Jazz @ Clark

jazz festival logo The Clark College Jazz Ensemble is the premier jazz group at Clark College and holds an international reputation of excellence. Participation in the ensemble is by audition and jazz improvisation skills are not mandatory, but highly encouraged. Throughout the year, students are guided through an active learning curriculum on correct performance techniques of different jazz styles and concert repertoire. Additionally, students are exposed to a wide variety of jazz-related subjects from jazz improvisation and history to understanding Latin/Afro-Cuban jazz rhythm. Above all, teamwork and leadership are a focused learning outcome. The Jazz Ensemble has performed internationally and received critical acclaim at many prestigious jazz festivals throughout the United States and Mexico where our students received numerous recognitions for outstanding musicianship. We are also proud that many of our students desiring to go on to four-year music programs have successfully transitioned to Jazz Studies programs such as Washington State University, Central Washington University, and the University of North Texas.

Another popular jazz curriculum offering is the humanities course, MUSC 135 Jazz Appreciation. Jazz Appreciation is an online course intended to provide students with relevant and compelling facts about jazz that illustrate its colorful history and the mixture of ethnic diversity that makes it one of America's only indigenous art forms. The class utilizes online materials, multimedia presentations, and music examples to guide students through an interactive process of learning how to listen to jazz, a chronology of significant jazz periods, the societal events that impacted each period, and the biographies and significance of key musicians.

If you, or anyone you know, have any interest in "jazz@clark" or questions regarding the jazz festival, feel free to contact Director of Bands, Rich Inouye, at 360-992-2188 or email: rinouye@clark.edu


Jazz Festical Director Richard Inouye
Jazz Festival Director Richard Inouye:
Richard Inouye received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1981 where he was a member of the nationally acclaimed Jazz Lab Band I under Gene Aitken, and his Master of Music in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado in 2004 where he was a member of the Down Beat Award winning CU Jazz Ensemble I.

Rich was a recognized band director in the Colorado public schools from 1981 to 1987 and also performed at the Breckenridge Music Festival as director of the Festival Jazz Ensemble. From 1987 to 2007, Rich was a member of the United States Air Force Academy Band where he performed as saxophonist, music director, and leader of the internationally acclaimed Falconaires Jazz Ensemble. As a soloist with the Falcs he is featured on their CD's - Jazz From the Rockies, That Long, Long Road, String of Pearls, A Touch of Jobim, and their most recent release, Just Friends - A Tribute to Sarah Vaughn Featuring the Music of Sammy Nestico. He is also featured on the big band CD, To the Sky, by Composer/Arranger Ryan Haines, released in 2001 on the Sea Breeze jazz label and the University of Colorado 2003 Down Beat Award Winning CD, CU 'Round Midnight. Additionally, as the Leader and Music Director of the Falconaires, he co-produced the 2004 CD Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye - A Tribute to Frank Mantooth.

From 1999 to 2007 Rich was also a member of the performance faculty at The Colorado College where he directed the Tiger Jazz Ensemble. A committed jazz educator, he was active in the International Association for Jazz Education having served at the national level as Mountain Region Coordinator, the state level as an officer on the executive board of Colorado IAJE, and sat on the Colorado All-State Jazz Band Committee.

Rich joined Clark College in 2007 as Director of Bands. Since arriving at Clark, his professional and teaching experiences throughout the nation have afforded him the opportunity to serve as clinician and adjudicator at jazz festivals and music events throughout the state and Oregon.