Bachelor of Jazz Studies

A groundbreaking program led by renowned jazz musicians
Our approach to jazz education is as innovative and dynamic as the music itself. Here you can learn the language of jazz through ongoing collaborations with leading musicians of the jazz world.
The broad and comprehensive program of study focuses on the four disciplines jazz musicians must cultivate to achieve professional success: performance, composition, arranging and pedagogy. Graduates are ready to pursue a career in any of these areas, as demonstrated by a growing list of successful alumni that includes Curtis Nowosad, Amber Epp, Will Bonness, Laurent Roy, Erin ProppKarl Kohut, Luke Sellick, Niall Cade, Jocelyn Gould, Joanna Majoko, Sean IrvineRayannah, Karly Epp, and Heitha Forsyth.

Learn from marquee musicians

Our Jazz Studies faculty is made up of internationally renowned artists who are active in today’s jazz music scene. They continue to perform, compose and record regularly, and they invite jazz students to join them in their artistic adventures.

Their approach has earned the attention and praise of jazz luminaries from across North America, including esteemed guest artists who are drawn to Winnipeg to perform and teach. Imagine learning and performing alongside jazz legends like Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Regina Carter, Clark Terry and Herlin Reily. These experiences happen at our weekly Master Classes.

Immerse yourself in a thriving jazz culture

Our Jazz Studies program has raised Winnipeg’s profile on the international jazz scene, creating regular opportunities for students to perform and collaborate with accomplished artists. With ample performance opportunities, you can experience the creative partnerships and dynamic interplays that are the foundation of jazz music.

Students earn credits toward their degrees while performing regularly in our Jazz Orchestra and Small Jazz Ensembles. These groups play a central role in Winnipeg’s vibrant jazz community, opening for international artists at every concert of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performance Series and performing at popular events like Mardi Jazz.

Every week, students share the bandstand with their world class instructors and community players at the Wednesday Night Hang, a New York style jam session at a popular off-campus music venue. It’s a unique opportunity to apply the many improvisational techniques taught in the jazz curriculum.

We also bring jazz to new audiences through community initiatives like Jazz on Wheels, which introduces inner city kids to the transformative powers of music.

Leading musicians praise the Desautels Faculty of Music’s Bachelor of Jazz Studies program

“A great opportunity to prepare undergraduate students for a well-rounded education in jazz and related music" – Professor Ronald Carter, Director of Jazz Studies, Northern Illinois University

“… a new standard for jazz performance, teaching, musical knowledge and understanding” – Justin DiCioccio, Assistant Dean/Chair, Jazz Arts Program, Manhattan School of Music

“[This curriculum] supersedes the standard of Jazz education…an excellent balance between tradition and innovation" – Associate Professor Rodney T. Whitaker, Director of Jazz Studies, Michigan State University School of Music

Our Faculty

Our faculty are accomplished jazz musicians and instructors who have played with jazz legends and are committed to collaborative, innovative pedagogy.

Read more about our phenomenal jazz faculty by clicking on the links below:

Will Bonness

Karly Epp

Derrick Gardner

Jon Gordon

Karl Kohut

Larry Roy