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Jazz Area Auditions

Jazz Area Auditions

A] Auditioning for the Jazz Major
B] Auditioning for Jazz Ensembles
Additional information can be found at the
CSU Northridge Jazz website at

A] Auditions For the Jazz Major

(winds, brass, piano, guitar, bass and voice – LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT PROVIDED)

A. Prepare 3 “standard” tunes:
  1. Medium Swing
  2. Ballad
  3. Straight eighth (bossa nova, samba)
  • Vocalists will provide 3 copies of all lead sheets in their key)
Be prepared to:
  1. Improvise on each tune
  2. Embellish the melody using jazz interpretation
  • Pianists and Guitarists may play one standard unacompanied
B. Play “Blues” in any key of your choice.
  • Be able to play a melody (head) and improvise.
C. Scales:
  • ALL Major Scales Half Note M.M.=120
  • ALL Natural, Melodic, and Harmonic Minor scales. Half Note M.M.=120
D. Sight-reading

The audition will also consist of sight reading different styles of music. Jazz, Latin, Straight 8th (Latin or rock).

Audition Requirements Drums and Percussion

Prepare a solo piece (2-5 minutes-sticks and brushes) demonstrating various styles including:

  • SWING: med. swing, fast swing, shuffle, funk (hip-hop)
  • STRAIGHT EIGHTHS: straight 8th (bossa nova, mambo, salsa, samba, songo etc.)
  • Sight-Reading
  • Be prepared to “trade 4′s” on all of the above styles-LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT PROVIDED


Monday August 25 @ 5:00 Room CY 159 (first day of classes)

• Big Bands
• Combos

Audition procedure

1. Required Tune [Jazz Majors only] "Prince Albert"
[Click to download "Prince Albert" part. Tempo is med/up swing. Half note = 100]

2. Perform a Jazz tune of your choice [all students]
Perform a (jazz) selection of your choice that can best demonstrate your jazz experience both technically and musically.
     -Jazz Majors will perform this selection from memory.
     -Non–majors may select a jazz standard from the "Real Book" [or any other composition] – it need not be memorized.

3. Woodwind players will demonstrate their experience with all doubles (it is not required that non-jazz majors double)

4. Sight Reading

5. Improvisation (required of Jazz Majors)

Questions? Contact CSU Northridge Jazz at:


CSU Northridge Jazz Ensembles

Big Bands

Rehearsal Schedule: Mon-Wed from 5:00PM to 7:40PM
The Flagship Large Jazz Ensemble of the CSU Northridge Jazz Studies Program

2014, 2012, 2006 and 2005 Reno Jazz Festival/First-Place Collegiate Division.

Awarded "Best Large Ensemble" by Downbeat Magazine 36th Annual Student Music Awards 2013

The 2012, 2010 and 2008 Monterey "Next Generation" Jazz Festival/First-Place Collegiate Division

2012 California Alliance for Jazz (CAJ) State Championships/First-Place Collegiate Division Collegiate Division

First place Collegiate Big Band at the 2011 Super Jazz Festival

JAZZ "B" BAND – "Studio Jazz Ensemble" 

Rehearsal Schedule: Tues-Thurs 5:30PM to 6:45PM

Rated among the top 5 Collegiate Big Bands at the 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 Reno Jazz Festivals

JAZZ "C" BAND – "Jazz Lab Big Band" 

Rehearsal Schedule: Tues-Thurs 4:00PM to 5:15PM

Performs campus concerts and local jazz festivals

JAZZ "D" BAND – "Workshop" 

Rehearsal Schedule: Monday evenings 7:30PM – 9:30PM


Small Bands and Combos

"JAZZ COMBOS" Class Schedule: Wednesdays 7:30PM. REQUIRED OF ALL JAZZ STUDIES MAJORS – 10 Ensembles

"LATIN ENSEMBLE" - Rehearsal Schedule: Mondays 12:30PM – 2:30PM. (Auditions by appointment only)

"NuVeau Art Ensemble". Avant-garde improvisation Ensemble
 Rehearsal Schedule: Tuesdays 7:30PM (jazz majors only, by invitation)