The primary aim of the Jazz department is to create a stimulating and inspiring culture for jazz musicians.
As well as nurturing individual development, we place a great deal of emphasis on artistic exchange between students and staff, both within the Conservatoire and on the wider public stage: from local venues to international festivals.
Develop your individual jazz style and potential
Our autonomy means you will follow a curriculum dedicated to jazz performance on a course specifically designed to meet your needs.
Because we are able to offer such specialised study, you’ll find yourself learning alongside a body of jazz students who are all highly focused and committed.
Experience exciting opportunities to perform
We have a long running relationship with the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, as one of the Festival Partners.
Each year at the festival selected students from our Jazz Department get opportunities to perform on various stages at the festival and in the festival fringe programme.
Be part of a thriving city jazz scene
The jazz scene in the Birmingham area is flourishing. We have an exceptionally strong relationship with Jazzlines, the region’s main promoter, and our students enjoy free entry to their gigs for a nominal Birmingham Jazz membership fee.
During the last academic year alone, our students have attended performances through this scheme by internationally acclaimed artists such as Joe Lovano, the Fly Trio (Jeff Ballard, Mark Turner and Larry Grenadier), Uri Caine, Jim Black and masterclasses from Dave Holland, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff Ballard and George Colligan.
Birmingham hosts numerous clubs and venues that support the local scene including the Midlands Arts Centre Birmingham, The Rainbow, Symphony Hall Foyer, Fizzle, the Glee Club, TL’s and the Jam House.
Another welcome addition to the scene is the BBC Big Band, resident at the Birmingham’s Town Hall. All this means you will be able to immerse yourself in a vibrant and energising music scene.
A number of large ensembles to perform with
In addition to the main First Study activity of small group jazz, there are three large ensembles for jazz students; Big Band, Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Composers Ensemble.
The Big Band concentrates on core traditional repertoire such as Basie, Ellington and Thad Jones while the Jazz Orchestra focuses on contemporary writers and themed projects.
In 2017 we launched the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Ellington Orchestra, which has been established to become a regular fixture in our new Eastside Jazz Club.
The Ellington orchestra is made up of students studying on our BMus Jazz course, and one of the reasons for its launch is to make Ellington, always a regular feature of the department’s Big Band coaching repertoire, more of a regular fixture.
BMus (Hons) Jazz
This course meets with the needs of the modern jazz performer – it places emphasis on practical work, with the majority of time dedicated to one-to-one lessons, small group coaching and private practice. You will graduate as a versatile, professional musician, knowledgeable about the entrepreneurial opportunities available to you.BMus (Hons) Jazz
Jazz (Performance or Instigator) - MMus/PgDip
The MMus principal study Jazz is designed for recent graduates and suitably qualified mature students. You will benefit from regular individual specialist tuition from professional jazz musicians active on today’s scene. Hone the art of improvisation alongside regular opportunities to rehearse and perform with small and large jazz ensembles.MMus/PgDip Jazz
We have a variety of tutors covering a wide range of instruments who provide specialist teaching and advice within the Jazz department.Tutorial staff
Take a look at photos from various events, festivals and Eastside Jazz Club performances featuring our jazz students over the last few years.Photo gallery
Jeremy Price studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has since followed a career as a freelance trombonist and jazz educator.
Jeremy has been Head of Jazz since the Jazz Department was established in 1999.