In the Groove


Welcome back! We will be running auditions for placement in our jazz ensemble and jazz combos between Sept. 1 and Sept. 5 at various and convenient times.

Please click on the submenu to the left to access info to our Audition schedule and materials. It will be a painless process and a chance for us to meet you, hear you, and learn of your musical goals for the semester/year. You can also click here to achieve this space. Reminder to sign up for your audition time in the google sheet. Looking forward to a Fantastic year!



We wish to welcome Joe LaCreta to our Adjunct Jazz Faculty. Joe replaces long time teacher Joe Belmont and is available this Fall for lessons in all styles of guitar from jazz to pop/rock. 

Connect with us on SLACK: #jazzatamherst

Welcome to the Jazz@Amherst website! 

Prospective and current students: read below to find out more about our program and how you can be a part of it. Scroll further down for Jazz @ Amherst news.

What is Jazz@Amherst?

The Combo Program: small jazz groups, tailored to individual levels of experience and preferred styles. Mostly faculty-coached, the combos are a great way to grow as a gigging musician.

The Jazz Ensemble: our "big band" jazz ensemble, directed by Bruce Diehl. The ensemble plays all sorts of charts, from Duke Ellington to Fred Sturm, and plays an original piece each year as part of our McBride '59 Commission Series.

Jazz Lessons and Music Courses: from basic jazz theory to seminars on improvised music, Amherst College offers a diverse set of courses related to Jazz Studies, taught by Prof. Robinson, Senior Lecturer Diehl and welcome back to Prof. Harper '90. Additionally, the Music Department brings highly respected scholars to speak and perform every semester.

Extra-departmental student projects: from jazz-hip-hop fusion bands to 10-piece swing ensembles, Amherst student-musicians are constantly exploring jazz outside of the classroom or recital hall. Paying gigs are common for experienced musicians, both on and off-campus, and even sometimes involve department faculty.

Prospective students:

We'd love to hear from you, and even host you for a daytime visit and evening rehearsal. Click here for more details, including tips for how to include jazz in your application. Also, notice the new FAQ section at the end of the document linked above.

Current students:

Want to join our program: we want you to as well! Click here for audition materials, and make sure to email with any questions.


Jazz@Amherst wants to hear from Amherst Alums who participated in the jazz program during their time at Amherst. Please feel free to share via email and/or Facebook what you have been up to, and where life has taken you.

What Is Hip?


We are developing an external website that will hold information on all things jazz at Amherst College. Thanks to Dan Langa '18 for his super assistance with this! Check it out here: External Website 

Facebook Presence!

Be sure to like Amherst College Jazz on Facebook - ACJE Facebook Page

Upcoming Concerts! 

The Jazz Faculty at Amherst College will present a concert on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7pm in Buckley Recital Hall. We have chosen to present the music of Andy Jaffe, long time professor and jazz ensemble director here at Amherst (1987-1999). Marty Jaffe, Andy's son, will be a guest bassist. Free concert, covid protocols will include all audience members wearing masks.

Last Updated: August 25, 2022