Institute Set to Bring All-Star HS Jazz Quintet to Milwaukee Public Schools for Peer-to-Peer Tour, May 9-13

Featuring internationally renowned recording artists Sean Jones and Lisa Henry

Washington, DC – With lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and United Airlines, the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz will bring its Peer-to-Peer jazz education program to Milwaukee public schools May 9-13, 2022. Combining performance with educational information, these “informances” will be presented by the National Peer-to-Peer Jazz Quintet, comprising five of the country’s most gifted high school music students. They will be featured alongside internationally acclaimed trumpet recording artist Sean Jones, 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 a musical performance for all students, followed by workshops for each school’s jazz band and choir with the visiting student performers playing alongside and sharing ideas with their Milwaukee counterparts.

“We’ve found that sometimes young people can learn about certain things better from kids their same age, and one of them is jazz,” said jazz great Herbie Hancock, Institute Chairman, NEA Jazz Master, and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “And when you hear how accomplished these musicians are at such a young age, you know their peers are going to listen.”

Besides playing jazz at a level that belies their years, the students will talk with their Wisconsin peers about what jazz is, why it’s important to America, and how a jazz ensemble represents a perfect democracy. They also will discuss the important American values that jazz represents: teamwork, freedom with responsibility, unity with ethnic diversity, the correlation of hard work and goal accomplishment, and the importance of finding a passion early in life, being persistent, and believing in yourself. When young people hear this important message from kids their same age, they are often more likely to listen.

The members of the all-star quintet selected nationwide to participate in the Wisconsin tour include alto saxophonist Ebban Dorsey (17) from Baltimore; trombonist Melvin Nimtz (18) from New Orleans; pianist Nathan Tatsuta (15) from Santa Ana, CA; bassist Kenny Haddox (17) from Dallas; and drummer JJ Mazza (17) from Denver. “We’ve really grown a lot by exploring Sean Jones’ music in preparation for the tour,” said Dorsey, who was featured in last year’s peer-to-peer jazz group which presented a jazz informance webinar for the US Department of Education (and has now had over a half million views on YouTube). “His compositions are both a challenge and a joy to play and listen to.”

Immediately following the informances, Jones, Henry, and Dyas will conduct jazz workshops for each host school’s jazz band and choir. The visiting students will play side-by-side with their Wisconsin counterparts, providing tutelage peer to peer. In so doing, they will teach and learn from one another not unlike what 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 cultures.

“We’re really looking forward to hanging out and playing jazz with the students in a completely different part of the country,” added Nimtz, who was recently selected to this year’s edition of the Carnegie Hall National Youth Jazz Orchestra. “I’ve heard that not unlike my hometown of New Orleans, Milwaukee takes its jazz seriously.” Indeed, the city has produced such distinguished artists as Lynne Arriale, Bunky Green, Woody Herman, Al Jarreau, Brian Lynch, Willie Pickens, and others of that stature.

The weeklong tour will conclude with two performances open to the public on May 13 at Milwaukee’s newest jazz club, Bar Centro (804 E Center St.), where Milwaukee residents and visitors are invited to enjoy an evening of music with Jones and Henry alongside jazz’s future “young lions.” The septet will perform standards, jazz classics, and contemporary jazz, including compositions from Jones’ and Henry’s latest recordings. The shows begin at 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. For further information call 414-455-3751 or visit

Download the complete press release

Learn more about the Peer-to-Peer program

International Jazz Day 2022, April 30th, a Call for Global Peace and Unity

Global Concert from United Nations Headquarters in New York to be hosted by Herbie Hancock, feature Marcus Miller, Gregory Porter, David Sanborn, Hiromi, Pedrito Martínez, Ravi Coltrane, José James, Terri Lyne Carrington, Linda Oh, Shemekia Copeland, Lizz Wright and others

Paris and New York––UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock today announced the program for the 2022 celebration of International Jazz Day, with events taking place in more than 180 countries.

The flagship Jazz Day event, a spectacular All-Star Global Concert, will be staged in the UN General Assembly Hall, in New York, emphasizing the importance of jazz as a means of achieving unity and peace through dialogue and diplomacy. With Herbie Hancock serving as Host and Artistic Director and John Beasley as Musical Director, the program is set to feature performances by some of the world’s most accomplished jazz artists, including vocalists Shemekia Copeland, José James, Youn Sun Nah (Republic of Korea), Gregory Porter, Alune Wade (Senegal) and Lizz Wright; pianists Joey Alexander (Indonesia), Helio Alves (Brazil), Laurent de Wilde (France), Hiromi (Japan), Ray Lema (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Tarek Yamani (Lebanon); drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Brian Blade; bassists James Genus, Marcus Miller and Linda Oh (Australia); saxophonists Ravi Coltrane, David Sanborn and Erena Terakubo (Japan); guitarist Mark Whitfield and trumpeters Randy Brecker and Jeremy Pelt, among others.

