Graduate Jazz Applicants

The award-winning jazz program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music features world-class faculty on every instrument. We look forward to meeting you at your audition.

All jazz applicants are required to submit a pre-screening by December 1st. 

Online Pre-screening Submission:
Pre-screenings will be accepted online through DecisionDesk. Please go to this website, register, and submit your pre-screening materials to University of Miami Frost School of Music by December 1st.  All submissions should include both audio and video.

Please submit your audition materials online through our DecisionDesk drop box.  DecisionDesk accepts the following file formats:

Video (MPEG, MPG, MP4, OGG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB)
Audio (MP3, M4A, OGG, AIFF, WMA, WAV, AAC)
Image (JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF)
Document (PDF, TXT, RTF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, SIB, MUS)
Individual files can be as large as 5GB, but keep in mind that larger files may take some time to upload.  Upload speed is dependent upon both file size and speed of the internet connection.  Please be patient, as files larger than 50MB can take some time.  Be sure to upload files using a stable internet connection, and make sure the computer does not go into sleep or hibernate mode while a file is uploading.  For technical support with your DecisionDesk application, please visit http://support.decisiondesk.com/ or contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The requirements are listed below for each individual instrument.  Unless specified, the pre-screening requirements are the same as the audition requirements list below.  

Jazz Saxophone:


Pre-screening:

Three short songs (standards, jazz standards, originals) in contrasting styles with live rhythm section accompaniment. Please include the melody of each song and several choruses of improvisation. Supplemental material such as minor instrument pieces, classical pieces, big band recordings, etc. is welcome but cannot substitute for the basic saxophone and rhythm format. Video is preferred, audio is acceptable. If there is any question as to suitability, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


On-Campus Audition:

Applicants should bring a list of prepared repertoire representing a variety of key centers, tempos, and rhythmic formats. Applicants will be evaluated on improvisational skills, melodic interpretation, instrumental proficiency, as well as size and variety of repertoire. Basic piano accompaniment will be provided. In some cases applicants will perform with a rhythm section. Jazz repertoire should be performed by memory.

In addition to prepared selections, applicants may be asked to demonstrate technical devices (scales, articulations), theoretical knowledge (chord scale relationships), aural skills, keyboard skills, and sight-read written music and/or chord changes.

Optional, but encouraged- a concert piece or etude (non-jazz). Applicants will be judged on technique, accuracy, phrasing, articulation, tone and intonation, etc. as related to the interpretation of a written piece of music. May be submitted as a supplemental recording.

Optional, but encouraged- an etude, concert piece, or jazz performance demonstrating skills on a secondary instrument(s) such as clarinet, flute, or piano. May be submitted as a supplemental recording.

Supplemental audition materials such as original compositions and arrangements are encouraged, but may not be substituted for the listed audition requirements. If there is any question as to the suitability, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jazz Trumpet:


Pre-screening:

Three short songs (standards, jazz standards, originals) in contrasting styles with live rhythm section accompaniment. Please include the melody of each song and several choruses of improvisation. Supplemental material such as minor instrument pieces, classical pieces, big band recordings, etc. is welcome but cannot substitute for the format above. Video is preferred, audio is acceptable. If there is any question as to suitability, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


On-Campus Audition:

Applicants to the Master of Music:

Perform melody and improvisation (3 choruses for numbers 1 and 3) for the following selections:
    •  Confirmation
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  Cherokee in B-flat (M.M. = 240)

OR:
    •  Blues
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  1st Trumpet part to Thad Jones’ arrangement of Groove Merchant

Applicants to the Doctor of Musical Arts:

Perform melody and improvisation (3 choruses for numbers 1 and 3) for the following selections:
    •  Any melody with I Got Rhythm chord changes in B-flat, D-flat, and G
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  Wayne Shorter’s Fee Fi Fo Fum or Joe Henderson’s Inner Urge

OR:
    •  Any melody with I Got Rhythm chord changes in B-flat
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  1st Trumpet part to Thad Jones’ composition Second Race

Jazz Trombone:


Pre-screening:

    •  Any melody with I Got Rhythm chord changes B-flat, D-flat, and G.
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  Cherokee in B-flat (M.M. = 240)

OR:
    •  Any melody with I Got Rhythm chord changes in B-flat
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  1st Trombone part to Thad Jones’ composition Second Race


On-Campus Audition:

Applicants to the Master of Music:

Perform melody and improvisation (3 choruses for numbers 1 and 3) for the following selections:
    •  Confirmation
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  Wayne Shorter’s Fee Fi Fo Fum or Joe Henderson’s Inner Urge

OR:
    •  Blues
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  1st Trombone part to Thad Jones’ arrangement of Groove Merchant

