The UCI Jazz Orchestra is the premier big band of the jazz program, and a community favorite. Its quarterly concerts are routinely sold out. The Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to playing the music of the great composers and arrangers of big band history, as well as the latest works that have emerged internationally. Emphasis is placed on developing tight ensemble work that swings hard and cohesively.
The Small Groups are the jazz combos comprised of four to eight members. Taught by a world-renowned jazz faculty, several Small Group classes are offered every quarter. Emphasis is placed on learning how to play and improvise over both traditional and modern compositional structures. A key element is the development of student leadership skills in effectively conducting a small group on stage. Exposure to the historical and theoretical underpinnings of various jazz improvisation styles is also an integral part of a Small Group class.