / Thurs 7:10-8:00 (zero hour).  


Jazz CombosStudent-run / teacher-supervised. Performances will be scheduled to meet the needs of each combo.

Mr. Needleman will assign rehearsal spaces.  

Mon/Wed/ Fri 7:10-8:00 (zero hour).


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