Cardinal Jazz Orchestra

LU Cardinal Jazz Orchestra (2023)

About the Ensemble

The Lamar University Cardinal Jazz Orchestra provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in playing the varying styles of jazz and commercial music encountered by today’s working musician and educator, as well as a platform that encourages the development of skills in improvisation.

Recent guest artists and clinicians have included The Yellowjackets, Eric Marienthal, Allen Vizzutti, Jeff Coffin, Kris Berg and the Metroplexity Big Band, Tom "Bones" Malone, Peter Erskine, Ingrid Jensen, and Bobby Sanabria.


Special Announcement for 2023-2024

This year's Cardinal Jazz Orchestra will provide students with a unique opportunity to travel to SPAIN in May of 2024 for a 10-day performance tour. All parts are open; therefore, all students, regardless of major, are encouraged to audition for the chance to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.


Richard "Rick" Condit
Director of Jazz Studies
(409) 880-8146

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LU Jazz Band History

Lamar University's Jazz Band has a history dating back to the 1950s when it was under the direction of Dr. Charles A. Wiley. President Emeritus Dr. James M. Simmons took over the Jazz Band in 1970, passing the torch to Dr. J. Wayne Dyess, who directed the jazz band from 1983 until 2012. The jazz band is currently under the direction of Richard "Rick" Condit, director of jazz studies at LU.

The group has appeared at such events as the Wichita Jazz Festival, MENC's National Convention, the annual meeting of the International Association of Jazz Educators, as well as the Texas Music Educators Convention. The band has appeared with a wide array of acclaimed soloists, including Carl Fontana, Don Menza, Joe Williams, Jack Sheldon, and Cab Calloway.