Newport Festivals Foundation supports Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA with donation of instruments

The Newport Festivals Foundation made a generous donation of musical instruments to the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, helping to ensure that current and future students in the program will have access to top-of-the-line tools for honing their craft.

The Sakae drumset, Zildjian cymbals and Korg Kronos keyboard contributed by the Foundation will be used by the Institute’s students throughout the year as they study, compose, rehearse and perform under the guidance of Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock and Artists-in-Residence like Christian McBride, Terri Lyne Carrington, Billy Childs, Chris Potter and many others.

The leading graduate-level college program of its kind, the Institute of Jazz Performance is a tuition-free, two-year program that accepts one ensemble of musicians for each class. All of the students receive full scholarships, as well as stipends to cover their monthly living expenses. The musicians study both individually and as a small group, receiving personal mentoring, ensemble coaching, and lectures on the jazz tradition. They are also encouraged to experiment in expanding jazz in new directions through their compositions and performances.

The Institute and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music thank the Newport Festivals Foundation for its generosity, and for bolstering our efforts to help exceptional students develop into the jazz masters of tomorrow.

Application now available for 2019 Guitar Competition

The 2019 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Guitar Competition will be presented on December 2-3 in Washington, D.C. The Competition is open to all guitarists who plan to pursue jazz performance as a career. Eligibility is exclusive to guitarists who are 30 years of age and under as of December 3, 2019. Applicants must not have any binding record label or distribution affiliations. Applicants must be free, willing and able to accept all prize awards, including a recording contract with Concord Music Group.

Prizes and scholarships will be awarded as follows:

First place – $30,000 and Concord Music Group recording contract
Second place – $15,000
Third place – $10,000

Fifty percent of each prize will be paid directly toward the winners’ future musical studies. The remaining funds may be applied toward music education expenses or the promotion of the winners’ careers.


The application for the 2019 Guitar Competition can be found here. All materials must be submitted no later than Friday, October 11, 2019. Please email any questions to Leonard Brown or call +1 (202) 364-7272.

Access the 2019 Competition Application

Worldwide celebration of International Jazz Day, 30 April to kick off in Australia

The 2019 All-Star Global Concert will be webcast for free on, YouTube and Facebook at 15:00 UTC / 11:00 New York / 16:00 Paris on Tuesday, April 30.

Paris and Washington, D.C.—UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock today announced the programme for the 2019 edition of International Jazz Day, which will be launched in Australia and celebrated in more than 190 countries around the world.

Global Concert to take place in Melbourne

On 29 and 30 April, a wide range of jazz performances, education programmes and community service initiatives will be presented in partnership with the Melbourne Conservatorium, University of Melbourne, featuring more than a dozen celebrated jazz masters. The events on International Jazz Day itself (30 April) will culminate in an All-Star Global Concert at the Melbourne Arts Centre’s renowned Hamer Hall.  It will be webcast via YouTube, Facebook, the United Nations and UNESCO to millions of viewers worldwide.

The Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall will host the 2019 All-Star Global Concert with Herbie Hancock, James Morrison and others.

More than 30 world-renowned artists

Iconic jazz pianist Herbie Hancock (USA) and acclaimed trumpeter James Morrison (Australia) will serve as artistic co-directors of the All-Star Global Concert, and John Beasley (USA) will serve as the evening’s musical director. The concert will feature performances by an international roster of artists from more than a dozen countries. Confirmed artists include: Cieavash Arian (Iran),William Barton (Australia), Dee Dee Bridgewater (USA), Till Brönner (Germany), A Bu (China), Igor Butman (Russian Federation), Eli Degibri (Israel), Kurt Elling (USA), Matthew Jodrell (Australia), Ledisi (USA), Eijiro Nakagawa (Japan),Mark Nightingale (United Kingdom), Chico Pinheiro (Brazil), Tineke Postma (Netherlands), Antonio Sánchez (Mexico), Nathan Schreiber (Australia), Somi (USA), Lizz Wright (USA), Tarek Yamani (Lebanon).  More artists are expected to be announced.

Artists performing at the 2019 International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert include (from top left) Ledisi, John Beasley (musical director), Kurt Elling, Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock, James Morrison, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Aditya Kalyanpur, Tineke Postma, Antonio Sánchez, Lizz Wright, A Bu, Igor Butman, Somi, William Barton, Mark Nightingale, Joey De Francesco, Ben Williams, Eli Degibri, Eijiro Nakagawa, Brian Blade, Tarek Yamani, Matthew Jodrell, James Genus, Till Brönner, Eric Reed, James Muller, Antonio Hart and Chico Pinheiro, among others.

