Auditions are held in the Fall of each year, and Chicago-area student musicians in grades 6-12 are invited to audition. Audition requirements include a prepared melody (“Well You Needn’t” by Thelonious Monk), improvisation over a 12-bar concert B-flat blues, sight reading, and scales (concert B-flat Major, E-flat Major, F Major, B-flat Blues scale, B-flat chromatic scale).
Click below to download audition materials:
Auditions will be rated based on tone quality, intonation, technique, phrasing, scales, improvisation, rhythm, sight-reading, and preparation. Amps, drums, and piano will be provided on audition days.
Giving Chicago’s most promising young musicians a chance to get serious about jazz.
The Jazz Ambassadors program develops musicians by providing hands-on weekly training, access to free live jazz performances, monthly workshops and master classes, and frequent guest artists and clinicians.
Each week, the Jazz Ambassadors meet at Columbia College to rehearse as a large jazz ensemble, and then divide into smaller groups for improvisation workshops and sectional coachings.
Jazz Ambassadors also have the opportunity to participate in the Jazz Links Student Council program, which meets once a month during the second half of rehearsal. Council members will learn about music business, professionalism, and the qualities of a successful leader in the music world. Student Council meetings include a pizza party for students.
Program tuition and fees
The Jazz Institute of Chicago is proud to present all of our Jazz Ambassadors with a full tuition waiver to participate in the program. This means it is absolutely FREE for students to join!
Jazz Ambassadors meet Saturday afternoons October through May from 12:30-3:30pm at Columbia College’s Music Building (1014 S Michigan Avenue).
Mark Coulter, large ensemble co-director
Michael Nearpass, large ensemble co-director
John Foster, improvisation and saxophone/brass sectional coach
Katie Ernst, Jazz Links Student Council Coordinator/rhythm sectional coach
Diane Chandler-Marshall, Education programs director