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Don Bailey


Don Bailey

Dir Jazz Studies/Assoc Prof

Music and Theatre


Don Bailey joined the teaching staff in 1985 and helped to develop the curriculum for a jazz studies concentration associated with the Bachelor of Arts in Music. He teaches all of the core music theory courses as well as orchestration and composition and also directs the vocal jazz group and jazz lab ensemble. Under his direction, the award-winning Jazz Catz vocal ensemble continues to perform for the community, in area schools, and at jazz festivals.

Bailey is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma. He developed the first comprehensive summer jazz band camp in Arkansas and a jazz improv for strings camp for orchestral strings — one of only a handful in the country. Bailey received his formative music education performing as a freelance musician in New York and his home state of New Jersey.

He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Iowa Wesleyan College and his Master of Arts in Music from the University of Northern Iowa where he was a teaching assistant in jazz studies under Dr. Bob Washut. He performs in his own combo throughout the state and is the director and saxophonist for the Kool Cats Jazz Quartet, an outreach of the Fort Smith Symphony.