Our two Jazz Ensembles offer big band experience to students. Membership is open to University students by audition during the first week of the fall term. Both ensembles perform on campus concerts each term and tour off campus within the state and region. Jazz combos give students the opportunity to perform in a small group setting with an emphasis on improvisation. In addition, courses on jazz improvisation are offered to students. USD Jazz Ensembles have performed at some of the nation's top collegiate jazz festivals, including the UNC-Greeley Jazz Festival and the Wichita Jazz Festival.
Recognized jazz soloists and clinicians such as Bobby Shew, Chris Vadala, Allen Vizutti, Jim Pugh, Willie Thomas, Buddy Baker, Dave Samuels and others have performed with the University Jazz Ensembles, offering students the opportunity to perform with some of the top artists in the country.