The Georgia Southern Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. William Schmid, provides a venue for qualified musicians to perform jazz in a 20-member big-band. The group performs at least four concerts each year on campus with a repertoire ranging from Big Band Era standards to contemporary styles and original jazz compositions. Guest artists who have performed with the group include Bobby Shew, Tom Malone, and Jon Faddis. The Jazz Ensemble’s popular concerts serve to expose listeners throughout southeast Georgia to this authentic American music.
The Georgia Southern jazz area also features smaller student combos, which normally consist of five to eight musicians. By their very nature, these chamber groups feature a greater emphasis on jazz improvisation than is possible within the larger Jazz Ensemble setting. The combos perform material from the traditional and contemporary jazz repertoire with an emphasis on small group performing skills and jazz improvisation. These combos play numerous on- and off-campus concerts.