Jazz studies

The College of Charleston Jazz Program provides students with outstanding skills in jazz performance, a strong background in jazz improvisation, theory, arranging and composition, as well as practical performance opportunities, in an experiential learning environment.

All of the jazz faculty are working professionals in the jazz field. This “real world” experience - whether touring the world with big name acts or leading their own more regional groups - informs the instruction of the next generation of jazz professionals.

Courses of study are available for both majors and non-majors, with a concentration in Jazz Performance available for music majors. Five jazz combos and the Reading Band offer numerous performance opportunities for students.

For more information, contact Robert Lewis at 843.953.5169 or e-mail lewisr@cofc.edu.


Jazz faculty


The Jazz Combos at the College of Charleston are the centerpiece of the jazz experience at the College. Unlike other institutions where the emphasis is on larger ensembles, the five jazz combos at the College, each with its own instructor, provide the student with a more individual and personal learning experience, with opportunities for players of all levels. These groups also perform outside of the College during many of the various music festivals held in Charleston throughout the year. Individualized instruction by some of the best players in the field, combined with plenty of performance opportunities make the jazz experience at the College a complete musical experience.

Jazz Performance Concentration for Music Majors

Applied Lessons:

  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Bass
  • Drums
  • Saxophone
  • Flute
  • Trumpet/Trombone

In addition to the 48 hours of courses required for the Music Major, the following courses are recommended:

  • 2 semesters of MUSP 286 Jazz Piano in place of Class Piano
  • Jazz Theory (MUSC 345)
  • 8 semesters of Jazz Combo (MUSC 359)
  • 8 semesters of Jazz Repertory Class (MUSC 295)

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