Encompassing over 100 students, the jazz bands and combos perform repertoire from the traditional and contemporary jazz lexicon. Compositions and arrangements by students, faculty and alumni are frequently featured at performances.
The UMD Jazz Ensemble is the premier large jazz band consisting primarily of jazz majors and other more advanced students within the School of Music.
The UMD Jazz Lab Band is comprised primarily of undergraduate jazz and non-jazz music majors, as well as advanced non-music majors.
The University Jazz Band is an all-campus jazz band that draws talent from non-music majors across the University of Maryland.
The jazz combos are made up of four to seven musicians. This chamber jazz environment allows for an emphasis on developing improvisation and communication within the ensemble. In addition to traditional jazz repertoire, coaches and ensembles often choose repertoire around a musical theme, such as the music of Thelonius Monk, bebop, Latin jazz, contemporary, commercial, fusion and more.
In addition to a full season of jazz performances at The Clarice, the UMD Jazz Ensemble frequently performs at many off-campus events including the Maryland Music Educators Association annual conference and various local jazz festivals. Each year, the UMD Jazz Ensemble is one of three elite bands that performs at the Calvin Jones Big Band Jazz Festival — one of the most anticipated events on Washington, D.C.'s jazz calendar and frequently broadcast on the BET Network.
Combos and big bands also perform a variety of outreach concerts at venues including the National Archives, D.C. Public Library, National Building Museum, area schools and at campus events such as Maryland Day, galas and commencement activities.