A global celebration

Thousands of other programmes all over the world will celebrate jazz as a universal language of peace, among them jazz-themed films, lectures, book readings, theatre performances and panel discussions, as well as jam sessions, master classes, and radio and television broadcasts. As in previous years, a majority of International Jazz Day partner activities will focus on education and community impact, benefitting millions of students, academics, professional musicians and music lovers everywhere.

Read the full press release.

Christian McBride Holds Free Master Class During February Residency

Master jazz bassist and nationally recognized broadcaster Christian McBride punctuated his weeklong residency at the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA with a free master class at the Jan Popper Theater last Tuesday. The packed session was webcast live via the Herb Alpert School of Music’s website.

Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance Artist-in-Residence Christian McBride (center) performs with the Institute’s Class of 2020 during his February 12 master class at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Photo: Holly Wallace / Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

“For some reason, in jazz, when you see female musicians, people tend to [say] ‘that’s unusual.’ We want that to stop.”

Hosted by Hancock Institute West Coast Director Daniel Seeff, the master class featured live performances with the Institute’s Jazz Performance Ensemble and a Q&A session in which McBride addressed a wide range of topics, including gender equality in music. “For some reason, in jazz, when you see female musicians, people tend to [say] ‘that’s unusual,’” noted McBride. “We want that to stop.”

Institute West Coast Director Daniel Seeff (right) interviews Artist-in-Residence Christian McBride during McBride’s master class at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Photo: Holly Wallace / Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

The Tuesday evening event was a highlight of McBride’s latest residency at the Institute’s two-year Jazz Performance program. Over the course of the week, the jazz master worked directly with the Institute’s Class of 2020, both as an ensemble and individually, as well as with students from the broader UCLA community. He also served as a guest lecturer for two UCLA courses—Distinguished Professor Robert Winter’s Analysis for Performers and Jazz and Political Imagination, taught by UCLA Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History Robin Kelley.

A six-time Grammy winner, the Philadelphia-born McBride is one of the most requested, most recorded, and most respected figures in the music world today. He currently hosts “The Lowdown” on SiriusXM and NPR’s “Jazz Night in America.”

Intensive learning opportunities with masters of the music are a hallmark of the Institute of Jazz Performance program. Past Artists-in-Residence have included NEA Jazz Masters Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Dianne Reeves and Wayne Shorter, among many others.

Learn more about the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance.

Local to the Los Angeles area? Sign up for our Los Angeles area events mailing list and stay informed about future master classes and other free, public events.

Hancock Institute Brings All-Star High School Jazz Sextet to Oklahoma Public Schools, Feb. 25 – Mar. 1

Tour to feature internationally renowned recording artists Steve Wilson and Lisa Henry

Weeklong series of events includes a performance open to the public at the UCO Jazz Lab on March 1

Washington, DC – With lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz will bring its “Peer-to-Peer” jazz education program to Tulsa and Oklahoma City public schools February 25 – March 1. Combining performance with educational information, these “informances” will be presented by six of the country’s most gifted high school music students along with internationally acclaimed saxophone recording artist Steve Wilson, Kansas City jazz and blues vocalist and a former winner of the Institute’s International Jazz Vocals Competition Lisa Henry, and renowned jazz educator Dr. JB Dyas. Each school visit will include an assembly program featuring musical performances for all students, followed by jazz workshops for each school’s jazz band and choir with the visiting student performers playing alongside and sharing ideas with their Oklahoma counterparts.

The 2018 National Peer-to-Peer All-Star Jazz Sextet, with teaching artists Lisa Henry (far right) and Don Braden (third from right), receive a standing ovation from students and faculty at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota during the Institute’s April 2018 Peer-to-Peer Jazz Education Tour. Photo: Bart Marantz / Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

The members of the all-star sextet selected nationwide to participate in the Oklahoma tour include trumpeter Stéphane Clément, 18, from Miami; trombonist Adan Montes, 17, and pianist Dalton Hayse, 18, from Los Angeles; guitarist Manny Michael, 17, from Sioux Falls; bassist Bakari Williams, 18, from Dallas; and drummer Nino Aiyer, 17, from Houston.“We’ve really enjoyed working on Mr. Wilson’s compositions the past couple of months,” said Clément, who recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC along with Hancock and other jazz greats. “His music covers the full gamut, from swing to contemporary.”

Teaching & Learning, Side by Side

Immediately following the informances, Wilson, Henry, and Dyas will conduct jazz workshops for each host school’s jazz band and choir in which the visiting students will play side-by-side with their Tulsa and Oklahoma City counterparts, providing tutelage peer to peer. In so doing, they will teach and learn from one another not unlike Herbie Hancock did with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, and so many other eminent band mates over the past half century. They’ll also learn about each other’s cities and culture.

