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.
“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.
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.