The Jazz Program is widely recognized for its distinguished faculty, successful alumni and award-winning students. This challenging program helps students develop into highly versatile performers, improvisers and composers who are able to successfully initiate, produce and integrate work informed by jazz styles with other musical traditions and the latest innovations in contemporary music. The program emphasizes small ensemble performance and improvisation, and offers exceptional performance opportunities, both on- and off-campus, as well as opportunities to work with and observe world-class guest artists. Students rehearse and perform with faculty on a regular basis, while their work is continuously honed in private sessions, classes, ensembles and performances. Studies in this program culminate in recitals, often augmented by recording projects.
Every spring (since 1990) CalArts music students have had the rare opportunity—based on a judged competition—to record new original compositions at the legendary Capitol Studios, with the best recording engineers in the world. These recordings are available to stream or download in their entirety, without charge, from the CalArts Jazz CD Archive page linked below. The page also features photo galleries and links to each of the hundreds of talented musicians and graphic designers that have participated in the project over the years.