Jazz Studies

Degrees Available


About the Jazz Studies Program

Ideally situated near the jazz capital of Chicago, Northwestern’s Jazz Studies program is opening a new chapter with the recent appointment of Victor L. Goines as director.

The jazz studies program currently offers the bachelor of music and master of music degrees. In addition to the excellent instruction at the Bienen School of Music, students have ready access to a wide array of challenging coursework in other fields, something that can be found only at a major research university. Performance opportunities for jazz students include large and small ensembles that are heard regularly throughout the year, as well as performance opportunities in the thriving jazz scene in the greater Chicago area. Program graduates can be found in a variety of important performance and university settings throughout the United States and abroad.

Well-known as both a jazz educator and artist, Goines’ long list of credentials include current membership in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as well as recordings and concerts with many of the jazz and popular music greats of today.  Additionally, he served as artistic director of the Juilliard School’s jazz studies program for seven years, developing curricula for the bachelor’s and master’s degrees and the artist diploma program.

Goines firmly believes that jazz performers must have highest-level technical skills and an in-depth knowledge of the language of jazz and its historical roots.  These elements, he feels, combined with self-understanding, are invaluable in developing artists who are articulate in the idiom and who can contribute to the evolution of this important American art form.

The Jazz Studies Program is supported in part by a grant from The Owen L. Coon Foundation.

Performance Video

The following performance of the Victor Goines Quartet is from our Davee Media Library, a video, audio, and photographic collection of performances, master classes, and documentaries.

Victor Goines Quartet   Video: Victor Goines Quartet (October 2011)
Saxophonist and clarinetist Victor Goines, Director of Jazz Studies at the Bienen School of Music, performs in concert at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall with his quartet. Also featured are Aaron Diehl, piano; Phillip Kuehn, bass; and Marion Felder, drum set; with Ruben Alvarez and Felipe Fraga on percussion.





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