Jazz Studies
Primary Contact:
Bobby Ferrazza
Division Director

Administrative Assistant:
Julie Baker

Division Email:

Phone: (440) 775-6633
Fax: (440) 775-6813



The Oberlin Conservatory of Music's first courses in jazz studies were taught by Wendell Logan, the late founder and director of the Jazz Studies department, in 1973. In 1989, the conservatory established the department and majors that prepare students for professional careers and advanced study in jazz.

The conservatory is home to jazz faculty who helped to build the the jazz tradition and is on the vanguard of contemporary jazz. It also hosts equally influential visiting artists on a regular basis. A few of our officially sponsored visitors since 2011 includes Herbie Hancock, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nicholas Payton, Dave Liebman, Rufus Reid, Esperanza Spalding, John Hollenbeck, Cyro Baptista, Leo Blanco, and Daphnes Prieto.

For downloadable press materials, visit our pressroom.


What opportunities does the Oberlin Conservatory offer to its jazz students?

You'll work with legendary visiting artists and faculty. See our About the Faculty page for information on our professors. For information on upcoming visiting artists, please see the Conservatory's homepage, or Oberlin's Artist Recital Series online.

You'll become a part of the Oberlin Conservatory's vibrant musical community. In addition to the 20-plus-piece big band and roughly 20 small ensembles sponsored by the Jazz Studies Department, Oberlin supports numerous unofficial groups and jam sessions; the areas surrounding Oberlin offer numerous professional opportunities.
You'll rehearse, perform, practice, and record in the brand-new Bertram and Judith Kohl Building. Kohl is America's first LEED-Gold-certified music conservatory, and contains Clonick Hall — a world-class recording studio and performance space.

You'll have the opportunity to organize on-campus performances and masterclasses with artists like Ambrose Akinmusire, Steve Lehman, and Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, via student production organizations such as the Oberlin Jazz Society and the Oberlin College Black Musicians' Guild.

You'll have access to the James and Susan Neuman Jazz Collection, a collection of more than 100,000 recordings and a vast array of posters, ephemera, and iconography, believed to be the largest privately held collection in the United States. The collection was generously donated to Oberlin by James and Susan Neumann.

For Prospective Students

  • Programs of Study:
    • Jazz Performance majors study with jazz and classical applied faculty, with a specialist in the jazz idiom, participate in ensembles during all four years, and perform in recitals during their junior and senior years. Saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, percussion, and double bass are offered as areas of principal private study.
    • Jazz Composition majors study private composition beginning in their first year, are expected to explore a variety of styles and idioms, and have the opportunity to compose for a variety of ensembles, from student quartets to the jazz department's big band.
  • On-campus auditions for the jazz studies program are traditionally held in December, February, and March of the year preceding enrollment, and require a screening recording. Recorded auditions are also accepted.


  • Watch our student ensembles.