Jazz at KSC

As a supplement to their music major, minor, or non-major academic experience, students at Keene State College participate in a wide variety of exciting offerings in the field of jazz studies.

Performance Ensembles include multiple Jazz Combos as well as a traditional Big Band Jazz Ensemble, which perform multiples concerts of music from throughout the Jazz idiom.  The rehearsal and improvisation of jazz, rock, Latin, and contemporary music are an exciting and integral part of the vibrant music environment at Keene State College.

Steve Cady lives in Keene, NH and performs throughout New England.  Studying and performing jazz since his childhood, highlights of Steve’s playing career as a bassist include performances with the “Rat Pack is Back” and “The Crooner and the Dame” Las Vegas Reviews, with the Scott Mullett Trio, at RylesJazz Club, The Press Room, and at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Steve Cady, Director of jazz ensembles

Steve has performed with New England’s finest musicians including Larry Pyatt, Rick Hammet, Russell Homan, Mark Pinto, John Mulroy, Christine Fawson, Larry Finn, Frank Green, Hendrick Merkins, Grey Sargent, Jeff Stout, John Stowell, and has shared the stage with Joan Rivers, Loraine Bracco, Steve Schirripa, and Tony Sirico.  Steve has studied with Scott Mullett, Bruce Gertz, Douglass Mapp, and Don Baldini, is a founding member and director of the famed Keene Jazz Orchestra and directs Big Band and Jazz Combos at Keene State College.

Steve’s career in Jazz Education has included guest conducting, ensemble management, and audition judge for multiple district and regional festivals as well as 20 years of experience in directing student Jazz Ensembles.

KSC Jazz students in the community!
KSC Jazz Students Perform in Emerging Artist Festival
Weekly local jazz night features KSC faculty
Keene Jazz Orchestra serves as laboratory for KSC students

Course Information

Jazz Ensemble
Course number:  MU 175 -01
Meeting time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-7:45pm

This performance based course is focused on the rehearsal, preparation, and performance of music scored for jazz orchestra.  Rehearsal time focuses on the mechanics of the music, ensemble techniques, instrumental methods, and improvisation.

Matt Marzola, Adam Jeffery, and Eric Dill, Class of 2018

Jazz Combos
Course numbers:  MU 171-15, MU 171-16, MU 171-17
Meeting time: Fridays at 11:00, 12:00, 1:00

This performance-based course is focused on the rehearsal, preparation, and improvisational performance of music within the jazz idiom.  Rehearsal time focuses on the form and harmony of jazz standards, improvisational devices, ensemble techniques, and performance practice.

Music Improvisation
Course number:  MU 222
Meeting time: Fridays, 10:00-10:50am

This course is designed to connect principles of music theory (motive, scales, chords, devices)                      with a students’ ability to produce and understand those tools on their instrument.  Use of traditional and modern melodies, ear training activities, the study of song form, and a focus on the diatonic system all encourage a participant’s ability to eventually use these devices as a creative musical outlet.

Contemporary Harmony
Course number:  MU 222
Meeting time: Fridays, 10:00-10:50am

Through theory and application, this course explores the common harmonic and scalar functions present throughout 20th-century popular music.  By using analysis, performance, and transcription, students will understand the roles, commonality, and novelty of the harmonic tendencies which predominate recorded contemporary music.

The History of Jazz
Course number:  IAMU 218
Meeting time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00-11: 45 am

Students explore jazz from its origins through modern developments. Points of focus include ethnic backgrounds, contributing factors, style characteristics, and interrelationships, literature, and performers.

Christian Raabe, Class of 2018
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