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U-M Jazz Ambassadors Summer Intensive

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U-M Jazz Ambassadors Summer Intensive

The U-M Jazz Ambassadors is a highly selective jazz combo program that allows a small group of Michigan’s finest high school jazz players to work intensively with University of Michigan jazz faculty and a special guest artist/clinician. 

Jazz Ambassadors is open to current 10-11 grade students. The application process must be initiated by a music teacher or band director’s recommendation before a student may apply. Only one student on each instrument (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano, bass and drums) will be admitted. Other instruments may be considered on a case-by-case basis, but space is limited to 7 students total.

2024 Jazz Ambassador Summer Intensive Dates: June 23 – June 28, 2024

U-M Faculty Director: Professor Ellen Rowe

Program Focuses
  • Improvisation
  • Jazz Theory and Aural Skills
  • Jazz Keyboard Skills
  • Small Group Performance
  • Rhythm Section Skills
  • Composition/Arranging
  • Applied Instrumental Training
  • Rhythmic Training


Application Checklist

  1. Band Director or Music Teacher Recommendation
  2. Audition Video
  3. Headshot
  4. Bio outlining previous performance experience

Audition Video

Upload a video audition with the requested information below. You may upload more than one video, as needed.

Note: Audition requirements for your specific instrument are listed below.

Jazz Ambassadors Audition Requirements

All auditions must be performed with other musicians or a play-along track.

1. Medium tempo blues tune of applicant's choice, in any key. Head, 4 choruses of improvisation and head out.

  • Pianists/Guitarists – play the melody, comp two choruses, solo for 3
  • Bassists – play melody if possible, walk two choruses and solo for 3
  • Drummers – start with brushes for 2 choruses, switch to sticks for 2 and trade fours for 4 choruses. If performing with a play along, solo for four bars and play time for four for the four choruses.
2. Ballad - applicant should play entire melody and take one chorus of solo. No need for a repeat of the melody afterwards unless applicant so desires.

  • Pianists/Guitarists – play the first half of the melody of the tune and comp chords for the second half. Play one chorus of improvised solo
  • Bassists – play half the melody (arco if possible), play time for the second half, take one chorus of improvised solo
  • Drummers – play one half of one chorus of time with brushes and the second half with sticks
3. Tune of applicant's choosing in a different groove or tempo than the blues selection. Original compositions welcome!

  • Pianists/Guitarists – play the melody, comp one chorus, solo for two
  • Bassists – play melody if possible, walk or play bass groove for one chorus, solo for two
  • Drummers – play time for two choruses and either trade fours or eights, unless tune has odd length phrases in which case play an entire chorus of solo
4. Optional – pianists and guitarists may also submit a performance of a piece in solo Piano or solo guitar format

  • Upload one color headshot
  • Headshots do not have to be professionally taken, but should be clear and recent.
  • Headshots should be front-facing, as they will be used for ID purposes.

Questions? Contact us at smtd-youthandadult@umich.edu