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Jazz Ensemble and Lab Bands

Ken Spurr, Director

The Jazz Ensemble is a traditional big band of 15-20 players that perform under the direction of renowned Chicago jazz pianist Ken Spurr. Open to all Harper students (regardless of major), faculty, staff and community members, the band performs a range of jazz music, from standards to contemporary. Each semester, the band performs a concert in the Performing Arts Center. The group participates in community events and tour performances.

Jazz Ensemble frequently features professional guest artists from the Chicago area, and some combo performance opportunities are available to members. (An audition is required.)

The Jazz Lab Band is run as a small jazz combo that performs a standard professional jazz repertoire. Students practice improvisation and work on small group performance techniques. Each semester, the band produces a recording in a professional studio and performs a live concert in the Performing Arts Center. Open to instrumentalists/vocalists at all levels. (No audition is required.)

Auditions for Jazz Ensemble

Auditions are held at the first rehearsal of each fall and spring semester. Sight reading at an intermediate (High School Jazz Band level) is required. For more information and audition music, contact Ken Spurr at or call 847.925.6568.