Also joining the global ensemble will be harmonicist Grégoire Maret (Switzerland), harpist Edmar Castañeda (Colombia), percussionist Pedrito Martínez (Cuba) and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh (Syria). Further information on the 2022 cast is available on

This concert will be webcast worldwide on April 30th at 5 pm EDT/2 pm PDT/11 pm CET on,,, the International Jazz Day YouTube and Facebook channels, UN Web TV and US State Department outlets.

“Jazz carries a universal message with the power to strengthen dialogue, our understanding of each other, and our mutual respect. As the world is affected by multiple crises and conflicts, this international day highlights how much music and culture can contribute to peace,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

“With conflict and division in many parts of the world, it is my hope that, through the universal language of jazz, our celebration this year can inspire people of all nations to heal, to hope and to work together to foster peace,” said Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock, who co-chairs International Jazz Day with the Director-General of UNESCO.

Master classes, concerts, educational and other programs worldwide

In the lead-up to the 2022 All-Star Global Concert, a series of free, online education programs will be presented via In the lead-up to the 2022 All-Star Global Concert, a series of free, online education programs will be presented via,, and the official International Jazz Day YouTube and Facebook pages. World-renowned jazz artists including multiple Grammy Award winners Arturo O’Farrill and Terri Lyne Carrington, Oran Etkin, Danny Grissett, Dan Tepfer and others will lead master classes and presentations. A complete listing and schedule of education programs will be available at The 2022 education programs are presented in collaboration with the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, the JAM Music Lab University (Vienna) and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, among other organizations.

Shortly before the Global Concert, at 3 pm EDT, UNESCO will celebrate the musical talent of women from across Africa with a second edition of its JazzWomenAfrica concert series. Organized in collaboration with the cultural agency ANYA Music (Morocco), JazzWomenAfrica helps counter the under-representation and insufficient recognition of women in the music industry. A discussion with women artists and music producers on this theme will take place on April 29th at 11 am EDT.

The worldwide program for International Jazz Day 2022 also includes an extraordinary array of programming in more than 180 countries, with concerts and performance-based initiatives complemented by diverse social outreach and educational activities. In Central Africa, the organizers and partners behind the Biennale of Luanda/Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace will present an extensive series of virtual roundtables, concerts, exhibits and other events highlighting the contribution of jazz in promoting peace, uniting people and fostering cooperation around the world. In the Republic of Korea, the Korean Jazz Association and other partners are planning six days of concerts themed around freedom. A “National Jazz Week,” culminating on International Jazz Day, will begin on April 21 across Chile, with participation from UNESCO Artist for Peace Danilo Pérez. Meanwhile on April 29th in the United States, Newark, New Jersey public radio station WGBO will celebrate the renaming of the street on which it resides in honor of legendary jazz musician, composer and Newark native Wayne Shorter.

To learn about the thousands of other events planned in all 50 U.S. states and countries across the world, visit

Major support for International Jazz Day is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Air transportation and additional support for artists and educators is provided by United Airlines, the airline partner of International Jazz Day.

Established by UNESCO in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every 30 April. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

Download the press release

Learn more about International Jazz Day

Learn more about UNESCO

Media: contact Alisse Kingsley

Watch the U.S. Dept. of Education Informance Hosted by Secretary Cardona

Watch the full-length recording of the April 19, 2022 informance below, presented in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education

Washington, DC – The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education will present a peer-to-peer jazz informance on April 19, featuring the Peer-to-Peer Jazz Quintet. Hosted by U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, the “informance” – a combination of performance and educational information – will be presented by five of the Baltimore/Washington, DC area’s most gifted high school music students along with 14-time GRAMMY Award-winning jazz legend Herbie Hancock, internationally acclaimed jazz trumpet recording artist Sean Jones, and renowned jazz educator Dr. JB Dyas. The informance will be livestreamed from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) headquarters building in Washington, D.C., beginning at 1 pm EDT, to hundreds of school districts in the United States and around the world, and streamed on ED’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, as well as the Institute’s website, It will not only focus on what jazz is and why it’s important to America, but also on leadership in the time of a crisis such as a pandemic and how the principles of jazz – collaborating, improvising, not seeking perfection, playing off each other’s strengths, perseverance and the vital importance of really listening to one another – can enlighten leaders as they navigate through a crisis, uncertainty and challenging times.