Applicants to the Doctor of Musical Arts:

Perform melody and improvisation (3 choruses for numbers 1 and 3) for the following selections:
    •  Any melody with I Got Rhythm chord changes in B-flat, D-flat, and G
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  Wayne Shorter’s Fee Fi Fo Fum or Joe Henderson’s Inner Urge

OR:
    •  Any melody with I Got Rhythm chord changes in B-flat
    •  Ballad of choice- melody and one chorus of improvisation
    •  1st Trombone part to Thad Jones’ composition Second Race

Jazz Bass:


Pre-screening & On-Campus Audition:

* For the pre-screening, please perform with live accompaniment wherever possible; do not use play-along tracks. The minimum instrumentation should be piano or guitar, and drums. The pre-screening should show accompaniment of another musician’s melodic statement (this does not apply to solo selections).

Applicants to the Master of Music:

Sight Reading:
    •  Classical Etudes- intermediate and advanced levels
    •  Rock/Fusion- 16th note syncopation and improvisation on intermediate and advanced levels
    •  Jazz- heads, walking lines, and improvisation on chord charts, intermediate and advanced levels

Prepared Material:
    •  Optional
    •  If selected, it should represent the highest possible level of achievement of the candidate. The material is left to the discretion of the candidate. No more than two selections.

Theory:
    •  There will be questions throughout the audition in reference to the audition material at hand

Applicants to the Doctor of Musical Arts:

All of the material cited above, but at the advanced level only. The prepared material is required.

For questions regarding audition material, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jazz Guitar:


Pre-screening:

    •  Three short songs (standards, jazz standards, originals) in contrasting styles, two with bass and drum accompaniment and one unaccompanied solo piece (chord melody for guitar). Please include the melody of each song and several choruses of improvisation. Include comping for bass solo on at least one selection.
    •  Supplemental material such as minor instrument pieces, classical pieces, big band recordings, etc. is welcome but cannot substitute for the requirements above.
    •  Video with live rhythm section is preferred, audio only acceptable. Play along tracks are highly discouraged.
    •  If there is any question as to suitability, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


On-Campus Audition:

Applicants to the Master of Music:

Be prepared for all of the following, even if some areas are omitted in the actual audition:

1. Repertoire: Bring your repertoire list with you (those standards and jazz tunes which you know from memory). You will be asked to demonstrate proficiency related to this material.

2. Sight-reading: You will be asked to sight-read several pieces.

3. Ear Training: You will be asked to demonstrate your ability to play “by ear”.

4. Theory: You will be asked questions pertaining to your knowledge of various chord voicings, scales, arpeggios, etc.

5. Improvisation: You will have the opportunity to play several contrasting pieces (of your own choice) accompanied by a member of the Jazz Guitar faculty. Know the melody and be able to improvise and accompany (if asked) on these pieces.

6. Solo Guitar: Prepare one solo jazz guitar piece (unaccompanied). This should be a standard, taken (if appropriate) at ballad tempo, or medium swing (if preferred). Include some improvisation within the framework of the arrangement.

7. Recording: Bring with you to the audition a high-quality recording (video, if possible) of some jazz performances featuring you with a rhythm section. This recording should be approximately 30 minutes in length, and have been recorded within the past two years. One selection should be with guitar and acoustic bass, and one with guitar, bass, and drums. The other selections could include a piano, or horn, if desired.

Applicants to the Doctor of Musical Arts:

The Doctoral audition is exactly the same as the Masters, but will be assessed at an appropriately higher level.

Jazz Drum Set:


Pre-screening:

Perform each of the following:
    •  One jazz piece in a trio of quartet setting with a walking bass line. Short solos (‘fours’) should be included
    •  One Contemporary fusion or rock piece, played with an appropriate rhythm section.
    •  One selection with an Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian or world rhythm
    •  One big band excerpt
Since musical interaction is essential, please use a live rhythm section for your recording.


On-Campus Audition:

Fundamental Requirements:

    •  Knowledge of jazz idiom, traditional and modern, at various tempos
    •  Proficiency in the rock, funk, and fusion styles
    •  Familiarity with Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, and world styles
    •  Soloing in various settings: trading fours, filling, and improvising over an ostinato
    •  Chart reading in various styles

Additional Masters and Doctoral Audition Requirements:

    •  Prepare two pieces in contrasting styles that exemplify your abilities in these areas. Examples would be: post bop/rhythm and blues, hard bop/fusion, or ECM/Latin jazz. Be prepared to solo over the song form of these pieces. For accompaniment, please supply a recording or sequence with which to play along.
    •  You will be asked to perform with a top-level student ensemble at the Frost School of Music, in order to assess your musical intuition and interactive skills. Sight-reading may be required.
    •  For additional evaluation, please bring a DVD which best represents your abilities in various genres.

