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 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.
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz announced today that its Peer-to-Peer jazz education program will visit Fargo and Sioux Falls public schools from April 16-20. Accompanied by renowned teaching artists Don Braden and Lisa Henry, six of the country’s most gifted high school music students will present educational “informances” (informational performances) and workshops for thousands of students.
Besides playing jazz at a level that belies their years, the touring students will talk with their Fargo and Sioux Falls 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 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 message from kids their same age, they are often more likely to listen.
The members of the all-star sextet selected nationwide to participate in the Dakotas tour include trumpeter Stéphane Clément, 17, and alto saxophonist Julian Gonzalez, 17, from Miami; guitarist Jordan Reifkind, 17, and bassist Dario Bizio, 16, from Los Angeles; pianist Tyler Henderson, 16, from Houston; and drummer Jeremiah Collier, 17, from Chicago. All of the students participate in the Institute’s National Performing Arts High School Jazz Program, receiving ongoing instruction from the Institute’s outstanding teaching artists and performing with world-renowned guest artists.
The weeklong tour, coinciding with Jazz Appreciation Month and the run-up to International Jazz Day, will conclude with a performance open to the public on April 20 at Sioux Falls’ premier listening venue, Fernson on 8th, where Sioux Falls residents and visitors are invited to enjoy an evening of music with Braden and Henry alongside jazz’s future young lions.
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.
The students of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance will visit Phoenix, Arizona public schools next week as part of a four-day jazz education tour. Supported by the Arizona Community Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Initiative, the tour brings the Institute’s Class of 2018 to work with thousands of students at five schools:
Carl Hayden High School
Herrera School for the Fine Arts and Dual Language
Moon Valley High School
North High School
Thunderbird High School
Students Luca Alemanno (bass), Alex Hahn (alto saxophone), Jon Hatamiya (trombone), Anthony Fung (drums), Julio Maza (tenor saxophone) and Simon Moullier (vibraphone) will share their talents with the next generation of jazz musicians, as well as students yet to be introduced to the music. Each visit begins with an assembly for the entire school, featuring an “informance” (informational performance) on the history and theory of jazz. The Institute group then meets with each school’s student jazz band, where they workshop improvisation and ensemble skills and provide one-on-one and sectional instruction by instrument. Renowned jazz drummer Lewis Nash, a Phoenix native, will join the Institute’s musicians at one of the high schools.
The Institute has led jazz education programs in Arizona for years. The 2018 visit marks the second for our current college class. The Institute’s Peer-to-Peer program has also made a positive impact in the state. Most recently in 2015, vocalist Charenee Wade and guitarist Bobby Broom, along with a quintet of talented high schoolers from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts, presented workshops at schools across Phoenix and Tucson.
Interactive, public school-based initiatives are a hallmark of the Institute’s approach, which stresses students’ direct interaction with accomplished jazz musicians and jazz masters through informances, clinics and—best of all—putting instruction into practice through performance.