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The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble
The University of Mississippi
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  • Auditions for 2023-2024

    Auditions for the 2022-2023 academic year will be held August 26, 27, and 28. Please visit the Auditions page for everything you need to know.

    100 Years of Jazz at Ole Miss

    2022 marked 100 years since the Ole Miss Jazz Orchestra first appeared on campus and in the Ole Miss Yearbook. To commemorate this remarkable milestone, we commissioned a piece by legendary jazz artist, John Clayton. You can check it out here on our YouTube channel and read more about concerts that marked the centennial here.

    The Mississippians opened the 2023 Double Decker Festival

    Ole Miss Jazz and affiliates have been integral participants in the development of Oxford’s thriving music scene. The Mississippians played significant roles in establishing Oxford’s Double Decker Festival as well as the Summer Sunset Series in the Grove, performing for numerous consecutive years in the earliest editions of each. We are delighted to be making an appearance on this year’s Double Decker Festival.

    The Mississippians performed in France and Spain in 2023

    The Mississippians were selected to perform on three prestigious jazz festivals this past summer. We traveled to France to perform at Jazz à Juan and Jazz in Marciac, and to Spain to perform at Jazzaldia.

    The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble

    The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble is an 18-piece big band under the direction of Dr. Michael Worthy. Members of the band are University of Mississippi undergraduate and graduate students majoring in music and other academic disciplines. Students enroll for academic credit and meet for three fifty-minute rehearsals per week on MWF at 12:00. In 2023 the band toured France and Spain and were selected to perform on the Jazz à Juan festival in Antibes, France, Jazzaldia in San Sebastián, Spain, and Jazz in Marciac in Marciac, France. In 2018, the band toured France and Italy with performances in Genoa, Santa Margherita, Rome and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia. The band performs on campus several times throughout the year and performed at the 2016 Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival and the 2012 Jazz Education Network National Conference. The band has performed on Oxford’s Double Decker Arts Festival and performed live from the Grove on the SEC Network’s “SEC Nation.” Guest artists and clinicians have included Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Cyrus Chestnut, Tommy Igoe, Julian Bliss, Branford Marsalis, Jeff Coffin & The Mu’tet, Roy “Futureman” Wooten, Mark Taylor,  Jim Snidero, Marcus Printup, Elliot Mason, and Ali Jackson.

    Give Now! Support The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble


    The Collegians Jazz Ensemble

    The Collegians Jazz Ensemble offers students the opportunity to learn the various styles that are common in big band performance, including swing, latin, rock and funk. The Collegians rehearse on MWF at 12:00 and perform a concert each semester.

    UM Jazz Combos

    Jazz combos are small groups of 5-7 that provide students the opportunity to explore improvisation, arranging and composing. We typically have two or three combos and a faculty combo that perform at Proud Larry’s on the Oxford Square each semester. Our top jazz combo performed at the 2022 JENerations Jazz Festival in Dallas as part of the Jazz Education Network National Conference.

    UM Salsa Project

    The UM Salsa Project is a collaboration between the University of Mississippi’s percussion studio, directed by Ricky Burkhead, and the jazz studio, directed by Michael Worthy.  Made up of UM students, staff, and alumni from around the nation, the Project expresses its love and respect for salsa and other Latin styles with all of the energy and technicality Latin music demands. The Salsa Project has performed on Oxford’s Double Decker Arts Festival and Lexington’s Homecoming.

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