The jazz department at HAMU was founded in the year 2011 thanks to the initiative of prof. Jiří Hlaváč, former dean of the Music Faculty and a long-term supporter of jazz music is the Czech Republic. From the very beginning the jazz department is headed by doublebassist Jaromír Honzák, who was previously the founder of jazz studies at VOŠ Jaroslava Ježka in Prague.

During its first five years of existence, five principal study disciplines (bass, drums, guitar, piano and saxophone) have been established on both bachelor’s and master’s levels. In additional to instrumental tuition, the programme of study also contains jazz history, jazz theory and improvisation, ear training and transcription, rhythmic studies focusing on various traditional musical cultures and ensembles. In order to open up the musical understanding and overall perspective even further, students are required to take a few electives within the classical department as well.

Regular tuition is complemented by workshops of visiting artists, during which the students have already had the chance to work with musicians such as Maria Schneider, Doug Hammond, Kneebody, Adam Nussbaum and Jay Anderson, Rory Stuart, Antonin-Tri Hoang, Rudy Linka and others.

Every year the jazz department organizes numerous public concerts within the Academy, which showcase the student ensembles, different groups from outside, or visiting foreign lecturers. The jazz season is closed by an open air festival “Jazz Courtyard”, where all student ensembles get to perform on the historic courtyard within the school’s premises.

The jazz department offers tuition in both Czech and English and takes part in the program Socrates-Erasmus, which can be used both for foreign students, as well as by the domestic ones in order to study abroad.