The Bama State Collegians is a student jazz orchestra made up of students at Alabama State University. This group, founded in the 1930s, has been directed by a number of notable musicians, including Tommy Stewart and Erskine Hawkins.
The group also holds an important place in jazz history. In 1934, the entire group travelled to New York and became the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra, recording hit records such as Tuxedo Junction, which rose to No. 7 nationally by Erskine Hawkins and No. 1 by Glenn Miller. Members of this band worked with the NBC Orchestra, the Lucky Millinder Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Louis Armstrong and others.
Among those who have played with the orchestra are Dud Bascomb, Paul Bascomb, Avery Parrish, and Haywood Henry.
- Biography of Erskine Hawkins form the archives of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
- "The Birmingham Jazz Community: The Role and Contributions of Afro-Americans (up to 1940)" by Jothan McKinley Callins