Guitarist Manny Michael (right) from Sioux Falls, SD, will be one of six talented student jazz musicians visiting Oklahoma public schools as part of the Institute’s upcoming Peer-to-Peer Tour. Photo: Bart Marantz / Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

“I’m really looking forward to talking and playing jazz with the Oklahoma students,” added Hayse. “So many great jazz players have come from that part of the country.” Indeed, such jazz icons as Chet Baker, Barney Kessel, Howard McGhee, Jay McShann, Oscar Pettiford, and Jimmy Rushing hail from the Sooner State.

The weeklong tour will conclude with two performances open to the public on March 1st at Oklahoma City’s premier jazz venue, the UCO Jazz Lab (at the University of Central Oklahoma School of Music, 100 E. 5th St. in Edmond), where Oklahoma residents and visitors are invited to enjoy an evening of music with Wilson and Henry alongside jazz’s future “young lions.” The octet will perform standards, jazz classics, and contemporary jazz, including compositions from Wilson’s and Henry’s latest recordings. The shows begin at 8:00 pm and 9:45 pm.

Read the full press release here.

Institute VP recognized at inaugural UCLA Publications Showcase

Dr. JB Dyas, the Institute’s Vice President of Education and Curriculum Development, was recognized today as part of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s inaugural Faculty and Graduate Student Publications Showcase. Sponsored by the Office of the Dean and the UCLA Music Library, the event celebrated a selection of books, individual chapters, and published articles by members of the UCLA music community over the past year.

Dr. Dyas, a leader in jazz education, was honored for his recent articles for prospective and current jazz educators. “Living the dream – how to get a job in jazz education” and “Jazzing up jazz band” both appeared in issues of DownBeat magazine. They provided practical advice for music professionals, with tips for organizing student rehearsals, recommended classroom resources, and the “Theoretic Trilogy” for effective tune learning.

Click here to read “Jazzing up jazz band.”

Also in attendance at the event were Herb Alpert School of Music Founding Dean Judith Smith and Music Department Chair Travis Cross. Librarian Matthew Vest of the UCLA Music Library delivered introductory remarks.

Two men stand smiling in a library in front of a television monitor
Dr. JB Dyas, Institute VP of Education & Curriculum Development (right), with UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Music Department Chair Travis Cross at the January 29 Publications Showcase. Photo: Holly Wallace / Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

Jazz Education, Coast-to-Coast

When he is not contributing his insights to leading jazz education publications, Dr. Dyas leads the Institute’s National Performing Arts High Schools and Peer-to-Peer jazz education programs, which reach thousands of students across the United States every year. Recent Peer-to-Peer tours have brought renowned jazz masters like Don Braden, Bobby Broom and Dayna Stephens into public schools in Savannah, Georgia; St. Augustine, Florida; Fargo, North Dakota; and San Diego, California. Dr. Dyas also headed up the Institute’s groundbreaking National Jazz Curriculum initiative, which provides comprehensive online teaching resources free of charge to history and social studies instructors in primary and secondary school classrooms.

Learn more about the Institute’s public school-based jazz education programs.

Finalists Announced for 2018 Piano Competition

The Semifinals round of the 2018 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition concluded Saturday evening with the selection of Tom Oren (Tel Aviv, Israel), Maxime Sanchez (Toulouse, France) and Isaiah Thompson (West Orange, New Jersey) as Finalists. The three talented pianists will participate in the Competition Finals on December 3 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. At stake will be a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Records along with major scholarships.

The Semifinals pool included thirteen talented young pianists hailing from Estonia, France, Hungary, Israel, Russia, Spain and the United States. Each competitor had the opportunity to perform for 15 minutes before an all-star judging panel. The Finalists chose a variety of compositions ranging from originals to selections from the Great American Songbook:

  • Tom Oren: “Lester Left Town” (Wayne Shorter), “Lush Life” (Billy Strayhorn), “52nd Street Theme” (Thelonious Monk)
  • Maxime Sanchez: “Blue Dog” (Original), “You Are Too Beautiful” (Rogers & Hart), “317 East 32nd Street Theme” (Lennie Tristano)
  • Isaiah Thompson: “Manteca” (Dizzy Gillespie/Chano Pozo), “The IT Department” (Original), “Chelsea Bridge” (Billy Strayhorn)

The Competition Finals will take place on Monday in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theatre before an illustrious panel of judges including Monty Alexander, Joanne Brackeen, Cyrus Chestnut, Herbie Hancock, Jason Moran, Danilo Pérez and Renee Rosnes. The evening’s program will consist of performances from Oren, Sanchez and Thompson beginning at 7:30 p.m. followed by an All-Star Gala Concert featuring a tribute to late music icon and Institute supporter Aretha Franklin. The evening will conclude with the presentation of the Maria Fisher Founder’s Award to Institute Advisory Board member Dee Dee Bridgewater, followed by the announcement of the first, second and third place awards.

The Institute congratulates all of the 2018 Competitors on their incredible performances and musicianship, and thanks them for their participation.

