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Each student who will be performing in a combo at the workshop is required to submit a link to a pre-recorded video (see links below) by Monday, June 19 at 11:59pm that our faculty will review prior to the workshop in order to determine where best to place each student in our combos during the UNC Summer Jazz Workshop.  The faculty who review the audition videos don’t have a way to know where to place students when students do not submit an audition on time.  The few days leading up to the workshop are very hectic for the workshop faculty and staff as we will be setting up the combo rooms and finalizing several details.  Therefore, those who do not submit their auditions on time will likely not see their name on the combo placement list that will be released in the days before the workshop begins as we will not have the opportunity to review the video auditions at that point.

Please do not be overly concerned or feel stress over the auditions.  The videos do not need to be of high quality and can be recorded with a cell phone or any other device.  Our goal is to make the workshop a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience for each participant, and we therefore try to place each student in a performing environment where they will feel most comfortable according to their level of experience that they bring to the workshop.  I explain below how to prepare for the audition.


Singers, instrumentalists of pitched instruments (woodwinds, brass, guitar, piano, bass etc.) should video record themselves performing one to two jazz tunes of YOUR CHOOSING (standards or blues etc.) for the faculty to review.  I’ve provided links below to lead sheets and backing tracks that were created for previous UNC festivals and events that you may opt to use, but again, you need not perform these tunes and you may choose other tunes and find other backing tracks online etc.  Once you’ve video recorded yourself, please upload your video recordings to YouTube (YouTube links are strongly preferred and not other formats) as an “unlisted link” and then copy and paste the URL type your name on the signup sheets listed below according to your respective instruments.  Video links must be submitted onto the form below in the left column by Monday, June 19 at 11:59pm.  If you do not have a way to video record yourself and need to audition in another way, please let me know. Drummers may wish to also demonstrate different grooves (swing, Latin, funk etc.)


It is natural, as musicians, to want to play in group with the best players.   As faculty, we do our best to place the students where they can most effectively learn and grow musically.  We ask that you please keep a positive attitude about working with those with whom you are placed, and that you work to establish a positive energy and work ethic within the group.  Each member of the group is vital to the success of the whole.  When someone drops out at the last minute because they are not pleased with their placement because they feel that they are a better player than their peers in the group, the entire group suffers.  It also makes it very challenging for the faculty and creates confusion for all participants because we have to try to shuffle participants between groups at the last minute. On the positive side, it is always very rewarding to see the students in the final concert when they have worked effectively together throughout the week, regardless of age differences or coming from diverse backgrounds.  The most important thing you can do to try to place well in the combos is to practice diligently and prepare well for your audition.


We’re excited that one of the combos is the “Latin Combo” that has 2-3 drummers who will alternate playing drum set or congas and timbales etc.  We are fortunate to have Dr. Juan Alamo on the faculty at UNC, a Puerto Rican born virtuoso percussionist, who will provide the unique opportunity to learn Afro-Cuban and other Latin rhythms from an expert in the field.  If any of the drummers or other musicians wish to nominate themselves to perform in this combo, please let the faculty know at the audition.

Given the many pianists attending the workshop, I will teach the “Fusion Combo” where we will perform music that fuses rock and jazz.  This group often consists of 4 keyboardists playing synthesizers, and also includes bass, drums, horns and other instruments.  If any of you wish to nominate yourselves to play in the Fusion Combo, please let us know at the audition.