Jazz Studies Program

About Jazz Lab Bands and Jazz Studies
The jazz studies program at Southern Miss is all about teaching foundational principles of improvisation, ensemble performance, composition and arranging, and applying those skills to the creative output of our students. The directions they go from there are often varied and intriguing. In the Jazz Lab Bands we explore the canon of big band greats as well as experience the newer voices of the idiom. Our repertoire covers works by the Basie Band, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Stan Kenton Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and many more. In our combos we explore works by composers such as Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and many others and encourage student originals and arrangements.

The jazz studies program at The University of Southern Mississippi has been in existence for nearly 40 years. Its ensembles include two big bands, and five to seven combos of various shapes and sizes including the award winning Southern Miss Jazztet. Among the notable guest artists who have performed with the Jazz Lab Band I are Ira Sullivan, Bob Berg, John Fedchock, Ellis Marsalis, Jeff Coffin, Carl Allen, Jovino Santos Neto, The Kenton Legacy Orchestra, The Jazz Ambassadors, and many more.

All of our ensembles, combos, and course offerings are open to non-jazz majors with the instructor's permission. Some prerequisites may apply.






Check out what some of our alumni are doing!

Bryan Hooten Trombonist with No BS! Brass CLICK HERE

Russell Welch Guitarist  CLICK HERE

Darrien Douglas Drumset and leader with The Session CLICK HERE

Tom Luer Saxophonist and leader of Project Popular CLICK HERE

Alex Pershounin Bassist and jazz educator CLICK HERE


Jazz Program Videos

Southern Miss Jazz at the Hippo

USM Jazz at the Thirsty Hippo from Noé Cugny on Vimeo.


Southern Miss Jazz 

USM Jazz 2013-2014 from Noé Cugny on Vimeo.