Jazz Studies

Two students playing jazz on trumpets in a concert

Find Your Groove

The Loyola School of Music has one of the oldest jazz programs in the south.

  • Famous alumni include Ellis Marsalis, Victor Goines, and Rick Margitza.
  • The Jazz Studies curriculum features studies in improvisation, composition, arranging, history, theory, and music industry.
  • Students have the opportunity to perform in many award-winning jazz ensembles and combos, coached by faculty who are the finest musicians New Orleans has to offer. 
  • New Orleans forms a “second classroom” for jazz studies.
  • Many Loyola students enhance their skills by gigging with New Orleans masters and their own peers, becoming part of the musical fabric of the city at historic music venues. 

Bachelors in Music: Jazz Studies

The degree program features studies in improvisation, composition, arranging, history, theory, and music industry.

See Degree Plan Course Listing for this major »

Loyola Jazz Bands

The jazz bands offer vocalists and instrumentalists an opportunity to perform music in the popular and jazz idioms along with study of arranging and techniques of improvisation. Both Jazz Band and Jazz Workshop Band are open to all University students by audition. Musicians have the opportunity to perform in both Jazz Ensembles and Combos.

Ensembles available include:

  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Workshop Band
  • Jazz Training Band
  • Jazz Combos
  • Traditional Jazz Combo
  • Afro-Cuban Ensemble
  • Jazz Vocal Ensemble
  • Jazz Guitar Ensemble


Loyola University Jazz Faculty are selected from the finest musicians New Orleans has to offer. The faculty is extremely active in the local, national and international jazz venues.

Tony Dagradi
mprovisation, Combos, Saxophone

Matt Lemmler
Piano, Jazz Theory, Jazz Improvisation, Combos

Ed Wise
Jazz Bass, Combos, Jazz Workshop Band

Wayne Maureau
Jazz Drumset, Afro-Cuban Ensemble

Don Vappie
Guitar, Traditional Jazz Combo, Jazz Guitar Ensemble

John Mahoney
Jazz Trombone

Dr. Nick Volz
Jazz Trumpet

Ray Moore
Jazz Training Band

Wess Anderson
Saxophone, Jazz Training Band

Leah Chase
Jazz Voice

Kate Duncan
Jazz Vocal Ensemble

Dr. Gordon Towell
Jazz Ensemble, Improvisation, Combo, Arranging, Composition

Jason Mingledorff
Jazz Workshop Band

Johnny Vidacovich
Jazz Drums


Jazz Festival

Loyola hosts one of the oldest educational jazz festivals in the country. Each year in March a famous guest artist joins the Loyola Jazz Ensemble to share knowledge with and perform for student jazz musicians from all over North America.

Learn more about the Loyola Jazz Festival >>

Summer Jazz Camp

The 2020 Summer Jazz Camp has been cancelled due to COVID-19. If you have already registered for this years' camp, you will receive a refund soon.

Learn more about the Loyola Jazz Camp >>


Loyola has state of the art recording facilities which are used by the jazz ensemble and combos.


For more information on our jazz studies program, please contact Gordon Towell at gltowell@loyno.edu