Recommended Classic and Newer Works for the Jazz Ensemble

Looking to build or add on to your existing jazz ensemble library? Well, here's the place to start! This authoritative list has been assembled by Dr. Mike Parkinson from Ohio University.

A note from Mike Parkinson:
As in previous editions, the selections reflect personal preferences in terms of style, pedagogical importance, historical relevance, musical challenge, and enrichment for the player and the audience. Some of the pieces that are included may be out of print or assigned to a different publisher, meaning that you may have to search further for a recommended work. While the great majority of the works included are in the standard 5-4-4-4 format, I have noted the need for soprano saxophone or limited woodwind doubles. I have continued to use categories based on rhythmic style and tempo as I believe these are the most effective ways to introduce works for programming purposes.

Best wishes to you as you go beyond the typical sources of jazz ensemble literature. There is much great music available and I know you will be rewarded and your students will thank you. Enjoy!

Dr. Mike Parkinson, Ohio University

Ballads

Medium Swing

(Qt. Note = 108-152)

Up-Tempo Swing

(Qt. Note = 160-200)

Fast Swing

(Qt. Note = 200+)

Medium Latin (12/8 Afro Cuban, 4/4 Ballads and Bossa Nova)

Up-Tempo Latin (Samba, Salsa , Cha-Cha, etc.)

Waltz [3/4] and Six-Eight [6/8]


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