Jazz Ensemble

The Fisk Jazz Ensemble is a group of student instrumentalists who perform a wide range of music including jazz, blues, Latin, R&B and classic rock. Organized in 1970 as the "Orchestrated Crowd," this group has performed on radio and television and has given community and campus concerts, appearing with such notable musicians as Quincy Jones, "Cannonball" Adderley, Duke Ellington, and Eubie Blake.

In 2003, Dr. Gary Nash became the director and established the Chamber Ensemble, a component of the ensemble for students interested in performing conservatory-style music by living composers. Recent guests include Dr. William C. Banfield, Steven Wood, Dr. M’tafiti Imara, Victoria Theodore and jazz ensembles from Nashville School of the Arts, McKissack Middle School and the Murfreesboro Youth Jazz Orchestra.  Recent community outreach performances include jazz festivals at McKissack and Haynes Middle Schools in Nashville and for Music At The Terminal at the Nashville International Airport in 2017.

Students can join Fisk Jazz Ensemble by audition.  Auditions for new students are held during the first week of each semester.  The audition consists of:

    • Prepared piece
    • Scales
    • Sight reading
    • Jazz improvisation (optional)


Gary Powell Nash
Ph.D./Fisk University
Music Department
1000 17th Ave. N.
Nashville, Tennessee 37208


Performances for Spring 2019

“Steak Out For Fisk University” a fundraiser event with Fisk Univ. President Dr. Kevin Rome, February 4, 2019 Sedona Restaurant, 5 – 8 p.m.
Annual St. Valentine’s Day Performance, Thursday, February 14, 2018, Spence Hall Cafeteria, 5:45 p.m.
Carnaval at Fisk, Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 5 p.m., Multi-Purpose Room.
Music At The Terminal, Nashville International Airport, Monday, February 25, 2019, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Annual Pierson Lecture Series, Thursday, February 28, 2019, Appleton Room, Jubilee Hall, 7 p.m.
Fisk Jazz Ensemble Performance at Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
2019 Spring Arts Festival, Jazz On The Yard, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Fisk Memorial Chapel, 12 p.m
2019 Spring Concert, Thursday, April 18, 2019, Fisk Memorial Chapel, 6 p.m.