The University of Texas at Arlington Jazz Studies program has several ensembles which are open to all students by audition, including the UTA Jazz Orchestra, the UTA Jazz Ensemble, and several jazz combos.

The UTA Jazz Orchestra is the premiere big band at the University of Texas at Arlington. The accomplishments of this organization have brought international attention to the University and the city of Arlington while providing truly extraordinary educational opportunities and cultural experiences for its musicians.

The UTAJO has performed invitational concerts at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland; the first International Jazz Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil; the first International Jazz Festival in Nassau, commonwealth of the Bahamas. Other international tours include Montreal, Canada; the American Music Festival in Manila, Philippines; and Peking, Peoples Republic of China. Telecasts by the Swiss, Japanese, Philippine, American and Brazilian Public Broadcasting Systems have brought UTAJO performances to an estimated 70 million people across four continents.

Additionally, the band has appeared as guest artists for national conventions of the National Association of Jazz Educators and the Music Educators National Conference. The band has appeared as guest artists for the Texas Future Teachers of America convention, the Dallas Jazz Society's annual "Tribute to Duke Ellington" and for public school jazz festivals in Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Brownwood, and Lubbock. Each year the band performs numerous campus concerts in Texas Hall, the Dry Gulch and the Palo Duro Lounge at the Hereford Center.

Many of the band's graduates have excelled to professional ranks by joining such noted organizations as The Buddy Rich Big Band, The Stan Kenton Orchestra, and The Dallas Jazz Orchestra. In addition, the band members have gained invaluable experience and inspiration by performing with such guest artists as Clark Terry, Ed Shaughnessy, Mary Fettig, Tony Campise, Don Joseph, Tony Klatka, Frank Rosalino, Rich Matteson, Carl Fontanna, Jack Peterson, Willie Thomas, Larry Skinner, Mike Vax, Cat Anderson, Pete Brewer, Rob McConnell, Janice Borla, Clay Jenkins and Steve Houghton.


The UTA Jazz Ensemble is the second of three big bands at the University of Texas at Arlington. Directed by Assistant Director of Jazz Studies Dan Cavanagh, the ensemble focuses on essential jazz styles and techniques. Performing music of the big band masters as well as more recent repertoire, the ensemble allows students a chance to grow their jazz shoes and present audiences with exceptional concerts. The Jazz Ensemble has performed at the University of Kansas at Wichita Jazz Festival, Six Flags Over Texas, and other events locally and regionally.

The jazz studies program offers several jazz combos. In these small groups, students are able to work on interaction and improvisation in an intimate setting. With a blend of classic small group repertoire, jazz standards, and student compositions and arrangements, these groups are the cornerstone of the performers' training in jazz studies. In addition to performing at the Late Night Jazz Sampler each semester, the jazz combos often perform at on-campus events, local and regional functions, and much more. The jazz combos are directed by Tim Ishii, Dan Cavanagh, and the graduate teaching assistant(s).

For audition information on any of the ensembles listed above, please visit audition information.

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