Jazz Studies


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Alumni News

June through September saw Bob Hurst on tour with the Diana Krall 2012 USA Tour. Bob is featured on Impressions by Chris Botti, 2012. His next release BoB a palindrome will be available in 2013. http://roberthurst.com/

Jazz-pop-classical trumpet player and multiple Grammy nominee Chris Botti opened the 2012-2013 season at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons with a class as well as a classy performance Saturday night, earning a standing ovation from most of the sold-out crowd of nearly 1,000 fans ranging in age from 9 to 90. http://www.chrisbotti.com/us/home

Randy Brecker Randy Brecker’s most recent recording, The Jazz Ballad Song Book with DR Big Band, received four Grammy nominations. He’s also a special guest on Mike Stern’s new album, All Over the Place. The 11-song set aligns the characteristically diverse and adventurous guitarist with a cadre of brilliant guests, including IU alum keyboardist/producer Jim Beard, trumpeter Randy Brecker; rhythm guitarist Leni Stern (Mike’s wife); saxophonists Kenny Garrett, Chris Potter, Bob Franceschini and Bob Malach; and drummers Dave Weckl, Keith Carlock, Lionel Cordew, Al Foster, Kim Thompson and percussionist Tim Keiper. Also on hand is a delegation of high-caliber electric and acoustic bass players: Esperanza Spalding, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, Anthony Jackson, Dave Holland, Tom Kennedy, Will Lee and Victor Bailey. http://www.randybrecker.com/

Alyssa Mehnert (MM Jazz ‘12) is an adjunct professor of music at Northern Kentucky University where she teaches Jazz Appreciation and applied jazz trombone. At Butler University Alyssa teaches Music Appreciation and also conducts the second jazz ensemble. She has been freelancing in the Cincinnati area; most notably touring with rock band “The Newbees” and playing locally with the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra and the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.

Matt Holman (trumpet) was selected as the winner of the BMI Foundation’s 13th Annual Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize for his composition, “What Are You Thinking.” Click here for the full article.

Ashley Summers (bass, MM Jazz ‘12) is teaching as a sabbatical replacement at Ashland University in Ohio.

Elissa Menendez (saxophone, BM Jazz ‘12) has joined the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship the Azamara Journey in Italy.

Jesse Nolan is a Drummer and Drum School Instructor for Blue Man Group, Chicago as well as the Director of Education for Mashplant.com. Jesse is the Owner/Producer of Big Pear Productions and Director of Orchestras & Theatre at Sunset Ridge School in Northfield, IL.

Hunter Diamond (saxophone, BM Jazz ‘12) is currently playing with Celebrity Cruises on the ship the Century.

Josh Johnson (saxophone, BM Jazz ’11) was recently selected from an international pool of applicants for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Josh is the first Jacobs School student or alumnus to be selected for this elite group. Saxophonist Benny Reid (BM Jazz ’03) was a finalist for the group several years ago. http://blogs.music.indiana.edu/jazz/2012/03/13/josh-johnson-is-first-jacobs-school-student-selected-for-thelonious-monk-institute/

Justin Polyblank (MM Jazz, MM Saxophone ‘12) won the national audition for a saxophone position in the United States Army “Pershing’s Own” Ceremonial Band based in Ft. Myer, VA.

Kurt Lubbe (drums) is a member of Richie Cole’s Alto Madness Orchestra. He attend the Isthmus Jazz Festival with Richie Cole and Ben Sidran and played with the In Transition Quartet featuring Nate Lepine. Kurt also backed burlesque legend Michelle L’amour and her Chicago Starlets with L’amourchestra. He recorded singer songwriter Jerome Holloway newest release Sunday Morning Night Music and played a tour to support the release that included a performance on live concert television series JBTV.

Recently David Scalia (drums) went on an international tour playing some of the world’s largest music festivals – Pukkelpop,  Haldern Pop, Lowlands festival. David just joined an established indie-rock band called White Rabbits and they played the main stage at Lollapalooza in Chicago (over 15,000 in attendance at the show!). Next month finds David on tour with the popular group, The Shins. On Friday, September 21, David played live on NPR’s music program called “Soundcheck”. And he is planning an upcoming recording on Jack White’s label Third Man.

