“Michael Hoot and his compatriots value their hard-won seats in the Yale Jazz Ensemble, a Yale University-sponsored big band. So it did not sit well when Thomas C. Duffy, who as university director of bands had led the ensemble for 34 years, suspended its operations for the coming year — and possibly beyond — citing a loss of rehearsal space and a lack of qualified brass players.
“The students I know who played in the band and are involved in jazz were really let down by that,” said Mr. Hoot, a saxophonist. But Mr. Hoot, who will be a junior this year, is not taking the situation lying down. He and his fellow band members hope to reconstitute the ensemble as a student-led activity, just one example of what they, along with sympathetic faculty members, are doing to promote jazz on the New Haven campus.
“Yale can do a better job of jazz studies,” said Brian Kane, an associate professor in the music department and an adviser to the student activists.“