The jazz studies and contemporary music program at UNC Asheville offers a dynamic music education blending tradition and contemporary trends with pedagogy and performance.

Why Study Contemporary Music and Jazz at UNC Asheville?

Student and Alumni Spotlights

Outside the Classroom

Beyond the classroom, UNC Asheville offers a vibrant music scene, from local gigs to jam sessions with peers of all instrumental backgrounds. Our students immerse themselves in a thriving community of fellow musicians and music enthusiasts. Other opportunities for hands-on learning include internships and events.

students playing live music at turning of the maples


Students can regularly participate in music and collaboration on campus through performances and events featuring UNC Asheville music students and guest artists. We also run a faculty showcase series, which allows students to experience music from a range of genres and watch faculty members share their craft.

a student playing a tuba

Audition Requirements

Ready to take the stage and be part of this exciting program? To join the jazz studies and contemporary music program, we require that students complete an instrumental audition. We highly encourage students to complete the audition before enrolling at UNC Asheville. We hold auditions twice yearly on campus, usually in the fall or winter. 

Meet the Faculty

Passionate about nurturing the next generation of musical talent, our dedicated and experienced faculty members guide students on their musical journey. They bring years of experience and performance to the classroom and encourage students to experiment and collaborate as they hone their skills as instrumentalists.

Music Careers & Outcomes

While intended for students wishing to pursue careers as singers, instrumentalists, composers, or arrangers, the B.F.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Music degree can lead to other related professions, such as teaching. Graduates of the program also make up the members of various jazz, funk, blues, rock, R&B, fusion, and world ensembles, as well as a wide range of vocal groups.

Many graduates of UNC Asheville’s jazz and contemporary music program have landed dream jobs working with top artists, such as R.E.M. and Alison Krauss. The versatile nature of the degree means boundless possibilities for performing and collaborating with musical groups of all genres. Some students pursue graduate study to further hone their instrumental skills and widen their performance repertoire or open the door to a career in academia.

Related Programs

Deepen Your Passion in UNC Asheville’s Jazz & Contemporary Music Major

In our Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz and Contemporary Music program, explore music that shaped and continues to shape the genre. Dynamic by nature and grounded in both theory and practice, you learn through an engaging blend of courses, expert faculty, and numerous performance opportunities. Immerse yourself in Asheville’s vibrant culture and find your unique voice in our program.

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