The Florida A&M University Jazz Ensemble I is one of three jazz ensembles in the Music Department. It is composed of musicians selected from the university band program and various disciplines across the university. The Jazz Ensemble is noted for its diversity of styles and very capable jazz musicians. The Jazz Ensemble performs for conventions, jazz festivals, concert tours, school concerts and many other occasions that demand a jazz group with artistic and stylistic excellence. The Florida A&M University Jazz Ensembles include several jazz combos that are composed of fine musicians. These combos perform with the Jazz Ensemble and play for many events on and off campus.
The Florida A&M University Jazz Ensemble is ranked nationally among the top collegiate Jazz Ensembles and has been invited to participate at most Jazz Festivals across the country. The Jazz Ensemble won first place at the Count Basie Jazz Festival at Hampton University. Soloists from each section won outstanding soloist awards. In July of 1995, the Jazz Ensemble traveled to Europe to participate in the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. In addition to the Montreux Jazz Festival the band gave major performances at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague Netherlands, Euro Disney in Paris, a Jazz Festival in Breinz and Verbier Switzerland.
Most recently, the Jazz Ensemble performed at the Crescent City Jazz Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana where students received outstanding soloist awards in each section. The Florida A&M University Jazz Ensemble was also featured as the headline performer at the 19th Annual Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival in Miami, Florida. In addition, many former members of the FAMU Jazz Ensemble have developed successful careers as performers, recording artists, educators and band leaders.