For questions regarding audition material, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jazz Piano:


Pre-screening:

    •  Three short songs (standards, jazz standards, originals) in contrasting styles, two with bass and drum accompaniment and one unaccompanied solo piece. Please include the melody of each song and several choruses of improvisation. Include comping for bass solo on at least one selection.
    •  Supplemental material such as minor instrument pieces, classical pieces, big band recordings, etc. is welcome but cannot substitute for the requirements above.
    •  Video with live rhythm section is preferred, audio only acceptable. Play along tracks are highly discouraged.
    •  If there is any question as to suitability, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


On-Campus Audition:

Please prepare a variety of selections and bring a list of audition pieces. Include improvisation on all selections. Auditions will be performed on acoustic piano. Please prepare at least one from each of the following categories:

    •  Ballad in tempo (standard, solo piano)
    •  Swing tune (standard or jazz tune)
    •  Latin tune (standard or jazz tune)

Also, you may be asked to sight-read a piece

Bring a DVD which demonstrates your accompaniment abilities. Include a piece with at least one additional soloist: saxophone, trumpet, etc. (5 minutes). In addition, feel free to include any other material on this recording which you feel showcases your abilities in styles other than those represented at the audition (arrangements, compositions, electric keyboard selections, etc.)

Applicants to the Master of Music:

Applicants will perform solo, on acoustic piano. Include improvisation on all selections. Please prepare one or more tunes from the standard jazz repertoire, from each of the following categories:

    •  Ballad
    •  Medium Swing tune
    •  Up Tempo Swing tune
    •  Latin/Straight-eighth tune

And, selection(s) from the following list (or a composition of similar style/complexity):
    •  Nefertiti (Wayne Shorter)
    •  Riot (Herbie Hancock)
    •  The Sorcerer (Herbie Hancock)
    •  Giant Steps (John Coltrane)
    •  Countdown (John Coltrane)
    •  Tones For Joan’s Bones (Chick Corea)

Auditions will include sight-reading

Feel free to include any other material you feel showcases your abilities- Original compositions/arrangements, DVD recordings, other styles (Classical, B-3 organ, electric keyboard, etc.)

Applicants to the Doctor of Musical Arts:

Applicants must perform the same requirements are above. Doctoral candidates are strongly encouraged to prepare an original composition, as well as bring in samples of their compositions/arrangements (preferably recorded, as well as scores).

Jazz Voice:


Pre-Screening Audition:

Three short songs (standards, jazz standards) in contrasting style, two (2) with rhythm section accompaniment (live rhythm section preferred, play-along tracks acceptable) and one (1) either self-accompanied selection on piano or one song singing and playing piano with a rhythm section that demonstrates comping ability.

Please include the melody of each song and several choruses of improvisation. Supplemental material such as secondary instrument pieces, classical pieces, solo recordings, etc. is welcome, but cannot substitute for the basic vocal with rhythm section format.

The pre-screening video must be submitted through DecisionDesk. If there is any question as to suitability, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

On-Campus Audition:

Applicants to the Master of Music:

    •  Perform two selections from the traditional standard or jazz repertoire at contrasting tempos (medium to fast swing) including at least two choruses of improvisation. One of these pieces should also include a section of about eight measures sung a capella. A rhythm section will be provided. Applicants will provide all necessary parts/charts in his/her appropriate performance key.
    •  Perform one selection from the traditional standard or jazz repertoire in slow/ballad style that includes a portion in rubato tempo.
    •  One self-accompanied selection on piano that demonstrates comping ability.
    •  Perform additional selections (two maximum) of the applicant’s choice. These may include material from the above styles or any other style- Latin, fusion, R&B, etc., and may include original compositions.
    •  Applicants must be prepared to demonstrate sight-singing ability, aural skills, and theory knowledge.

Supplemental audition materials such as original compositions and arrangements are encouraged, but may not be substituted for the listed audition requirements. If there is any question as to suitability, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Applicants to the Doctor of Musical Arts:

    •  Applicant must demonstrate mastery of the jazz vocal idiom in a 30 minute performance. Program should be varied and demonstrate knowledge of traditional and contemporary jazz repertoire and improvisational styles that include bebop, modal, and fusion. A rhythm section will be provided. Applicant will provide all necessary charts/parts/lead sheets in his/her appropriate performance key.
    •  Applicant must be prepared to demonstrate jazz keyboard (accompaniment) skills, sight-singing and aural skills, and a knowledge or jazz theory.

Supplemental audition materials such as original compositions and arrangements are encouraged, but may not be substituted for the listed audition requirements. If there is any question as to suitability, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).