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Jazz Studio

Jared Sims, Director of Jazz Studies

The WVU Jazz Studio

Why study jazz at WVU?

The jazz program at West Virginia University focuses on providing a solid foundation for developing your musical skills for the future. Often, there is an insinuation that jazz is a very traditional art form from the 1940s-1960s. Learn how to view jazz as a methodology for creating new, original music. Current students are memorizing and internalizing music, writing music, and creating music expressively. Students are encouraged to strive for versatility and explore music with an open mind. 

Engage with faculty currently active in the music industry

Drum set professor Brian Wolfe has performed with artists such as Sharon Jones, the Dap Kings, Sufjan Stevens, and Maynard Ferguson.  

Bass professor Paul Thompson has performed with Stanley Turrentine, Bob James, and Hubert Laws.

Piano professor Cliff Barnes has performed with Marcus Miller, Lalah Hathaway, Johnny Gill, and Terrance Blanchard.

Director Jared Sims has played with Soulive, Bob Brookmeyer, Artie Shaw Orchestra, and Noel Gallagher.

Real world experience

The WVU jazz studio has a weekly jazz jam session held every Thursday over the course of the fall and spring semesters where students have the opportunity to try out  material that they are learning in class in a fun and exciting off-campus environment.