The University of New Hampshire has two auditioned jazz bands. Any UNH student is welcome to audition. The jazz bands peform a wide spectrum of big band music and often have opportunities to play with professional jazz musicians.

The two jazz bands use standard instrumentation: alto, tenor, baritone saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass (usually upright), guitar, and drums. A set number of players are accepted each year. A meeting for all interested musicians is held the first week of classes each fall, and audition groups and times are set for the second and third weeks. The top UNH Jazz Band rehearses 3:10-4:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The second band rehearses right after them: 4:10-5:00. Spots are filled as needed second semester, but typically membership is for the full year.

Both ensembles perform at the annual Clark Terry Jazz Festival, which attracts scholastic jazz ensembles from all over the Northeast. The festival is usually held on campus the first Saturday of spring break every year.