The UW AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE, under the direction of Nick Moran, performs music of the Latin-American jazz diaspora, with an emphasis on the rhythmic traditions of Cuba. This ensemble covers a wide range of Afro Cuban music including Son, Son-Montuno, Guaracha, Mambo, Bembe, Danzón, Guaguanco, Cha-cha-chá, Mozambique, Rumba, and Bolero. Students in the Afro Cuban Jazz Ensemble work with the rhythmic concepts of clave in practical application including improvisation and theoretical knowledge. Perfomers in the 2018-2019 Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble include Charlie Palm and Nick Hill, trumpets; Matt Cousin, alto saxophone; Bennett Leclaire, tenor saxophone; Jake Kruse, cuatro; Ariel Fogel, bass; Lily Finnegan, Jordan Kowalski and Teddy Williams, drum set & percussion.
The UW JAZZ ORCHESTRA workshops and performs music ranging from the classic big band repertoire to contemporary and cutting-edge concert jazz music by today’s leading jazz composers. The Orchestra was founded in 1968 as the Mead Witter School of Music's first jazz and popular music ensemble by trombone professor Allen Chase. Its previous directors have included bassist Richard Davis, saxophonist Les Thimmig, trombonist Claude Cailliet, and trumpeter Jim Doherty. The 2019-2020 UW Jazz Orchestra is directed by Director of Jazz Studies, Dr. Johannes Wallmann, and includes Alex Pavelic, Nicholas Urban, Max Newcomer, Alaina Dabson, and Lydia Larsen (saxophones); Nathaniel Schmidt, Jack Mulvey, David Garcia, and Jacob Hogan (trumpets); Travis Cooke and Kaden Buck (trombones); Alex Doyle (guitar), Adam Jagdfeld (piano), Meredith Nesbitt (bass), and Jordan Kowalski and Kai Linsenmeyer (drums & percussion).