AIME at Austin’s Blanton Museum of Art

AIME (Alternative Improvisation Music Ensemble), a select UT jazz ensemble, will be performing midday music at Austin’s Blanton Museum November 26, 2019, at 12pm noon. AIME will be performing new UT jazz compositions inspired by the exhibition, Arte Sin Fronteras.






This event is included in the price of admission. Free for members and UT students, faculty, and staff.

Click here for more information. 

UT Jazz Faculty, Nov. 8th at “Jazz at St. James'”

A faculty quartet from the UT jazz department will be performing at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Jazz at St. James’ November 8th.

The quartet will be composed of:

John Mills, tenor saxophone

Jeff Hellmer, piano

John Fremgen, bass

Wayne Salzmann II, drums

John Mills, Jeff Hellmer, and John Fremgen will also be backing the headline act, long-time Count Basie vocalist, Cramen Bradford, with guest drummer Butch Miles.

Sunday November 10th, there will be a special Sunday morning jazz church service. During the service, Carmen Bradford will be joined by the renowned saxophonist Tom Scott and his LA Express.

John Mills will also be conducting an 8-piece string section who will be performing pieces he arranged for this special occasion.

All events are at St. James’ Episcopal Church, 1941 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX, 78721

For more information please click here.

UT Jazz Orchestra Concert

-Upcoming Concert-
The UT Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Jeff Hellmer , will be performing October 13th, 2019 4pm-5:30pm in Bates Recital Hall.
The UT Jazz Orchestra gives students the opportunity to compose and premiere their own compositions on stage with a world class ensemble.
The UT Jazz Orchestra takes pride in the number of student compositions it performs. This concert will be featuring five original compositions, four of which are student compositions from Paulo Santos,  Marco Santos, and Thomas Wenglinski.  The Jazz Orchestra will also be featuring an original composition from UT jazz faculty,  Dr. John Mills.
As always, it will be an exciting event! For more information click here.

Masterclass by Cuban Pianist, Dayramir Gonzalez

The UT Jazz Department is excited to host Cuban pianist, Dayramir Gonzalez on October 14-17 who will be providing masterclasses, lessons, and sharing cultural wisdom on the music of Cuba! Some things that Dayramir will be talking about will include composition and motives development, modal harmony in improvisation, pentatonic shifting, triad lines, reharmonization of melody, the piano solo world in performance, and stage approach.


Dayramir’s latest album “The Grand Concourse” was an “Editor’s pick” and earned a spot on JazzTimes’ “Top 40 albums of 2018.” Additionally, it received a 4.5 star rating in Downbeat and an amazing review in The Wall Street Journal! Dayramir says:

“I told my wife when I decided to make this album that I have so much inside to offer as a pianist and composer, I want everyone to hear it,” he says. “It was a real group effort, paring 23 songs down to the ones I decided to record, and then gathering friends and fellow musicians and a choir and the orchestral talent and all the other elements to become part of my vision. I’m humbled and thankful that I’ve reached a place in my life where it all can be heard.”

For more information on Dayramir Gonzalez please visit his website here.




“Developing Melodic Language on the Drums” book by UT Jazz Faculty Wayne Salzmann II

“My book “Developing Melodic Language on The Drums” is now available worldwide on amazon and distributed digitally through Hudson Music @hudsonmusicofficial. The newest edition has quotes of support from legendary drummers such as Peter Erskine @uscedu (USC), Ed Soph (UNT) @untcollegeofmusic, John Riley (Manhattan School of Music) among others. It has been reviewed very positively by Modern Drummer Magazine and is currently the #1 release in percussion books on kindle”. -Wayne Salzmann II

Wayne’s new book is available in three formats: spiral bound ordered directly from him, paperback (no spiral binding) through Amazon, or a digital version on Kindle.  See link for details.

Fall 2019 Auditions for Jazz Ensembles and Combos! Wednesday-Friday, August 28-30

Auditions for combos and big bands for the Fall 2019 semester will be held Wednesday, August 28 through Friday, August 30. All university jazz ensembles and combos are open to any student regardless of major. The ensembles encompass all levels of ability from quite experienced to novice performers.

Students may sign up for an audition time on the sign-up sheets on the bulletin board outside of MRH 6.248. Preferred audition dates are as follows:

Saxophones: Wednesday, August 28
Trumpets: Thursday, August 29
Trombones: Friday, August 30

Rhythm section players should attend the rhythm section auditions on Thursday, August 29 3:30 – 5 pm if at all possible. If you cannot make it to audition on the day specified for your instrument, go ahead and sign up for a time on an earlier or later day.

Auditions are low-pressure, and consist of the following activities:

An optional prepared transcribed solo, etude, or jazz ensemble part
Sight-reading in various jazz styles
Optional improvisation over blues or a standard chord progression of your choosing (pianist provided, or you may play with a play-along CD)
Rhythm Section
Rhythm section players audition in sections and play one blues or standard jazz selection to demonstrate improvisational and comping, walking, or timekeeping abilities. If your repertoire is limited, a fake book or lead sheet is recommended.

Guitar Players: Knowledge of jazz comping style and voicings and jazz improvisational style are required to be placed in a jazz ensemble.

If the jazz faculty feels your improvisational abilities are not advanced enough to participate in a jazz ensemble, we may request that you take Beginning Jazz Improvisation (MUS 218J) before joining a combo in a subsequent semester.

All students interested in a jazz combo must audition and then attend the organizational meeting, to be held on Tuesday, September 3 at 7 pm in MRH 6.248.

We look forward to hearing you!

AIME at The Elephant Room, Sunday 5/12!

Sunday night, 5/12!
AIME performs at the Elephant Room 9:30pm-1:30am.


AIME, the 2018 Graduate Student Jazz Combo Downbeat Student Recording Award winner, is a select jazz ensemble of six to ten members performing unique repertoire that encompasses a wide variety of styles. Emphasizing extended improvisation, members of the ensemble compose the music specifically for the group’s instrumentation. Recent projects include the “Jazz at the Blanton” concert series, where UT jazz composers create music for AIME based on exhibits at the Blanton Museum of Art, and regular appearances at the Elephant Room jazz club.

AIME horn players perform at Blanton museum of art

Video: UT Jazz Composers – Paulo Santos and Ben Zeff

Composers Paulo Santos and Ben Zeff talk with Director of Jazz Studies, Jeff Hellmer, about their recent works. Interviews followed by the University of Texas Jazz Orchestra concert premiers.



Video: UT Jazz Composers – Thomas Wenglinski, “Clear Visions”

Check out this great interview with pianist/composer (and 2019 winner of the Stribling Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Jazz Studies), Thomas Wenglinski. He talks about his recent jazz orchestra work, Clear Visions.

The interview, hosted by Director of Jazz Studies, Jeff Hellmer, is followed by the premiere of Clear Visions but the UT Jazz Orchestra.

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Video: UT Jazz Composers – Interview with Dr. John Mills and Round Table Discussion

Interview with composer, Dr. John Mills, and the UT Jazz Orchestra premier of his new work, “Equilibrium”.

Dr. Mills is Professor of Jazz Composition and Jazz Saxophone at the University of Texas at Austin. Moderated by Director of Jazz Studies, Prof. Jeff Hellmer.

UT Jazz Composers – Round Table Discussion

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