The Jazz Studies Area at UW-Eau Claire started under the direction of Joseph Casey in 1965. It was firmly established under the direction of Dominic Spera (1968-1977) and Ron Keezer with the inclusion of formal course work and by the mid 1970's several more jazz ensembles were added to the curriculum. In 1985 a Vocal Jazz group was formed by Dan Newman. Before Robert Baca's arrival in 1986, James Olcott and Henry Mautner acted as director of jazz studies. Due to student interest the Jazz Studies Area has broadened from 1986 to the present with five large jazz ensembles and a large combo program. The present Jazz Studies Area has been stabilized with confirmed student interest and participation. More that 110 students are enrolled in jazz-related courses during the school year.