“We’ve found that young people often learn about certain things better from kids their same age, and one of those is jazz,” said Hancock, Chairman of the Institute, NEA Jazz Master, and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “And when you hear how accomplished these musicians are at such a young age, you know their peers are going to listen.”

Besides playing jazz at a level that belies their years, the students will talk to their like-age audience across the country and around the world about the importance of finding a passion for something early in life, working hard at it, being persistent, and believing in yourself. When young people hear this important message from kids their same age, they are often more likely to listen.

“We’ve found that young people often learn about certain things better from kids their same age, and one of those is jazz. And when you hear how accomplished these musicians are at such a young age, you know their peers are going to listen.”

Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock

The members of the Quintet include alto saxophonists Ebban Dorsey and Quinn Rehkemper from the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA); tenor saxophonist Elijah Woodward and pianist Jose Andre Montano from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts; and drummer Jillian Upshaw from Woodrow Wilson High School. “What an honor to have the opportunity to perform with Mr. Hancock and Mr. Jones,” said Dorsey, who was featured on last year’s ED jazz informance which was presented virtually due to the pandemic (and has now had over a half million views on YouTube). “Mr. Hancock’s immense musical contributions have truly been profound, and Mr. Jones is one of the best jazz trumpet players you’ll ever hear!”

Rounding out the group will be BSA’s director of jazz studies, Ed Hrybyk on bass, with a special cameo appearance by Secretary Cardona on Latin percussion. “Music is a big part of my family’s life,” said the Secretary. “There’s a level of listening, interdependence and collaboration that goes on in jazz that we can all learn from.”

While the informance at the US Department of Education can only accommodate a limited, invited audience of selected students, teachers, principals, and ED officials, it will be streamed nationally and internationally so all may partake. “Jazz mirrors life … in improvisation and in connecting with people around you,” added the Secretary. “Music and the arts give us a window into different cultures – and cultures are an expression of many kinds of music. It’s been said that music is the art that goes from the ears straight to the heart. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, music is also a wonderful tool for empathy and healing.”

The Herbie Hancock Institute’s National Peer-to-Peer Education Program has lead funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and United Airlines.

Download the full press release.

Watch the 2022 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert

The National Endowment for the Arts will honor the 2022 NEA Jazz Masters —Stanley ClarkeDonald Harrison, Jr.Billy Hart, and Cassandra Wilson—and kick off a year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the program with a concert on Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET. Held in collaboration with SFJAZZ at the SFJAZZ Center’s Robert N. Miner Auditorium (201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA), the concert is free and open to the public and also available through a live webcast and radio broadcast.

Hosted by Institute Advisory Board member Dianne Reeves, the 2022 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will feature performances by 2022 honorees Stanley Clarke, Billy Hart, and Donald Harrison, Jr. as well as an array of jazz luminaries, including Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2003 graduate Gretchen Parlato and former Peer-to-Peer All-Star Jeremiah Collier.

Tune in right here on March 31 to watch the free live stream.

Remembering Madeleine Albright

The Institute is saddened to learn of the passing of Madeleine Albright, a towering figure in global diplomacy as well as a devoted supporter of jazz and the Institute’s educational mission.

Secretary Albright with Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock and students in the Institute’s Jazz in the Classroom program at Miami’s New World School of the Arts.

Albright was active with the Institute for over 25 years, beginning with her tenure as United States Secretary of State, when she was instrumental in bringing Institute artists to serve a key role at the 1998 Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile, and hosted receptions for the Institute’s annual Competition in Washington, D.C. She subsequently became a close friend and generous supporter of the Institute.

Albright believed fervently in the power of the arts, most especially jazz, to forge bonds that transcend political, national, linguistic, religious or ethnic barriers, and to bolster the foundations of democracy. This conviction led her to share her talents frequently with the Institute, from serving as a mentor and advisor on cultural diplomacy, to lending her talents on the drums for Institute events from time to time. She was instrumental in helping the Institute expand its global impact through initiatives including U.S. State Department Tours and International Jazz Day.

Madame Secretary, you will be greatly missed.


International Jazz Day 2022 Registration Now Open on

Registration is now open for International Jazz Day 2022, with participants invited to add their April 30 events to the official calendar and map on Registration is a great way for those celebrating International Jazz Day to broadcast their support for the initiative, and to ensure that each participating community is represented as part of the worldwide festivities.

