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.
Formerly known as the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, the tuition-free two-year program accepts one ensemble of musicians for each class. Students study both individually and as a small group, receiving personal mentoring, ensemble coaching, and lectures on the jazz tradition from some of the world’s greatest living jazz musicians.
Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter serve as the Institute’s Distinguished Professors. Artists-in-Residence have included Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lyne Carrington, Billy Childs, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Barry Harris, Stefon Harris, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, Jason Moran, Lewis Nash, Danilo Pérez, Dianne Reeves and John Scofield, along with Improvisation Artists-in-Residence Jerry Bergonzi and Dick Oatts, among others, and former Artistic Directors Terence Blanchard and Ron Carter.
For nearly 25 years, this innovative master’s level college program has played a leading role in training the next generation of jazz masters, including alumni Ambrose Akinmusire, Lionel Loueke, Gretchen Parlato and Walter Smith III.
Applications for the class entering fall 2020 may be submitted to study the following instruments: trumpet, saxophone, trombone, piano, electric guitar, acoustic bass, vibraphone, violin, drums, and vocals. A master’s degree from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music for qualified applicants and a certificate from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance will be awarded upon successful completion of the two-year program. All students receive full scholarships as well as stipends to cover their monthly living expenses.
April 30, 2019 — International Jazz Day 2019 celebrations came to a close today with a series of free master classes, performances and other activities for students at the renowned Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and other locations around the city.
Students from local and regional institutions benefitted from educational sessions conducted by internationally-acclaimed artists including Antonio Hart (USA), Eric Reed (USA) and Eli Degibri (Israel), all offered at the University of Melbourne’s sparkling new Ian Potter Southbank Centre. Participating students hailed from across the state of Victoria and beyond, and represented a range of skill levels, ages and backgrounds.
In his workshop, backed by a trio of Melburnian student musicians, Hart emphasized the importance of the dance music roots of jazz. The saxophonist got the audience moving with an interactive demonstration of the swing time-feel, and challenged attendees to expand their musical vocabularies into all 12 keys. Ideally, “keys shouldn’t exist” for players, intoned Hart, before launching a half-dozen local saxophonists into Thelonious Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser.”
Eli Degibri used his clinic to stress the importance of building a musical vocabulary from one’s influences, while also developing an original voice. Degibri, who graduated from the Institute’s Jazz Performance program in 1999, spoke about the humbling experience of touring with Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock as well as his latest project, which pays tribute to Soul Station,the signature soul jazz album by legendary saxophonist Hank Mobley. Degibri also gave a performative demonstration of the expressive range of the saxophone, encouraging students to follow the example of players like Joe Henderson by exploiting the instrument’s uncanny ability to imitate other instruments, like the flute.
The seven Fellows from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music contributed individual master classes focused on instrumental technique, group dynamics and improvisational mechanics. Additionally, Dr. J.B. Dyas, the Institute’s Vice President of Education and Curriculum Development, hosted a clinic focused on improving tune learning and retention. Enthusiastic throngs of amateur and professional musicians—including multiple faculty members from the Melbourne Conservatorium—moved from room to room, soaking up insights from the visiting musicians.
The April 30 program was the last in a three-day series of educational outreach programs organized in honor of International Jazz Day. The festivities began on April 26 in Sydney, where Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock, International Jazz Day 2019 Co-Artistic Director James Morrison and other artists packed the iconic Sydney Opera House for a day of intensive workshops with students from the state of New South Wales. Programs there were organized in cooperation with the Opera House and The Arts Unit of the NSW Department of Education. Activities continued on April 29 at the Melbourne Conservatorium’s Federation Hall with engaging presentations from Hancock, pianist A Bu (China), vocalist Michael Mayo (USA) and Australian didgeridoo master William Barton.
Spotlight on the organizers
The day’s highlight was a panel discussion and presentation featuring six International Jazz Day organizers from around the globe. The session showed a cross-section of community leaders and cultural advocates who devote their time and resources to curating Jazz Day events each year at all levels of society, often with little or no remuneration.
Roman Khristyuk, Director of the Igor Butman Foundation (Russia)
Attendees, including UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Ernesto Ottone, heard about the unique challenges of building a jazz culture in locales like Singapore, Samoa and Lebanon, and how International Jazz Day has in many cases catalyzed significant transformations on the local cultural landscape.
“Our organizers are the heart and soul of International Jazz Day,” said Program & Outreach Director Mika Shino. “Their tireless efforts ensure that, far from being limited to one day, the positive effects of this special program resonate throughout the year. For many in the Jazz Day family, the inspiration created on April 30 translates to increased attendance at live jazz performances, new jazz education opportunities for student musicians, and a richer artistic and cultural life for entire communities.”
