Jazz Studies


The Jazz Studies Program at North Carolina Central University is dedicated to fostering a quality education, shaping the future of aspiring musicians, and maintaining the integrity of a great art form.

About Jazz Studies: An NCCU Area of Distinction


In 1979, NCCU became the first university in the state to offer a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies. The program has since evolved to include a comprehensive vocal jazz component and the Master of Music degree in Jazz Composition and Jazz Performance.

The essence of jazz is a perspective and a reflection on the human spirit.

Branford Marsalis
Closeup of a saxophone

Bachelor's of Music in Jazz


The Department of Music offers a strong, diversified undergraduate curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in Jazz.

Hands playing guitar

Master's of Music in Jazz

The Department of Music offers a focused graduate curriculum leading to the Master's of Music degree in Jazz, with two concentrations (Composition/Arranging and Performance) available.

Faculty and Artists-in-Residence


Our award-winning faculty as well as artists-in-residence Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo provide hands-on instruction via workshops and other instructional opportunities.

Make a Gift Online

Each day, generous alumni and friends help provide life-changing scholarships and enhance programs in the Department of Music, including Jazz Studies, an NCCU area of distinction. To donate, search for one of these funds from the online giving portal or contact Ryan Clark, Director of Development, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, at [email protected] or 919-530-7097 to learn more.

Make a Gift to Jazz Studies

  • Dr. Ira and Joyce Wiggins Endowed Scholarship
    • Awarded annually to an outstanding undergraduate student in the field of Jazz Studies. This award honors Dr. Wiggins and his outstanding work as a professor, leader, and musician’s advocate.
  • Jazz Curriculum Scholarship
    • Join us in securing the future of the NCCU Jazz Studies program “Where Jazz still swings” with your gift today!
  • Jazz Ensemble Studies Fund
    • Partner with our faculty to provide quality education, shape the future of aspiring musicians, and maintain the integrity of a great art form.
  • NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble
  • NCCU Jamming with Jazz Giants Endowment Fund
    • Help provide opportunities for students and faculty to meaningfully interact with some of the world’s most notable jazz musicians through a plethora of performance and educational opportunities such as workshops, master classes, rehearsals, and similar activities.

Watch Jazz Studies

When it comes to jazz, words can only capture so much. Check out our Jazz Studies video section to see the program truly come to life!


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Jazz Studies Store


The Jazz Studies store offers products (e.g., music albums and instructional books) created by our faculty and students and also provides an option for booking a Jazz Studies presentation at your school or organization. 

Jazz Studies Scholarships

In addition to general NCCU scholarships, Jazz Studies offers funding opportunities specific to its students. Find out more today!

Recent Jazz News

NCCU Jazz in the News

Jawan Davidson


North Carolina Central University Student Wins Top Jazz Scholarship

Jazz Ensemble


NCCU Sets Next Course for Jazz Studies

JazzGirls Day

NCCU Jazz Studies is co-presenting JazzGirls Day as a new department initiative and annual event. JazzGirls Day will include jam sessions, workshops, mentoring and an evening concert. The event is free for all participants and open to middle and high school girls interested in playing jazz. 

Annual Jazz Festival

Every year, NCCU hosts a jazz festival featuring a week of events with NCCU’s Jazz Studies program and special musical guests. 

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