The MSU Jazz Mavericks is a full jazz big band. The focus of this ensemble is to provide students with experience in a jazz ensemble along with several performance opportunities. The jazz literature performed in the ensemble ranges from classic jazz charts (i.e., Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, etc.) to contemporary jazz (i.e., jazz rock, funk, salsa, etc.). Each year, MSU hosts a jazz festival featuring national jazz artists and adjudicator/clinicians performing with the MSU Jazz Mavericks.
Dr. Douglas R. Snapp, director of the MSU Jazz Mavericks, holds degrees in jazz studies for the University of Northern Colorado and the University of North Texas. On trumpet and vocals, he has backed artists such as Dave Brubeck, J.J. Johnson, Louie Bellson, Bob Mintzer, Mel Lewis, Dianne Reeves and the Four Tops. In addition to his position at MSU, Dr. Snapp serves as Artistic Director of the JazzMn Big Band, a professional jazz orchestra based in the Twin Cities.
Auditions for the Jazz Mavericks are held each Fall at the beginning of the semester.