The Youth Jazz Ensemble (YJE) is a high school all-star big band serving student musicians from Upstate South Carolina and directed by renowned jazz performer and educator Kevin Korschgen. YJE students receive state-of-the-art jazz education that helps prepare them to attend leading college, university, and conservatory music programs. The ensemble’s major focus is on improvisation and musicianship. Its repertoire is tailored specifically to fit the size and instrumentation of the group, and is chosen for its educational and historical value. Jazz performance is an intricate part of the YJE experience. With a minimum of four performances a year, the ensemble opens for select Greenville Jazz Collective concerts and is featured in its own performances throughout the Greenville Community. Members of the ensemble benefit greatly from monthly guest clinician visits by both local and nationally respected jazz musicians and educators.
Please feel free to contact YJE Director Kevin Korschgen for any questions you may have regarding the ensemble.
Download the lead sheet for prepared jazz selection "Slightly Altered Blues" and the YJE Rehearsal Schedule below.
About Kevin Korschgen, YJE Director
Kevin Korschgen, jazz drummer and music educator, first moved to Chicago in 1980 to join a band called Rush Hour. His teaching career began in 1983 at Notre Dame High School for Boys, where he led the school’s award-winning jazz ensemble. He later developed a dynamic multi-cultural Latin Jazz Ensemble at Lake View High School, in Chicago, and has instructed jazz combos at the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association, and at the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts). During a three-year sojourn to Santa Fe, NM, Mr. Korschgen served as Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association, and as Director of Bands at Santa Fe High School. Upon returning to Chicago in 2007, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Chicago Public Schools All-City High School Jazz Ensemble, and later taught at ChiArts. He is an Illinois and South Carolina certified teacher (Fine Arts K-12) with degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (BME) and VanderCook College of Music (MME). His student ensembles have won numerous Superior awards when competing in Midwest HS jazz festivals. The Notre Dame Jazz Ensemble won two Grand Champion awards in his three-year tenure at the school. In 2012, his ChiArts Combo A, won the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. Additionally, students from that ensemble(s) have been chosen to participate in the prestigious Brubeck and Vail summer music camps. Mr. Korschgen has performed with many of Chicago’s finest jazz musicians, along with major jazz artists, trumpeter, Marcus Belgrave, and pianist, Lyle Mays. Mr. Korschgen enjoys composing and arranging for ensembles, and for his students, for which he has penned more than fifteen big band charts. In collaboration with the the Jazz Institute of Chicago, he has presented workshops in “jazz arranging” for Madison, WI and Chicago Public Schools band directors and music instructors. His arranging and jazz drumming are displayed on his own recording, First Session, The Kevin Korschgen Jazz Quartet. Mr. Korschgen recently retired from the Chicago Public Schools, and now resides in Greenville, SC with his wife, Pamela. He enjoys teaching, writing, and performing in the Greenville/Asheville vicinity of the Carolinas. Mr. Korschgen runs the “Wheel Sessions” jazz performance series in the Pendleton Arts District of West Greenville that features local, regional, and national jazz artists.