Saxophonist Brandon Wozniak (BM Jazz ’96) was featured in a June article of MPRnews. Wozniak plays with a number of Twin Cities ensembles including Monk in Motion, the Adam Meckler Quintet, the Bryan Nichols Quintet, Dave King Trucking Company and the Atlantis Quartet. Click here for the full story.

In fall 2012, Jared Hall (trumpet, MM Jazz ’12) entered the jazz studies doctoral program at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music where he was awarded a Teaching Assistantship.

Blake Wilkins (saxophone, MM Jazz ’12) entered the jazz studies doctoral program at the University of Illinois in fall 2012.

Jeff Greene (bass, BM Jazz ‘04) has won the International Society of Bassists David Walter Composition Award in Media Category, for Marrow (solo double bass and electronics). Click here for the full story.

Reuben Gingrich (drums) just moved to Chicago and has been touring nationally and internationally with his band The Main Squeeze.  Several recent highlights with the band include opening for The Roots at a 2012 Super Bowl pre party, winning the The Venetian Macau International Jazz and Blues competition in Macau, China, and playing at Bonnaroo Music Festival this summer. This fall the group will be doing both a midwest and an east coast tour; they recorded and released our debut album this past June.

Steve Such (drums) is now based in San Diego, CA where he is the Music Manager at Landau Music, a cruise ship entertainment booking agency. Steve has also been nationally/internationally with the Red NOT Chili Peppers and will be opening up for P.O.D. with up-and-coming artist Jon Goodhue in October.

Michael D’Angelo (MM Jazz ‘12) was recently awarded the position of Lecturer in Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina (Wilmington). Click here for the full story.

Jazz alumnus Elliott Caine, 60, was featured in an article highlighting his double life as an optometrist and jazz trumpet player. Click here for the full story.

Michael Weiss (piano) was featured in an interview posted on Jazz Profiles in March 2012. http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/2012/03/michael-weiss-on-jazzprofiles.html

Saxophonist Chris Greene was featured in a September 2012 DownBeat magazine article, “Indie Life: Chris Greene: Network Builder,” which highlights his new CD, A Group Effort, and his efforts to use all the latest promotional tools in his career. A Group Effort is reviewed in the October 2012 issue of DownBeat.

Read a review by Neil Tesser, hear clips, and purchase the album.

Chris Greene’s web page.

Pianist Matt Mitchell has had an extraordinary year performing and recording with numerous groups and receiving positive notice in the New York Times, DownBeat magazine, and elsewhere.

In July, Matt was named one of 13 recipients of the 2012 Pew Arts Fellowship by the Pew Center for Art and Heritage. Other recipients include jazz saxophonist Greg Osby, former Sun Ra sideman Marshall Allen, and free jazz/klezmer trombonist Dan Blacksberg.

One of the many recently released recordings featuring Matt is Be Still, the latest by the Dave Douglas Quintet. Be Still received a four-star review in the November 2012 DownBeat issue, with high praise for Matt’s work: “Philadephian pianist Matt Mitchell has been consistently excellent, and Be Still is no exception; his radar is perfectly tuned for a multi-directional session like this.”

Other recent releases include Spun Tree by saxophonist Michael Attias and Snakeoil by saxophonist Tim Berne. Earlier this year, Matt toured the U.S. and Europe with Snakeoil. Tim talks about working with Matt in a July 2012 Jazz Times feature article.

In August, the New York Times reviewed the debut performance of Matt’s trio, with Chris Tordini, bass, and Dan Weiss, drums.

Also in August, Matt played at the Newport Jazz Festival with John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet + 1, with Chris Speed, Matt Moran, Red Wierenga, and Drew Gress.

On other fronts, Matt is in the process of publishing a series of etudes. Scores of the first four books of his etudes were published in April by Screwgun Records.

Visit Matt’s blog to learn more about what he’s been up to and where you can hear him perform.

Morgan Price has been touring with the Duke Ellington Orchestra on baritone saxophone, playing venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, and touring Japan, performing at Blue Note Tokyo. He has also been performing on Broadway and in a major U.S.-city tour with the musical Fela! See and hear Morgan with the Fela! band. He also appears on recent recordings by Ikebe Shakedown and James Andrews (The Big Time Stuff). Check out Morgan with James Andrews in New Orleans on YouTube. Morgan’s solo is at 5:30.