For information about jazz studies at PLU, contact:

Dr. David Deacon-Joyner,

Director of Jazz Studies and
Professor of Music
Department of Music
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, Washington 98447
Phone: (253) 535-7610

Concerts and Events
Jazz Studies Courses,Ensembles, and FAQ about PLU and Jazz

PLU Jazz News:

Welcome to the PLU Jazz web site. I hope this will be a useful source of information for PLU students, prospective students, and the many supporters of PLU jazz in the general public. In this "News" section, see the links above. The first directs you to the portion of this page with the current concert schedule. The second is a description of jazz studies courses at PLU and an FAQ section. The third is information on the new PLU Northwest Honor Band. We can also be found on Facebook. Search for "Jazz Studies at Pacific Lutheran University" and become a fan. Contact me at the phone number and email above with questions or information.

David Deacon-Joyner, Director of Jazz Studies

Last News Update: 8/26/14

THE NORTHWEST JAZZ HONOR BAND GOES FOR YEAR TWO! Last year PLU introduced the Northwest Honor Jazz Band. The band and the jazz workshops for faculty and students were a smashing success. For this second year, we are moving to our own date, Saturday, January 24, 2015. We hope to have two bands this year, comprised on top 10th through 12th grade jazz students nominated by their band directors and chosen by the Honor Band staff. There will a day of intense rehearsal, master classes, and a performance with nationally-renown guest artist, L.A. trombonist Scott Whitfield. See the link above for more information.

On March 13th and 14th, 2015, the UJE hopes to again participate in the Seattle Jazz Experience festival. I serve on the steering committee of the SJE and I am very excited about its goals in serving jazz education in Western Washington. I will post web links as they become available. Check it out at

This academic year we will perform our traditional four on-campus concerts in the new Karen Hille Phillips Performing Arts Center at PLU, the remodeled Eastvold Auditorium. We will also perform at the 17th annual KPLU Christmas Jam live broadcast from Lagerquist Hall at PLU's Mary Baker Russell Music Center. This year the guest artist will be jazz award-winning vocalist Gail Pettis, returning for her third appearance at the Jam. We are also working on a PLU Jazz Night at Jazz Alley, Seattle internationally recognized jazz venue. The concert will feature the jazz faculty (the Jazz Sound Trio) and PLU student combos and jazz ensemble. The date for this event is still in the works.

The concert schedule for the 2014-2015 academic year is listed below. You can also follow PLU jazz activities on Facebook. Become a fan of "Jazz Studies at Pacific Lutheran University" for updates, photos, and more.

Jazz Studies at PLU include a jazz big band (the University Jazz Ensemble), jazz combos, jazz theory, jazz history, advanced jazz improvisation, and private studio instruction in jazz guitar, piano, bass, drums, improvisation, solo vocal and arranging. The UJE holds auditions the weekend before classes begin in the fall. All other jazz offerings are open to all students at all levels of skill. The University Jazz Ensemble performs on campus and does regional tours and jazz festivals. Every four years, the UJE takes an international tour with the university wind ensemble. Past tours have included Scandinavia China, and Australia with performances at venues such as The Aula at the University of Oslo, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, music conservatories in Beijing, X'ian, and Shanghai, the Great Wall of China, Dizzy's Jazz Club in Melbourne, Australia, and the Sydney Conservatory of Music. Click on the "Jazz Studies Courses and Ensembles" link above for more details.

Music scholarships are available at PLU. Scholarship auditions are held over the weekend in February of each academic year. Instrumental medium categories include jazz rhythm for electric guitar, jazz piano, jazz bass, and drum set. No preference is given for music majors either for scholarships or ensemble auditions. Live or recorded auditions are welcome. Please contact the music department office for more information at (253) 535-7602.

Jazz Concerts and Events

Jazz Under the Stars

PLU's annual Jazz Under the Stars professional summer concert series marked its sixteenth year this summer. This series is FREE to the public, our gift to our community.

The 2015 series will begin on Thursday, July 9 in the outdoor ampthitheater of the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the PLU campus. Bring your lawn chairs and your picnic food. The series is sponsored by the PLU music department and KPLU 88.5 FM. Let me say again that this series is FREE to the public and runs Thursdays for six weeks, 7:00-9:00 p.m., plus a bonus concert at the Gonyea House, the residence of PLU president Tom Krise and his wife Patty on Thursday, August 20, 7:00-8:15, featuring the Jazz Sound Trio (the PLU jazz faculty ensemble). Music faculty member Paul Tegels offers an intermission performance on the world-famous Fuchs pipe organ in our beautiful Lagerquist Hall. There is free coffee every week, snacks for sale, and stargazing after the last three concerts at PLU's Keck Observatory, weather permitting, courtesy of the PLU physics department. Speaking of weather, JUTS concerts are NEVER cancelled due to weather. On days with inclement weather, concerts will be held in Lagerquist Concert Hall of the Mary Baker Russell Music Center.

Click here for a history of Jazz Under the Stars

I will post the lineup for 2015 when it becomes available. The lineup for the 2014 series was:

July 10: Luigi LaCross (stylistically eclectic band from Olympia)
July 17: Dmitri Matheny (Nationally renowned jazz fluegelhornist)
July 24: Hilary Gardner (New York jazz vocalist and PLU alum)
July 31: Rob Hutchinson Group (Tacoma jazz/rock fusion band)
August 7: Swinging Sounds of Courage Big Band (From JBLM)
August 14: Jazz Sound Trio w/guests Ginger and Scott (The PLU jazz faculty trio with L.A. trombonist and vocalist Scott Whitfield and vocalist Ginger Berglund)

PLU Jazz Ensemble Concerts 2014-2015

September 17: The Jazz Sound Trio (jazz faculty members David Deacon-Joyner- piano, Clipper Anderson- bass, and Mark Ivester- drums), Lagerquist Concert Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Center, 8:00 p.m. SEE THE LIVE WEBSTREAM AT
October 3: University Jazz Ensemble, Karen Hille Phillips Performing Arts Center (KHP), PLU, 8:00 p.m.
November 19: University Jazz Ensemble, with guest jazz ensemble The Swingin' Sounds of Courage from Joint Base Lewis McChord, KHP at PLU, 8:00 p.m.
December 2: PLU Combos "Final Exam" concert, The Cave, University Center, 5:30 p.m.
December 11: University Jazz Ensemble, KPLU annual Holiday Jazz Jam broadcast, guest artist Gail Pettis, Lagerquist Hall, Lagerquist Concert Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Center, free and open to the public, broadcast on KPLU 88.5 FM and streamed live at, 12:00 noon, rebroadcast on Christmas Day and available as a podcast.
Spring Semester date to be determined: "PLU Jazz Night," Jazz Alley, 2033 6th Ave, Seattle, featuring the Jazz Sound Trio, PLU student combos and jazz ensemble.
March 4:PLU Regency Jazz Ensemble (jazz faculty members David Deacon-Joyner- piano, Clipper Anderson-bass, Mark Ivester-drums), Lagerquist Concert Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Center, 8:00 p.m. SEE THE LIVE WEBSTREAM AT
March 13-14: University Jazz Ensemble at the Seattle Jazz Experience, Seattle Center (tentative).
March 18: University Jazz Ensemble, KHP at PLU, 8:00 p.m.
April 22: University Jazz Ensemble, KHP at PLU, 8:00 p.m.
May 5: PLU Combos "Final Exam" concert, The Cave, Bottom floor of the University Center at PLU, 5:30 p.m.
May 22:University Jazz Ensemble, Commencement Concert, with performances by other PLU music ensembles in Lagerquist Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Center, 8:00 p.m.

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