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Fresno City College is proud to be the only community college in the area to offer a complete program of jazz studies and commercial music. Click here to download this document.

Options include:

  • A.A. degree program (music major) with emphasis on jazz studies/commercial music (other options include instrumental, vocal, piano, and guitar.)
  • Two-year certificate program in commercial music.
  • Qualified high school juniors and seniors can enroll in courses at FCC (and receive college credit) under the “High School Enrichment” program (your high school counselor will have more information.)

FCC has an outstanding music faculty, with a LOT of experience playing and teaching jazz. The Faculty Jazz Combo includes Mike Dana, Julie Dana , Dale Engstrom, Larry Honda, Joe Lizama, Nye Morton, Les Nunes, and George Ramirez.

We offer a variety of unique and practical courses for jazz performers, including:

Jazz Improvisation Workshop (beginning and intermediate/advanced levels). Scales, chords, and theory, as they relate to jazz soloing. Lots of hands-on practice, listening to and analyzing jazz solos and standards. You’ll learn a lot of the “tricks of the trade.” This is a night class, and qualified high school students are welcome.

Jazz Theory. Everything the jazz improviser/composer/arranger needs to know: chord structure, substitutions, and progressions, scales, modes, melodic techniques, and the many different musical forms used in jazz.

Jazz History. The roots of jazz music through the present: the most important figures in jazz, their influences, their styles, and how they influenced later players.

Jazz Arranging. How to write for the rhythm section, horns, strings, etc. Writing for all sizes of groups, from small combo to big band. Also: arranging for MIDI instruments; recording studio techniques.

The Music Business. How to copyright your music, get a record deal, release your own CD, handle publicity, deal with agents and managers, get a job in the music business...it’s all explained here.

Intro To Finale. Everyone, from beginners to power users, will benefit from this course on Finale, the industry standard in music notation software.

Jazz Combos. Intense work in a small (4-5 players) group setting. Jazz standards, as well as contemporary styles, are covered. A great opportunity for soloists to “stretch out”!

Jazz Ensemble. The FCC Jazz Ensemble has placed first at many jazz festivals, including the Reno International. Other activities include hosting the City Jazz Festival each year, concerts on and off campus, a spring tour, and a year-end recording session. Rehearsals are Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:20 p.m., ideal for interested high school students.

Latin Jazz Ensemble. This group features six horns plus a full Latin rhythm section, and performs music by Latin jazz masters and new artists alike.

Vocal Jazz Ensemble. This is an auditioned group of 8-12 singers, plus rhythm section. The focus is on contemporary arrangements covering the entire spectrum of jazz, as well as solo performances.

If you are planning to attend a four-year college or university, you should consider the Jazz Studies Program at Fresno City College as a great “first step” in your educational plans. For additional information, please contact Mike Dana, Jazz Studies Director, at Fresno City College (559) 442-4600 ext. 8463, or by e-mail at mike.dana@fresnocitycollege.edu.

Last updated: 3/9/2009 8:19:30 PM