The moving stories of this select group of organizers, coming on the eve of the culminating All-Star Global Concert at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, spoke volumes about the true purpose of International Jazz Day: sharing experiences, and music, across cultures and geographic boundaries. As part of his introduction for a master class during the Melbourne celebrations, the renowned visual artist, academic and opera singer Tiriki Onus told audience members to pause for a moment and listen. He asked them to think about the voices of the elders who had shared stories on that very spot for more than two-and-a-half thousand generations.
“What we do here,” said Onus, “singing our songs, dancing our dances, telling our stories, is no different from what those old people have done—whether we are playing on boomerangs and possum skin drums, or on a double bass and a Bösendorfer. The gift that we bring this country is our stories; the stories that we pour in here.”
International Jazz Day 2019 education programs were made possible in part through the generous support of the Carnival Corporation.
“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.”
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.
Today capped a memorable weeklong residency with acclaimed jazz bassist Robert Hurst at the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance. A seven-time GRAMMY Award winner, Hurst shared his decades of experience and insight with members of the Institute’s Class of 2020 as well as students at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music—a special benefit of the program’s ongoing partnership with UCLA.
During his time on campus, Hurst worked in-depth with the seven Institute students both in a full ensemble format and one-on-one. He also conducted private lessons for UCLA undergraduate bassists.
A highlight of every Institute residency is the visiting artists’ master classes, offered for free to UCLA students, local musicians and members of the public as opportunities to learn directly from true masters of the music. Hurst’s, which took place on Wednesday, January 9, saw the Tonight Showveteran break down critical elements of performance and technique. For his live musical examples, Hurst was ably assisted by the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble.
A Detroit native, Robert Hurst has enjoyed a stellar, 30-year career as a highly respected GRAMMY and Emmy Award-winning electric and acoustic bassist, composer, educator and recording artist. He performed in the bands on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Lenoand Saturday Night Live. Currently, Hurst serves as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance and directs the university’s chamber jazz ensembles.
He has performed on over 150 critically acclaimed recordings and toured with artists including Sir Paul McCartney, Charles Lloyd, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Terence Blanchard, Tony Williams, Nicholas Payton, Sting, Pharoah Sanders, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson and Yo-Yo Ma. Hurst’s latest recording, Black Current Jam, was selected as one of the Best Albums of 2018 by DownBeatMagazine.
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.
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.
The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music welcomed seven talented new students to the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA program today. The cohort begins two years of intensive study with the world’s greatest living jazz masters, and offers the opportunity for each student to earn a Master of Music in Jazz Performance degree from UCLA.
The Class of 2020, the Hancock institute’s 12th, includes pianist Paul Cornish, bassist Emma Dayhuff, harmonicist Roni Eytan, tenor saxophonist Chris Lewis, trumpeter Aidan Lombard, alto saxophonist Lenard Simpson and drummer Malachi Whitson. Each a highly accomplished musician, in the coming months the seven students will form a cohesive band that, in addition to receiving daily instruction as a unit, will serve as ambassadors for the program, teaching and performing throughout the Los Angeles area and around the world.
The new cohort was selected through a rigorous application process culminating in an audition judged by jazz luminaries Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, James Newton and Ambrose Akinmusire, who is a graduate of the program. Hancock is Chairman of the Institute’s board of trustees and Shorter is an Institute trustee; both are adjunct professors in the Herb Alpert School of Music, along with UCLA professor James Newton.
Over the course of the academic year, the Class of 2020 will study and perform with a litany of world-renowned jazz artists, honing their skills both on and off the bandstand. Artists-in-Residence have included Kenny Barron, Terence Blanchard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Nnenna Freelon, Barry Harris, Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, Dave Holland, Wynton Marsalis, Jason Moran, Lewis Nash, Danilo Pérez, Dianne Reeves, and John Scofield, among many others. In addition, the students will receive composition instruction from GRAMMY Award winner Billy Childs and study improvisation with Jerry Bergonzi and Dick Oatts – two of the world’s top jazz improvisation experts.
Under the mentorship of these acclaimed instructors, the students, collectively known as the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble at UCLA, present high-profile concerts and lead education and community outreach programs in Los Angeles, across the United States and around the world. Previous ensembles recently performed at International Jazz Day events in St. Petersburg, Russia; Havana, Cuba; and the White House. They also participated in performance and education tours of Argentina, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Morocco, Peru, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam with Herbie Hancock.
About the Institute of Jazz Performance
Launched in 1995, the Institute of Jazz Performance accepts one ensemble of musicians for each class and provides unparalleled opportunities to study jazz and its defining element of improvisation with master musicians, composers and educators. All students receive full scholarships, along with stipends to cover their monthly living expenses. This enables them to be fully immersed in their education and development as artists.
Institute of Jazz Performance alumni – including Ambrose Akinmusire, Lionel Loueke, Gretchen Parlato, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens and Helen Sung, along with many others – have gone on to major careers as performing and recording artists, touring the world with legendary jazz musicians and as leaders of their own groups.