Registrations can be submitted for free by completing the form at

All those seeking to commemorate International Jazz Day 2022 on April 30 are welcome to submit registrations. Each year, an array of programming takes place in more than 190 countries on all seven continents. Events span performances, education programs, community service initiatives and more. Radio and television stations around the world get involved, spreading the positive message of International Jazz Day to their audiences, as do schools and universities, jazz clubs, libraries, music appreciation societies, UN and UNESCO clubs and local, regional and national governments, among numerous other partners.

A list of events registered to date can be found here, with the interactive map of events accessible on the homepage.

New in 2022, registrants whose International Jazz Day programs take place across multiple venues can have those venues reflected on the map without submitting additional event registrations, up to three venues per registration. Poster images can also now be uploaded directly to via the registration form. Most notably, each registered event receives a dedicated page on to showcase background about the event, social media links, and even photo and video content.

Any questions regarding registration can be addressed to the International Jazz Day Outreach Team.

About International Jazz Day

International Jazz Day is the world’s largest celebration of jazz. Each year on April 30, International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. On International Jazz Day, this special art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; fostering gender equality; and promoting freedom of expression. In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly formally welcomed the decision by the UNESCO General Conference to proclaim April 30 as International Jazz Day. The United Nations and UNESCO now both recognize International Jazz Day on their official calendars.

College Program Class of 2023 Thrills L.A. Audiences with Monthly Residency at Sam First

The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA has resumed its monthly residency at renowned Los Angeles jazz spot Sam First following a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Class of 2023 recently gave its first evening of performances, consisting of two hourlong sets of creatively arranged standards and original compositions.

Regular performances are a key part of the Institute of Jazz Performance experience, with each class given opportunities to hone its skills as an ensemble in real-world contexts, workshop new compositions and develop connections with other local players and fans. Appearances by the Institute students are consistently well-attended affairs, reflecting the excitement around the talented, young players and their fresh, inventive approach to composing and performing. Since its return to L.A. in 2012, the Institute’s college program has been cited as a major positive influence on the city’s jazz scene.

Sam First was a natural choice to host the Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble each month. Opened in 2018 by real estate developer and jazz aficionado Paul Solomon, the venue is one of the newest in L.A. but has quickly built a reputation for showcasing intensely creative music by top-notch local and national artists. Under the guidance of Music Manager and Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2014 graduate Dave Robaire, the club has featured an impressive roster of accomplished artists from across the spectrum, including many musicians who have conducted residencies and private lessons for Institute students, such as David Binney, Billy Childs, Larry Goldings, Dick Oatts, John Patitucci and Edward Simon, among many others. Institute graduates residing in L.A., including Paul Cornish, Mike Cottone, Anthony Fung, Michael Mayo, Jonathan Pinson, Daniel Rotem and Miro Sprague, have also received a warm welcome at the venue.

At their inaugural performance, the positive energy was palpable as the Institute students shared a slew of original music, including several compositions written as assignments under the guidance of Distiguished Professors Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and Composition Artist-in-Residence Billy Childs for their classes in the program.

“I just feel so good,” said Class of 2023 vocalist Darynn Dean, responding to enthusiastic applause from the eager audience. “It’s been so long since we’ve been able to make music. It’s been a really long year; we’ve all been shedding at home or over Zoom, and you all being here just really means the world to us.”

The Class of 2023 will next appear at Sam First on January 20 (live-streaming event at 7:30 pm), February 22 and March 22. For more information, visit

Guest Instructors Bring Diverse Perspectives, Insights to Institute of Jazz Performance

With schools across the country returning to in-person learning, the Institute’s college program recently welcomed a host of guest instructors back to campus at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music to conduct socially distanced master classes and workshops for the Class of 2023.

As part of preparing the Institute students to navigate the music industry’s complex demands, the program engages a diverse lineup of experienced professionals to share their insights in daylong and multi-day residencies. The visiting jazz masters and music industry experts address essential artistic elements like improvisation and musicianship, as well as practical concepts like negotiating contracts, building a professional website and effectively using advanced production software and other technologies.

“Finding success as a working creative musician is about more than being skilled at your craft,” says Institute West Coast Director Daniel Seeff. “Jazz musicians today are increasingly expected to fulfill diverse roles beyond creating innovative music. The Institute aims to equip our students with a broad skillset that will serve them well when they enter the professional world.”