Click here to purchase tickets to the Competition Finals at the Kennedy Center.

Click here to learn more about the 2018 Competition.

Actor Blair Underwood to Host 2018 Competition Finals & Gala, December 3rd

The Institute is pleased to announce that award-winning actor, director and producer Blair Underwood will host the upcoming Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition and All-Star Gala Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on December 3rd, 2018. One of the most recognizable faces in television and film, Underwood is renowned for his work on hit series including LA Law, Quantico and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Underwood will emcee the All-Star Gala Concert portion of the evening, introducing the tribute to music icon Aretha Franklin as well as the presentation of the Institute’s Maria Fisher Founder’s Award to legendary vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater.

The evening’s first half includes the Competition Finals, featuring three gifted young pianists performing before distinguished judges Monty Alexander, Joanne Brackeen, Cyrus Chestnut, Herbie Hancock, Jason Moran, Danilo Pérez and Renee Rosnes. The three finalists will be selected the previous afternoon, December 2nd, following the semifinals round at the Smithsonian Institution’s Baird Auditorium. At stake is more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Records.

After the thrilling Competition Finals, an all-star cast including Ambrose Akinmusire, Melissa Aldana, Kris Bowers, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Jazzmeia Horn, Ledisi, Jamison Ross, Kendrick Scott, Deborah Joy Winans, musical director John Beasley and more will deliver a series of unforgettable musical performances in honor of Aretha Franklin and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

For more information on the Competition Finals and All-Star Gala Concert, check out the official Facebook event or purchase tickets at the Kennedy Center website.

The Competition Semifinals are free and open to the public. Visit the Smithsonian Institution website for more details.

Artist-in-Residence Carl Allen Leads Free Master Class at UCLA

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music presented the school year’s first public master class by an Institute teaching artist, featuring the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble. Artist-in-Residence Carl Allen led the session, which was offered free of charge at UCLA’s Jan Popper Theater.

Hosted by UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology Jazz Performance Lecturer Clayton Cameron, the master class included a question/answer session and musical demonstrations. The latter saw Allen perform alongside the members of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2020.

Drummer Carl Allen performs with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble. Musicians onstage include a pianist, a harmonicist, a trumpeter, a tenor saxophonist, a bassist and an alto saxophonist.
Artist-in-Residence Carl Allen (far right) performs with the members of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2020 during a free master class at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music: (from left) Paul Cornish, Malachi Whitson, Roni Eytan, Aidan Lombard, Chris Lewis, Emma Dayhuff and Lenard Simpson. Photo: Holly Wallace

With more than 200 recordings to his credit, Carl Allen is an in-demand drummer, sideman, bandleader and educator who performs and teaches around the world. The master class at UCLA kicked off Allen’s weeklong residency at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA, where he will conduct ensemble workshops, give private lessons and provide instruction in composition and improvisation.

Intensive learning opportunities with masters of the music is a hallmark of the Institute of Jazz Performance program. Past Artists-in-Residence have included Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, and Dianne Reeves, among others.

Learn more about the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.

Local to the Los Angeles area? Sign up for our Los Angeles area events mailing listand stay informed about future master classes and other free, public events.

Education VP Begins September Performing Arts High Schools Education Tour

Vice President for Education & Curriculum Development Dr. JB Dyas began a marathon tour of public schools this month as part of the Institute’s national Performing Arts High Schools (PAHS) initiative. The tour will take Dr. Dyas to six partner schools in five states and include intensive instruction for students and faculty across a variety of settings.

Partner schools served on this tour include the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts in Dallas, Texas; Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey; and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Taken together, the six institutions represent a high-achieving cross-section of the nation’s public performing arts high schools. They boast an impressive cohort of graduates, counting renowned jazz masters like Wayne Shorter, Sarah Vaughan, Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Norah Jones and Roy Hargrove among their alumni.

Institute Vice President for Education & Curriculum Development Dr. JB Dyas works with students at Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas, September 2018. Photo courtesy of Kinder HSPVA.

As part of his in-school visits, which are designed to complement the Institute’s year-round program of daily and weekly instruction by professional jazz artists, Dr. Dyas provides faculty development training, rehearses the schools’ big bands and smaller jazz combos, presents master classes and workshops, and gives private lessons. The visits have proven to be a highlight of each school’s jazz education offerings.

About PAHS

The Performing Arts High Schools initiative brings the Institute’s outstanding teaching artists into performing arts-focused secondary schools in cities across the country. The Institute provides consultation on curriculum development and instructional methodology, regular visits by guest artists and educators, private lessons, and intensive instruction. In addition, the Institute invites combos from selected schools to participate in weeklong Peer-to-Peer Jazz Education Tours in which the students perform with world-renowned jazz musicians in public high schools across the nation.

Learn more about our public school-based education programs.