Drake's jazz program is vibrant and active with two full big bands and several jazz combos, which perform multiple concerts on and off campus every year. We have a jazz faculty that are all professional musicians for every jazz instrument.
Drake Jazz One tours regionally every year. We have won the collegiate division at the UW-Eau Claire jazz festival all 8 times we have attended. We tour internationally every four years. In 2018 we went to China and played for the Ambassador in in US embassy. We are planning a South American tour in 2022. Drake Jazz One has also performed in England, Holland, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.
The Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center is home to the Drake Jazz program. It was acoustically designed specifically for jazz performance. All jazz classes and rehearsals happen here. It is also a state of the art recording facility, rivaling professional studios. Drake Jazz Ensemble One utilizes these recording capabilities thoughout the year. Each semester, Jazz One is producing an albums worth of studio quality recordings with video and releasing them on YouTube.
The studio has a 32-channel D-Command console driving ProTools recording software. Students can learn about recording engineering and gain hands on experience with this equipment through our Studio Recording class. Other recording classes deal with integration of recorded audio and video for social media distribution.
The recording process for Jazz Ensemble One mirrors what would happen in a professional studio in New York or LA. Everyone is individually miked, and through playback, mistakes are found and corrected, creating the highest level studio recording.
During the pandemic, Drake Jazz One switched to recording by section with social distancing and produced seven complete videos in the Fall of 2020 alone. To enjoy the video collection, click here.