One familiar face on the Institute of Jazz Performance’s guest instructor roster for the last several years is veteran artist manager Karen Kennedy. The founder of 24 Seven Artist Development, over the past three decades Kennedy has managed the careers of some of the jazz world’s most revered figures. She currently counts NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron, Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2003 graduate Gretchen Parlato and former Institute Peer-to-Peer All-Star James Francies among her clients. Kennedy recently met with the Institute’s students to discuss developing a five-year plan for their careers, creating promotional materials and learning how to budget for tours and albums, among other music business fundamentals.

Artist manager and Institute of Jazz Performance guest instructor Karen Kennedy leads a career seminar for the Class of 2023.

Other recent visitors include composer/producer Michael Stein, whose work can be heard on an array of contemporary film scores and commercial music. During Stein’s first visit, he worked with the Class of 2023 on different ways to apply the latest production and music sequencing software, including Cubase, Logic and Pro Tools, to their composition and performance work. The students also benefitted from a residency with five-time GRAMMY Award-winning pianist and composer Billy Childs, a fixture at the program who offered invaluable feedback on the young artists’ compositions and shared his unique process for developing and refining musical ideas.

Composer/pianist and Institute of Jazz Performance guest instructor Billy Childs works with Class of 2023 students Javier Santiago (left) and Emiliano Lasansky.

These and other guest instructors provide Institute of Jazz Performance students a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will help them achieve both on and off the bandstand. Learn more about how the Institute’s college program is preparing the next generation of jazz masters by clicking here.

Institute Education Vice President leads three-day residency at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts

Dr. JB Dyas, the Institute’s Vice President for Education and Curriculum Development, visited the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) from November 17-19 for a residency with the school’s jazz ensembles. In collaboration with LACHSA jazz instructor Alex Hahn, a graduate of the Institute’s master’s level college program at UCLA, Dr. Dyas worked closely with the school’s big band and jazz combos. He gave private lessons to select students and mentored LACHSA faculty.

Institute Vice President of Education and Curriculum Development Dr. JB Dyas conducts the student big band at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts during a residency for the Institute’s National Performing Arts High Schools program.
Institute Vice President of Education and Curriculum Development Dr. JB Dyas works with a student at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts during a residency for the Institute’s National Performing Arts High Schools program.

Dr. Dyas also presented his acclaimed clinic on preparing for college auditions and securing music-related scholarships (“Getting the Big Scholarship”), of special interest to students seeking to pursue degrees in jazz performance. The presentation includes a systematic method for preparing repertoire, requesting letters of recommendation and selecting prospective schools, with plenty of insight into what college and conservatory adjudicators look for in applicants.

LACHSA is a longtime partner school in the Institute’s National Performing Arts High Schools jazz initiative. This specialized, performance-based program enables students at the nation’s leading public performing arts high schools to participate in small combos and receive instruction in theory, composition, improvisation, history and styles, preparing them to attend leading college, university and conservatory music programs. 

Through the National Performing Arts High Schools program, students benefit from regular workshops with professional jazz artists as well as an annual, multi-day residency by Dr. Dyas. Each residency includes private and group instruction on improvisation, theory, composition, jazz history and other topics, plus group rehearsals and master classes for all students in the jazz program. All in-person instruction follows relevant public health guidelines.

Support the Institute on Giving Tuesday, November 30, 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Institute in honor of Giving Tuesday–today, November 30, 2021.

Your gift helps the Institute bring life-changing jazz education programs to thousands of public school students across the United States. The Institute relies on private funding to offer its programs entirely free of charge to students, teachers, schools, families and communities.

The challenges of the last 18 months, from the pandemic to the renewed worldwide focus on racial inequities and social justice, have helped highlight the urgency of the Institute’s mission. For more than 30 years, we have been committed to serving a diverse and inclusive body of students. The majority of participants in Institute programs are students of color, and a high proportion come from low-income, underserved communities. Innovations in virtual learning technology mean that Institute programs like BeBop to Hip-Hop, the National Performing Arts High Schools and Jazz in the Classroom are today impacting more students than ever before.

These initiatives have a quantifiably positive impact on our students.

Beyond the statistics, the Institute’s programs truly uplift students with instruction that not only increases their musical knowledge, but also helps build life skills and provides an invaluable sense of community. Program participants develop lasting friendships with their bandmates and instructors while increasing self-confidence, discipline and determination. Jazz in the Classroom students, for example, regularly praise the program for its formative influence on their lives.

None of this would be possible without the support of our donors. The Institute needs your help to continue making a difference in the lives of thousands of students each year, while also preserving and perpetuating jazz and its extraordinary humanitarian legacy. Whether you are a music lover, someone eager to invest in educational equity for the next generation, or a bit of both, Giving Tuesday is your chance to show your support.

Thank you for your consideration.