Conservatory of Music

From Bach to Broadway

Jazz Emphasis

Baldwin Wallace offers performance and music education majors the opportunity to add a jazz emphasis to their degree program.  All courses are taught and/or directed by Greg Banaszak, Lecturer in Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies.  Professor Banaszak is a B.M. cum laude graduate of Hartt School of Music.  He holds a M.M. degree from the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland and an Artist Diploma form the Centre Music D'Annecy in France. As both a classical and jazz performer, Banaszak is one of today's leading saxophonists and has performed as a concerto soloist and recitalist throughout the United States, France, Germany, Hungary, and Poland, just to name a few.  He has studied privately with Vincent J. Abato, Kenneth Radnofsky, David Pituch, and jazz legend Jackie McLean.  See Greg Banaszak's full bio on his Web page.         



This emphasis consists of 14 credits, including the following courses: jazz ensemble, jazz combo, jazz improvisation, jazz arranging, composition, and jazz history.

Jazz Ensemble (1 credit hour)
4 semesters required (total of 4 credit hours)
See below for course description.

Jazz Combo (1 credit hour)
4 semesters required (total of 4 credit hours)
See below for course description.

Jazz Improvisation (2 credit hours)
The development of basic improvisational skills. Some performance background necessary.

Jazz Arranging/Composition (2 credit hours)
(Offered in alternate years) Fundamental techniques in arranging and composition for the jazz idiom. Analysis of stylistic approaches, compositional devices, and instrumentation. Weekly compositional and/or arranging projects required.

Jazz History (2 credit hours)
A survey of jazz from its origins through Dixieland and Ragtime to the present.




Jazz Ensemble
The Baldwin Wallace University Jazz Ensemble consists of both Conservatory and Liberal Arts students who are interested in developing and displaying their jazz musicianship.  The ensemble rehearses twice a week; on Tuesdays from 6:00 - 7:30pm and Wednesdays from 6:30 - 8:00pm.   Rehearsals are focused on ensemble as well as solo and improvisational work.  Recent works performed by the ensemble include compositions by John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, and Count Basie.  Guest artists are frequently brought in to coach and perform with the ensemble.

Jazz Combo
The Jazz Combo (aka Jazztet) is a smaller ensemble that consists of seven musicians who are members of the Jazz Ensemble.  The Jazztet is typically featured during the Jazz Ensemble concerts, and they also perform in their own concerts throughout the year as well.  Recent works performed by the group include compositions by Horace Silver and Lee Morgan.



Guest Artists

As mentioned above, guest artists are frequently brought in to coach and perform with the Jazz Ensemble.  Professor Banaszak constantly brings in talented musicians and professors for his students to work with and learn from.  Recent guest artists of the Jazz Ensemble include:

  • Lew DelGatto: Saxophonist/Arranger; Saturday Night Live
  • Steve Davis: Trombonist; Former member: Art Blakely and the Jazz Messengers, Jackie McLean Quintet, Chick Corea Ensemble
  • Jack Schantz: Trumpet; Musical Director, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
  • Ron Busch: Vibraphonist/Recording Artist
  • Greg Bandy: Drummer/Recording Artist
  • Mike DiRubbo: Saxophonist/Criss Cross Recording Artist
  • Rich Goldstein: Guitarist/Recording Artist; Faculty Member, Hartt School of Music
  • Kris Jensen: Saxophonist/Recording Artist; Member, Allman Brothers Band
  • Gary Keller: Saxophonist/Director of Jazz Studies, University of Miami
  • Alan Durst: Saxophonist/Faculty Member, California State University, Fresno



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