Press Release: Jazz Ensemble Companion Provides a Guide to Jazz Literature

The Jazz Ensemble Companion Explores Well-Traveled, Quality Jazz Ensemble Literature

RESTON, VA (November 30, 2009) – The Jazz Ensemble Companion: A Guide to Outstanding Big Band Arrangements Selected by Some of the Foremost Jazz Educators, a new book published by MENC: The National Association for Music Education and Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., revisits favorite arrangements, discovers new ones, and inspires jazz ensembles with sound and adventurous music to play.

Author Michele Caniato is an active composer, conductor, and educator. He has directed jazz ensembles since 1991 and is an Associate Professor of Music at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts.

His new book recommends and analyzes sixty-seven quality jazz arrangements recommended by eighteen of the foremost jazz experts in the field today, including directors and professors from high schools and colleges across the country. The Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Bloomington High School, Fiorello La Guardia Performing Arts High School, Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music, and Harvard University are among those represented.

Listed alphabetically, each analysis includes information on instrumentation, ranges, playability, and requirements for rendering the score.

This book includes eight indexes of musical features to help instructors select repertoire and teaching topics, five indexes for quick navigation and reference, three appendices on survey data results, a glossary, a bibliography, a list of jazz ensemble music publishers, and a general index.

“A passionate and detailed study of quality literature for jazz ensemble. Helpful to jazz band directors and arrangers alike. Highly recommended!”— Frank L. Battisti, conductor emeritus, New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble

“Michele Caniato’s book is sure to serve as an invaluable resource for directors seeking guidance and new ideas to enhance the quality of their jazz ensemble’s repertoire and performance. Check it out!”—Chuck Owen, professor of jazz studies, University of South Florida-Tampa

The Jazz Ensemble Companion: A Guide to Outstanding Big Band Arrangements Selected by Some of the Foremost Jazz Educators is available from RLE in paperback for $64.95 and clothbound for $120.00. MENC members receive a discount of 25%. To order or for more information, call 800-462-6420 or visit
MENC: The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school. MENC’s mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education. MENC is located at the National Center for Music Education in Reston, VA.