ucla_latin_jazz_big_band_2011ETHNMUS 91 and 161T, section 2. The LatinJazz Big Band uses the Jazz Big Band format plus several Latin percussion instruments.

Director: Dr. Bobby Rodriguez

LatinJazz Big Band classes (91 and 161T) are designed for students in the jazz studies concentration. These courses help students to fulfill the jazz studies degree requirements and are designed to train the students to become professional jazz musicians.

Occasionally there are openings in the LatinJazz Big Band for advanced-level UCLA student musicians who play instruments that are not covered by jazz studies students. There is an audition in the fall.

For information on the history of this ensemble, click Ensemble History: LatinJazz Ensemble.


Dr. Bobby Rodriguez: "In my class every student learns the Clave Concept of LatinJazz, which is the combination of Latin rhythms with Jazz improvisation. Classes contain three components: rehearsal of the music, information about the music and conversation about the Business of Music."

A former student wrote: 
"I just wanted to say thanks for a great four years. I had a great time in your band, learned a lot, and improved on my improvisation skills and confidence. Looking back, I cannot remember a week in the past four years when you weren't vibrant, ready to teach, and excited to make music. I think this is pretty astounding considering some weeks I felt like I was going to die of exhaustion sitting there at 9:30 pm. Even if I'm not going to be a professional musician, I feel like I got a chance to experience being a part of a truly professional musical atmosphere in your band."
--Douglas Mill, 2010

Dr. Bobby: "I know that students come from different communities with a variety of issues. That’s why I look for different ways to find a path into their imaginations, to ignite their interest and help them accomplish their dreams. Using stories of personal experience, personalizing the great Jazz artists, sensitizing the students to new philosophies of music and performance practices, I’m always looking for a way into their 'fast food' reality.

My goal is to empower the students with knowledge and confidence to understand how to advance their careers. I teach “real world” music and try to train my students how to contribute to the betterment of humanity."