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: 4/10/14

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 the second year, we are moving to our own date, Saturday, January 17, 2015. This band will be 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 a nationally-renown guest artist. See the link above for more information.

I am pleased to welcome Dr. Robert Miller back to the jazz faculty. Bob has impressive credentials as a music educator and administrator. Since officially retiring, he taught saxophone for a few years, was my sabbatical replacement, and is now helping out teaching private instruction in jazz improvisation.

This spring the UJE toured to the North, doing an exchange with the jazz students at Western Washington University, Mt. Vernon High School, LaVenture Middle School, and Skagit College. We were also thrilled to participate in the very first Seattle Jazz Experience festival, where we were coached by legendary jazz composer Bill Holman. 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 performed our traditional four on-campus concerts in the new Karen Hille Phillips Performing Arts Center at PLU, the remodeled Eastvold Auditorium. As has become our tradition for the last few years, we shares the stage with a local jazz ensemble. On our November 26 concert, we hosted the Swingin' Sounds of Courage big band from Joint Base Lewis McChord. We are excited to have this exchange with our military neighbors. We will also performed at the 15th annual KPLU Christmas Jam live broadcast from Lagerquist Hall at PLU's Mary Baker Russell Music Center. This year the guest artist was jazz vocalist Cheryl Jewell. In February, 2014, the jazz ensemble collaborated with members of the Tacoma African-American community to present its third Black History Month concert, showcasing the rich legacy of African-American arts.

The concert schedule for the 2013-2014 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 early 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 marks its fifteenth year this summer. This series is FREE to the public, our gift to our community.

The series will begin on Thursday, July 10 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. 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 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

The lineup for the 2014 series is:

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 2013-2014

September 18: PLU Regency Jazz Ensemble (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 14: University Jazz Ensemble, Karen Hille Phillips Performing Arts Center (KHP), PLU, 8:00 p.m.
November 26: 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 3: PLU Combos "Final Exam" concert, The Cave, University Center, 5:30 p.m.
December 5: University Jazz Ensemble, KPLU annual Holiday Jazz Jam broadcast, guest artist Cheryl Jewell, 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.
February 20, 2014: Black History Month Concert, University Jazz Ensemble and guest performers, Lagerquist Concert Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Center, 8:00 p.m. SEE THE LIVE WEBSTREAM AT
March 5: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 12-16: University Jazz Ensemble "North" regional tour, including the Seattle Jazz Experience.
March 19: University Jazz Ensemble, KHP at PLU, 8:00 p.m.
May 6: PLU Combos "Final Exam" concert, The Cave, Bottom floor of the University Center at PLU, 5:30 p.m.
May 14:University Jazz Ensemble, with a guest high school ensemble (to be announced), KHP at PLU, 8:00 p.m.
May 23: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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