The Jazz Knights

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Jazz Knights were a part of the U.S.M.A. Band from 1972 to 2015

The Jazz Knights are the jazz ensemble of the United States Military Academy Band stationed at West Point, New York; they are one of the premiere jazz ensembles of the United States Army Special Bands. Originally created in 1972, they carry the tradition of American Jazz and entertain the Corps of Cadets, the “JK's” are one a professional big band rehearsing for the purpose of presenting jazz ensemble music. The ensemble's mission is to serve the United States Military Academy and the American public.

The Jazz Knights performing at Eisenhower Hall

Eighteen professional musicians from across the United States are audition for the West Point Band to be a part of the unit through an exclusive audition process. Past members of the band played, recorded, and toured with such icons as Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, Ahmad Jamal, Chaka Kahn, Prince, Billy Cobham, and the Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller Orchestras. Members of the group are graduates of some of America's most prestigious music schools such as the University of North Texas College of Music, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Berklee College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. West Point Band band members are recruited and selected through a competitive audition process specifically for service in the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. The Jazz Knights present performances to audiences throughout the United States and Canada. The “JK's” routinely produce broadcasts and recordings that are heard in media outlets internationally. They performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.[1] and for the A&E Network with the Boston Pops. Prominent musicians/jazz artists who have served in the group over the years include Mike Burgess,[2] James Cammack, James Chirillo, Alexis Cole, Jack Cooper, Paul DuBois, Matt Ingman,[3] Vincent Herring, Dave Horne, Doug Lawrence, Ken McGee, Jim Perry, Harvey Tibbs,[4] Greg Waits,[5] and Jamie Way.[6]

Musical style[edit]

The group covers music from Fletcher Henderson through Duke Ellington and Count Basie all the way through contemporary artists such as Bob Brookmeyer and Bill Holman. A great deal of music performed is written by their own staff writers and members of the Jazz Knights themselves.


Music education[edit]

An important part of the Jazz Knights mission is that of music/jazz education. Many of its members are accomplished clinicians with extensive backgrounds in music education. They perform at national music conventions including the International Association of Jazz Educators, Music Educators National Conference, The Midwest Clinic,[17] the Western International Band Clinic, the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival, the International Society of Bassists' convention and the New York State Band Director’s Association Conference in 1993 and 2008.

Guest artists[edit]

They have recorded and performed with such jazz artist as Emil Richards, David Liebman, Rufus Reid, John Clayton, Eddie Daniels, Steve Turre, Randy Brecker, Michael Abene, Jon Faddis, and Benny Golson.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]