Jazz Studies

One of the oldest jazz studies degree programs in the country, Wayne State's Department of Music offers a Bachelor of Music in jazz studies and a Master of Music in jazz performance. With an emphasis on composition, arranging, and improvisation, the WSU jazz program challenges students in a competitive and rewarding environment in the heart of Detroit's Midtown Cultural Center. Students who audition are automatically qualified for talent-based scholarships.

Wayne State has played host to a vast array of visiting jazz clinicians, including Branford Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Chick Corea, John Clayton, Walter White, Jon Faddis, Elvin Jones, Steve Houghton, Dave Liebman, Kenny Werner, Fareed Haque, Marvin Stam, and Woody Shaw.

In Fall 2017, through unique affiliation agreements and generous contributions the WSU Department of Music launches the Gretchen Valade Graduate Assistantship in Jazz, the Endowed Chair in Jazz, and looks forward to the future Gretchen Valade Jazz Center. Through these and other historic initiatives, WSU Students and Faculty have unique access to the artists and opportunities associated with the Detroit Jazz Festival, Mack Ave. Records, and the Gretchen Valade Legacy.

For specific program information, contact Christopher Collins, Director of Jazz Studies at jazz@wayne.edu.

There are many opportunities to perform with one of our jazz ensembles, regardless of if you are a jazz studies major or not.

Wondering what a jazz studies audition is like? check out our a sample jazz studies audition video.