The Smith College Jazz Ensemble was founded in the fall of 1999. The ensemble performed at both Smith and Amherst Colleges. Genevieve Rose took the position as director in 2006, and has also doubled as the group's bassist. The ensemble currently consists of approximately 30 members, and performs each semester with the Smith College Wind Ensemble, as well as performances at the Williams College Jazz Festival in the spring. In past years, we've also played at swing dances sponsored by the Smith College Hooked on Swing Society.
The first Five College Jazz Festival was hosted at Smith in April of 2003, with the Williams College Jazz Ensemble as guests. The festival has become an annual event in the Valley. Other group traditions include Jazz Brunch during Family Weekend, "Jazz on the Lawn" every spring semester, as well as holiday parties with costumes, fun treats, and arts & crafts!
In the fall of 2002, a combo group was started, focusing on improvisation. The combo performs with the ensemble at most concerts.
The ensemble meets on Wednesday nights from 7:00pm - 9:00pm in Earle Recital Hall in the basement of Sage Hall. The improv combo rehearsal time is still to be decided for this coming year.