The University of Pittsburgh Jazz Ensemble, founded by Dr. Nathan Davis in 1969, is recognized internationally as one of the best collegiate Jazz groups performing today. Under the direction of Dr. Davis, the ensemble has performed around the globe, garnering critical praise and providing native audiences with the exciting sounds of Jazz.

In recent years, the ensemble has performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, as well as engagements in Brazil, Trinidad and the Southern United States. They regularly perform at local schools and civic centers. Beginning in 1990, the ensemble began a ten year stint as artists in residence in Jamaica, spending two weeks each year performing, absorbing Caribbean culture and building good will and friendships.

Jazz in Concert

Every Spring the Jazz Ensemble plays a concert with famous jazz artists. Past concerts featured such notable guests as James Moody, Frank Foster, Donald Byrd, Benny Golson and Larry Coryell.


The ensemble is comprised of dedicated, talented musicians and vocalists from the University of Pittsburgh. It meets twice a week for a two-hour class for credit and is not restricted to music majors. The students are selected from auditions, which are held each year at the beginning of the fall term. They perform works ranging from classical to contemporary Jazz.

Band alumnus include the likes of pianists Geri Allen and Vince Genova, bassist Dwayne Dolphin, Mokoto Kyria (currently a record producer and performer in Japan), and Dave Detwiler (trumpet player retired from the Army Blues Band and currently performing in the Washington, D.C. area.)

If you need more information, please contact:

Jazz Studies
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Telephone: 412 624-4187
Fax: 412 624-4186