The Institute welcomes the Class of 2020 and looks forward to seeing their growth and accomplishments over the next two years.
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is the first – and only – school of music in the University of California system. With more that 450 undergraduate and graduate students, the school offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees through four independent but complementary departments and programs: Ethnomusicology, Global Jazz Studies, Music, and Musicology. The school’s exceptional approach to education provides students with academic opportunities that balance cutting-edge scholarship, performance mastery, and composition, with access to a leading music industry program. Rigorous and improvisational, the school encourages and embraces the exploration of music in all its contemporary and historical diversity. Students have a multitude of performance opportunities and access to world-class archives, music collections, dedicated centers of study and stellar faculty. Within UCLA’s interdisciplinary environment, the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is the portal through which music engages with other disciplines on campus and beyond.
Students in the Institute’s Los Angeles-area public school-based education programs received top billing at last weekend’s Central Avenue Jazz Festival, a decades-old LA institution. Also on offer were multiple ensembles led by alumni of both the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competitions.
On Saturday, June 28th, the Thelonious Monk Institute / LAUSD All-City Big Band delivered an hourlong set of classic and contemporary music on the Etta James Stage. A collaboration between the Institute and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell after-school program, the All-City band enlists some of the district’s most talented student musicians for regular instruction and rehearsal with master teaching artists, as well as high-profile public performances throughout the year. Trombonist Ido Meshulam, from the Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2016, and trumpeter Chad Willis served as special guests for the performance.
Separately, the Thelonious Monk Institute / LAUSD All-Star Combo gave a 45-minute performance at the nearby Dunbar Hotel. An historic property, in its heyday the Dunbar routinely hosted top names in jazz, including Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, and formed a key locale for Los Angeles’ African-American community in the 1930s and ’40s.
Later in the day, the festival hosted a special “All-Star Alumni Jam Session” on its Jazz Improv stage, featuring a house band made up of recent alumni of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. Alto saxophonist Alex Hahn ’18, pianist Miro Sprague ’14, bassist Alex Boneham ’16 and drummer Christian Euman ’16 kept things swinging for nearly four hours while a packed crowd of local musicians, including festival performers and students from the All-City Band, sat in and played.
Highlights of the program on Sunday, June 29thincluded a performance by the Katalyst collective, led by alto saxophonist and Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2016 graduate David Otis, as well as sets by Institute Class of 2003 graduate and Vocals Competition winner Gretchen Parlato and Vocals Competition semifinalist Tierney Sutton.
Now in its 23rdyear, the annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival is a featured event on the Los Angeles cultural calendar. Offered entirely free and open to the public, the festival pays tribute to the historic Central Avenue corridor, at one time an “epicenter of West Coast jazz” where legendary artists like Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, Dinah Washington and Cab Calloway performed. Previous festival lineups have boasted an array of established jazz artists and rising stars, including Kenny Burrell, Pete Escovedo, Gerald Wilson, Kamasi Washington and many others.
Students from the Institute’s National Performing Arts High Schools program will participate in an educational jazz “informance” on Friday, April 6 in Washington, D.C. as part of a partnership with the United States Department of Education. Accompanied by master saxophonist and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance graduate Wayne Escoffery, the students will treat DC public school students and Department staff to a performative introduction to jazz music.
The presentation will be webcast live via the Department of Education Facebook page and via ed.gov beginning at noon Eastern.
The informance, now an annual tradition that consistently draws a standing-room-only audience, will touch on a range of topics including music theory, the structure of jazz compositions, improvisational techniques, group dynamics and the history of jazz, giving attendees a front-row seat to the jazz performance process. Dr. JB Dyas, the Institute’s Vice-President of Education and Curriculum Development, will lead the session along with Escoffery.
Renowned bassist and producer Larry Klein visited the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance earlier this month to conduct a seminar and discussion with the Class of 2018. The GRAMMY Award® winner listened to the students perform their original compositions and offered feedback from a producer’s perspective.
Klein also discussed his past experience and current work with artists in and beyond jazz, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Kurt Elling, and many more.
An accomplished jazz bassist, Klein began his career performing with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Carmen McRae, and Joe Henderson, later branching out to work with artists as diverse as Bob Dylan and Don Henley. He became well-known as a producer in the 1980s and ’90s for his work on multiple albums with singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, notably her Turbulent Indigo, which won the 1995 GRAMMY for Best Pop Album. Today, he heads the Strange Cargo record label, an imprint of Universal Music Group, and produces a range of artists including pianist Billy Childs and vocalist Madeleine Peyroux.
As part of their two-year, tuition-free course of study, the students of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance frequently interface with high-profile artists and music industry figures like Klein. Intimate classroom sessions give the students the opportunity to gain valuable insight directly from the source. Regular guest instructors include Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock and Institute Trustee Wayne Shorter – the program’s Distinguished Professors – along with record executive Don Was, saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, artist manager Karen Kennedy and others.