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Whitworth Jazz Ensemble

The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble is one component of the jazz studies program at Whitworth University. Directed for the past 25 years by Dan Keberle, D.M.A., the group is one of the Northwest's finest college jazz bands.

The ensemble was the winning jazz band in the college/university division at the 2010, 2008, 2004, 2002, 1999, 1998, 1997, and 1994 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festivals, was honored as one of the five outstanding collegiate jazz bands at the prestigious 2013 Elmhurst (Chicago) Jazz festival, and was one of two college/university jazz big bands selected from colleges and universities in the six Northwest states to perform at seven recent All-Northwest and All-State Music Educators Conferences, including the 2011 All-Northwest Conference, in Bellevue, and the 2012 All-State Conference, in Yakima. Whitworth's program has also been listed in Jazz Times magazine as one of the top jazz education programs in the U.S.

The 18-piece Whitworth Jazz Ensemble performs several concerts each year on campus and offers performances at jazz festivals, public schools, civic events, and on annual tours throughout the United States. In January 2010, the group travelled to New York City and New Orleans for two weeks of performances and to visit some great jazz clubs. In 2006 they traveled to Brazil for two weeks for performances in Sao Paolo and Salvador. In January 2004 and 2008 they traveled to Rome for several performances with leading Italian jazz artists. These visits were followed by performance trips to Hawaii. Other performance residencies have included trips to Havana, Cuba, Munich (twice), Rome (five additional times), and Australia, where the ensemble offered nine performances at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the surrounding area. They will return to Italy during January 2014.

Over the past decade, the ensemble has performed in standing-room-only concerts with guest artists Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Konitz, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Garrett, Nicholas Payton, Kenny Barron, Robin Eubanks, Eric Reed, Jimmy Heath, Byron Stripling, Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, Phil Woods, Steve Turre, Slide Hampton, Gene Harris, Marshal Royal, Carl Fontana, Bill Berry, Roberto Gatto, and Enrico Pieranunzi.

The ensemble is grounded in the fundamentals of jazz, with an emphasis on improvisation and the swing style of groups such as the Count Basie Band. In addition to gaining large-ensemble experience, students at Whitworth can participate in Jazz Ensemble II, five jazz combos, private jazz improvisation lessons, vocal jazz class, and classes in jazz history and jazz arranging. Many jazz students at Whitworth have experienced great improvement in their jazz playing as a result of their weekly private lessons in improvisation and jazz styles. There are currently eight jazz faculty at Whitworth.


Contact Information

For additional information about the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, contact:

Dan Keberle, Director
Phone: 509.777.4582