With several Jazz ensemble opportunities available to students, you can audition for the one that best fits your goals and style as a music major. Auditions for these 3 groups are at the start of term each year. Find out more information at Orientation and Convocation (which takes place the first Monday of fall term).

PSU Vocal Collective in performance

PSU Vocal Collective

Composed primarily of Jazz majors this exciting 16-student group focuses on vocal jazz and pop music. If you are a vocalist or a member of the rhythm section, this can be a great group to perform with. The ensemble performs several times a quarter for different events, concerts, and festivals.

Sherry Alves headshot

Sherry Alves - Jazz Voice Area Coordinator

Sherry Alves is the Instructor of Jazz Voice at Portland State University where she teaches applied jazz voice, improvisation, jazz pedagogy, jazz vocal ensembles and combos, and special topics in music history.

The PSU Big Band in rehearsal

Salsa Band & Big Band

Specializing in salsa music, this large Jazz ensemble practices weekly and performs at least once per quarter. The Big Band (Also known as the Jazz Lab Band) performs traditional jazz literature in a Big Band setting.

A student jazz combo in performance


As a music major, you can form your own group in addition to your large ensemble participation. As Area Director George Colligan remarks, “If you aren’t performing in a small group, you are missing an essential piece of jazz. It makes you a part of the community, and more importantly, it’s fun.”

George Colligan at the piano

George Colligan - Jazz Area Coordinator

George Colligan is not only one of the great jazz pianists of his generation, but he has earned an international reputation as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, accompanist, teacher, and bandleader.