TSU Jazz
College of Liberal Arts & Behavioral Sciences
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Image of Howard Haris, Horace Young and Joe Sample

Jazz at TSU

The award winning TSU jazz ensembles – Big Band, All-Star Combo, Latin Jazz, and Vocal Jazz – are produced out of Texas Southern University's Jazz Studies program under the direction of Johnny Gonzales.
The TSU jazz staffis comprised of top professionals and educators in full-time and adjunct capacities along with Howard Harris. They include Bert CrossII, jazz theory and vocal jazz; Marvin Sparks, jazz history and Latin jazz; Frank Murry, combo and double bass; Frank Rodriguez, guitar; and Bobby Henschen, piano.

Today’s TSU ensembles continue the award winning tradition set by the TSU Jazz big band, winner of virtually every competitive collegiate jazz festival in the country. Among recordings featuring the TSU jazz groups are: Tribute, Third Ward Vibration Society, And the Band Played On, and Makin’ It Happen.

Among the distinguished professionals and legendary artists that matriculated at TSU are The Jazz Crusaders, Barrie Hall, Douglas Harris, Ronnie Laws, Kirk Whalum, Richard Lee, Ronald Thornton, Samuel Jackson, Anita Moore, Shelly Carroll, Frank Lacy, Andrae Hayward, Joseph Woodsen, Paul Carr, Horace Young, Myron Jackson, Bernard Pierre, Eric Elder, Nicoya Polar, Al Campbell, Kyle Turner, and many more.

Notable artists that the TSU Jazz groups have opened for include, Phyllis Hymen, Sarah Vaughn, George Benson, Nancy Wilson, David Sanchez, Avishai Cohen, the Jazz Crusaders, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, with former TSU Jazz Ensemble member, Barrie Lee Hall as conductor.

Students at TSU have the option of majoring in music with jazz specialty. Other jazz courses not mentioned above are in the areas of arranging, composition, music business, and improvisation.