Jazz Combos Ensemble

The Lewis and Clark Jazz Combos are dedicated to the concept of “the individual within the collective.” These small groups offer and require each member to be an integral and important part of the ensemble: responsible for soloing, suggesting repertoire, writing arrangements, and even composing if the student wishes. Even with these demanding expectations, students of all levels are welcome to participate as we strive to be inclusive of all interested and dedicated students.

Led by Dan Balmer (danbalmer.com), these groups perform at least two concerts a year in Evans Auditorium, but are encouraged to seek other opportunities to perform on campus and within the vibrant Portland, Oregon music scene. Members of the top combos are often employed by the college for special events.

The L&C Jazz Combos study jazz of all styles from bebop to swing, funk to Latin, free to fusion, and always try to accommodate the students’ interests while offering comprehensive instruction in all these areas.

L&C Jazz Combo participants also have the option, and are encouraged, to study with the adjunct jazz faculty, considered by many to be the finest in the Portland area.

Previous L&C graduates have continued their music careers in Portland and throughout the country. Included in our graduates are numerous recording artists; members of the faculty of Yale University, Central Washington University, University of Washington, and Lewis and Clark; and still others working in many levels of the music industry, from audio engineer to record executive.