The Coast at Dartmouth

Coast Jazz Orchestra at Dartmouth

Coast members explore the full spectrum of jazz and creative music, from early pioneers to today's brightest voices.

"For me, the Coast was a refuge from the rigidity and pressure of academia, where creativity, freedom, and individual voice could flourish." —Mali Obomsawin '18

A Portrait of the Coast


The Coast Jazz Ensemble at Dartmouth is a musical collective that is centered around performing Jazz, Black American Music, and Creative music to the Upper Valley and beyond. Working with a wide variety of artists, styles, and periods in the jazz tradition, the Coast strives to be a community centered on the cultivation of joy and sonic expression. Whether playing classic big band pieces or more contemporary creations, the Coast consistently blends past and present traditions into every note.

In its rich history, the ensemble has hosted a diversity of guest artists, from jazz legends like Max Roach, Dexter Gordon and Clark Terry; to leaders of the avant-garde like Sun Ra, Don Cherry and Lester Bowie; to Latin jazz masters like Eddie Palmieri and Jerry and Andy Gonzales. This tradition continues with visits from some of the most acclaimed figures in today's creative music scene such as Nicole Mitchell, Kris Davis and Mary Halvorson.

The Coast's repertoire draws not only from big band music's greatest hits but from the broader history of improvised music. Pieces from the too-often overlooked heroes of composition like Billy Strayhorn, Mary Lou Williams, and Thad Jones, as well as frequent collaborations with celebrated contemporary musicians and rising stars, frequently take center stage at the ensemble's concerts. Each spring, the Coast's reach extends even farther, with an eclectic 'senior feature' repertoire chosen by its graduating members. No matter the piece, the Coast's unique and daring spirit shines through, drawing at once from Duke Ellington and Anthony Braxton—and a little of everything in between and beyond.

Join Coast Jazz Orchestra
Questions about joining? Please email Taylor Ho Bynum, Director of the Coast Jazz Orchestra

Email the Director


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Updates from the Coast

Looking Forward - Coast Jazz Orchestra Album

Watch "Looking' Forward..."

Watch all the pieces from Lookin' Forward... performed by the Coast in Spaulding Auditorium.

Looking Forward - Coast Jazz Orchestra Album

“Lookin’ Forward...” — Buy the New Album

Lookin' Forward... LP Album
Limited-edition, commemorative double vinyl release—with original art, photos, liner notes and gatefold packaging.
Cost: $25 includes domestic shipping / $45 includes international shipping

You can also listen on Bandcamp >

“Wolves and Blizzards”

February 24, 2018

Composed by Taylor Ho Bynum.

The Temp

The Temp: a watch party and album release

Wed, Feb 17

Two Dartmouth student ensembles collaborate to present a major new work that joins jazz and classical music — and Shakespeare. Watch here> 

The Temp Pre-Show Talk
A conversation about collaboration across disciplines and genres, and about bringing improvisational practice to orchestral performance. Watch here>



New Video: A Portrait of the Coast

“Four Five Six”

November 3, 2017

Composed by Frank Foster.

Decades of Improvisational Music

In The News

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