Jazz Arts at Manhattan School of Music, led by acclaimed vibraphonist Stefon Harris, is one of the world's leading programs for jazz music.
Our comprehensive program prepares skilled performers, composers, arrangers, and jazz educators for successful careers in jazz music.
As one of the first conservatories in the U.S. to acknowledge the prime importance of jazz as an art form, Manhattan School of Music’s programs of study for jazz arts majors are designed to develop skilled performers, composers, arrangers and jazz educators in preparation for careers in jazz music.
Systematic and rigorous conservatory training, combined with a myriad of performance and networking opportunities in New York City make this program one of the richest of its kind for young jazz musicians.
Composition (MM only)
Voice (MM & DMA only)
In addition to studies with our expert faculty, students are provided additional opportunities to play for and observe world-renowned guest artists. Recent master classes include:
Every concert season, guest soloists are featured in concert with our large ensembles, providing enriched performance experiences for students. Recent guest soloists include Paquito D’Rivera, NEA Jazz Masters Candido and Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, and vocalists Jane Monheit, Roberta Gambarini, and Judi Silvano.
All students in the Jazz Arts degree programs are required to fulfill their ensemble requirement as outlined in their course sequence plans and as assigned by the associate dean of the Jazz Arts Program.
Procedures By Instrument Type
Jazz Arts Department Handbook — includes information for current students on a variety of issues including ensemble and audition requirements, juries, recitals, grading systems, etc.
MSM Course Catalog
Jazz composition is offered for graduate applicants who wish to pursue a Master of Music degree. Students who major in jazz composition at Manhattan School of Music are presented with several unique and special opportunities to develop their art. These include regularly scheduled composers’ reading sessions each semester for large and small ensembles; two Jazz Philharmonic reading sessions with full studio orchestra (symphony orchestra & jazz big band; sessions are recorded for faculty review and study); student commissions with performance and monetary awards, performance of compositions at Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts, quarterly jazz composers’ concerts for chamber and jazz orchestra ensembles; and open access to two computer-based electronic music studios.
Classes are offered in studio synthesis techniques, composing and arranging for MIDI synthesizer, arranging for jazz composers, advanced studio recording, film scoring classes, songwriting classes.
Jazz voice is offered for graduate applicants who wish to pursue a Master of Music degree. The jazz voice program at Manhattan School of Music is designed to prepare each vocalist to be an exceptional performer who is able to function in today’s business of music. The program is spearheaded by our internationally reknown faculty Theo Bleckmann and Kate McGarry. Here are some of the highlights of the program:
The program of study leading to the Manhattan School of Music doctor of musical arts degree is offered with a major in Jazz Arts Advancement.
As jazz music continues to work its way into the mainstream of the American education system, new and innovative methods need to be formulated to assure the perpetuation and development of this important art form. The Manhattan School of Music philosophy is that this is best done at the actual point where knowledge is transferred, at the level of the educator.
Having created a program that attracts top musical talent, Manhattan School of Music trains Doctor of Musical Arts candidates through an integrated and innovative educational format that focuses on three distinct and critical areas of jazz music: performance, composition and pedagogy. This three-fold educational concept enables a student to develop as “The Complete Artist Musician” — one who excels equally as a performer, composer, arranger, teacher, conductor of workshops and clinics, and lecturer. This distinctive concept in music education is the central philosophy of the Manhattan School of Music Doctoral Jazz Arts Advancement Program.
Additional info available here: Doctoral Jazz Arts Advancement Program
Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet
Fabian Almazan, piano
Patrick Bartley, saxophone
Donald Byrd, trumpet
Ron Carter, double bass
Harry Connick Jr., voice
Kate Davis, double bass; voice
Justin DiCioccio, drums; former Associate Dean and Chair
Sullivan Fortner, piano
Herbie Hancock, piano
Hugh Masekela, trumpet
Jane Monheit, voice
Jason Moran, piano
Adam O’Farrill, trumpet
Linda Oh, bass
Aaron Parks, piano
Chris Potter, saxophone
Max Roach, drums
Christian Sands, piano
Joe Saylor, drums
Kimberly Thompson, drums
Joe Wilder, trumpet
Bernie Williams, guitar
Phil Woods, saxophone
Miguel Zenon, saxophone
Stefon Harris, Associate Dean
Michele Wright, Associate Director
VIDEO: A preview of MSM Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra concert on January 26, 2018
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Professional Studies Certificate
Precollege (Ages 5-18)
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Associate Dean and Director of Jazz Arts (College)
Jazz Saxophone (College)
Jazz Trombone (College)
Jazz Bass (College)
Jazz Violin (College)
Jazz Piano (College)
Jazz Guitar (College)
Jazz Trumpet (College)
Jazz Trombone (College), Classical Trombone (Precollege)
Jazz Composition (College)
Jazz Theory (College)
Jazz Drum Set (College)
Afro Cuban Jazz (College)
Jazz Double Bass (College)
Jazz Guitar (College, Precollege), Chair of Precollege Jazz Arts
Jazz Piano (College & Precollege)
Jazz Saxophone, Artist-in-Residence (College)
Jazz Arts — Music of Miles Davis (College)
Jazz Arranging (College)
Jazz Composition, Music History (College)
Jazz Arts (College)
Jazz Violin (College & Precollege)
Jazz Voice (College)
Jazz Flute (College)