Jazz Studies

Degrees Available

Bachelor of Music • Master of Music

  • For more information on degrees, ensembles, summer session, study abroad, and complete curricular handbooks, visit our Academics Page.
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Jazz Studies at the Bienen School of Music

Ideally situated near the jazz capital of Chicago and under the expert guidance of director Victor L. Goines, Northwestern's Jazz Studies program provides the perfect environment for jazz musicians.

The jazz studies program currently offers the bachelor of music and master of music degrees. In addition to the excellent instruction at the Bienen School of Music, students have ready access to a wide array of challenging coursework in other fields, something that can be found only at a major research university. Performance opportunities for jazz students include large and small ensembles that are heard regularly throughout the year, as well as performance opportunities in the thriving jazz scene in the greater Chicago area. Program graduates can be found in a variety of important performance and university settings throughout the United States and abroad.

Well-known as both a jazz educator and artist, Goines’ long list of credentials include current membership in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as well as recordings and concerts with many of the jazz and popular music greats of today. Additionally, he served as artistic director of the Juilliard School’s jazz studies program for seven years, developing curricula for the bachelor’s and master’s degrees and the artist diploma program.

Goines firmly believes that jazz performers must have highest-level technical skills and an in-depth knowledge of the language of jazz and its historical roots. These elements, he feels, combined with self-understanding, are invaluable in developing artists who are articulate in the idiom and who can contribute to the evolution of this important American art form.

The Jazz Studies Program is supported in part by a grant from The Owen L. Coon Foundation.

See upcoming jazz concerts at the Bienen School of Music

Performance Video

Spanish Tinge

Video: The Spanish Tinge (October 2015)
An October 2015 performance by the Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Jarrard Harris, featuring music of John Birks (“Dizzy”) Gillespie, Chico O’Farrill, and Paquito D’Rivera.

Experience music from the Jazz Studies program by searching our Davee Media Library for performances, master classes, and much more!


Request information from the Bienen School of Music.