A unique Jazz Studies curriculum taught by a world-class faculty of artist-teachers.

Fostering a “Real World” atmosphere and promoting the development of fundamental skills in Jazz.


Joey Skoch, piano Samir Al-Hadid, vocal ensembles
Maria Jacobs, vocal  Dustin May, percussion
Aidan Plank, bass Bobby Selvaggio, Director of Jazz Studies, saxophone

Request Sample Lesson

Program Features

Through the Jazz curriculum and ensemble performance, students:

  • Are provided the opportunity to improve individual musicianship.
  • Create a personal voice.
  • Learn from and be inspired by the rich history, and understand the evolutionary process and modern trends of jazz. 
  • Become musical leaders and positive contributors to the Kent State University experience.

An Active Performance Life 

  • The Kent State University Jazz Studies Program offers numerous performance opportunities to students including the Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Workshop Ensemble, combos, and two full vocal jazz ensembles
  • Performances are held in various venues on campus, with several opportunities to play at venues throughout Northeast Ohio. 
  • Off-campus performances regularly take place at Nighttown and Blu Jazz, high school jazz festivals, The Tri-C and Lakeland Jazz Festivals, and Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. 
  • In 2018 and 2020 the Jazz Orchestra and Nova Jazz Singers will travel to New York City to perform at Shapeshifter Lab, among other venues. 
  • The Jazz Studies Program also regularly collaborates with the Kent State Stark Campus to produce recordings.

Teaching and Learning

Special Events and Outreach

  • The Kent State University Jazz Studies Program organizes and participates in major School of Music events including Saxophone Day, the High School Jazz Invitational and tours with the Kent State Wind Ensemble.
  • Now well-established, the popular Kent State Saxophone Day hosts 80+ saxophonists annually, with participants coming from Ohio and Pennsylvania. Including both jazz and classical areas, participants experience masterclasses with Kent State faculty and guest artists, rehearsals and performances throughout the day-long event.
  • Featuring two high school jazz ensembles, the Kent State High School Jazz Invitational is an annual all-day event that includes interactive rehearsals, masterclasses and an evening performance open to the public. High school students and Kent State Jazz Studies students also have opportunities to interact and collaborate throughout the day.

Curriculum: A Unique Conservatory-Style Approach

Unique to the region, the conservatory-style curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of jazz while working towards creating a personal voice for each student. It includes: 

  • Classes include Jazz Improvisation 1 and 2
  • Jazz Composition and Arranging
  • Jazz History
  • Jazz Styles and Analysis
  • Fundamentals of Jazz Piano
  • Applied Jazz

Enriching Masterclass and Clinic Experiences

The Kent State University Jazz Studies Program offers also offers insight into the professional musician’s life through regular masterclasses with jazz giants currently on the scene today.

Past guests include:

  • Kenny Werner, pianist and composer
  • Carl Allen, drummer and educator
  • Aaron Goldberg, pianist
  • Donny McCaslin, saxophonist
  • The Dave Liebman Quintet
  • The Hal Galper Quartet featuring saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi
  • Nir Felder, guitarist
  • Glenn Zaleski, composer and keyboardist
  • Paul Tynan, trumpeter and composer

In addition to opportunities to learn from these renowned guest artists in masterclasses, students often have the opportunity to perform with them in intimate settings.

Degrees and Programs Offered

B.A. in Music: Jazz Studies Minor in Jazz Studies*

*The Jazz Studies minor can be paired with any undergraduate major at Kent State, including other programs offered by the Glauser School. 

Questions or Want More Information?

Glauser School Admissions
musicadmissions@kent.edu | 330-672-2172
Bobby Selvaggio 
Director of Jazz Studies 
rselvagg@kent.edu | 330-672-2965

Listen and Watch


Undergraduate Admissions and Audition Requirements

Undergraduate Admission Requirements
Jazz Studies

Audition Dates and Procedures | Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarship & Financial Aid

Undergraduate Music Scholarships 

Music majors are eligible for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance from a variety of sources.

Several of these programs are administered directly by the School of Music, others are coordinated through Student Financial Aid. It is possible to receive combined assistance from more than one source. 


  • Awarded for outstanding musicianship upon recommendation of the audition committee at the time of acceptance to the School of Music. One audition applies to both acceptance and scholarship application.
  • Scholarships range in a variety of amounts per academic year and may be available for up to four years (eight semesters) provided students meet academic and performance expectations for renewal.
  • Most of these scholarships are awarded soon after our March audition date.

Questions about School of Music Scholarships?

Dana Brown, Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies 
dabrown@kent.edu | 330-672-9236


  • Service scholarships awarded by the society in support of the activities of Kent State University Orchestra.
  • Awarded to exceptional candidates by the Orchestra Director.
  • Amount of awards vary according to talent and need and may be renewable.
  • May be awarded in addition to other School of Music Scholarships.
  • Continuation of the scholarship is based upon artistic development and fulfillment of service responsibilities.

Marching Golden Flash Award


  • $1,000 divided into two $500 installments between the fall and spring semesters.
  • Recipients must participate in ALL required activities of the Marching Golden Flashes.


  • Incoming Kent State University first-year students.
  • Past returning members of the Marching Golden Flashes.
  • Must be enrolled in classes at Kent State.
  • Open to students of ANY major at Kent State.


Email bands@kent.edu

Learn about Personalized Glauser School Visits, University Visit Events and Conferences we'll be attending. Request a Sample Lesson with faculty.

Apply to our pre-college, undergraduate & graduate programs as a first-year, transfer or international student.

Find quick answers to questions you may have about the Glauser School and Kent State.

Explore our eight areas of study offering 15 undergraduate and graduate degrees.