Jazz Studies News from the 2013-2014 Academic Year

Sara Gazarek featured in Glendale News Press

June 20, 2014

USC Thornton alumna and current Jazz Studies faculty Sara Gazarek was featured in the Glendale News Press in advance of a recent performance in Los Angeles. The article notes that Gazarek is “an early bloomer who has not only shown gratifying determination but also a capacity for artistic growth.”


USC Thornton Popular Music, Jazz Studies students perform at GRAMMY Museum

June 19, 2014

On June 12, 2014, The GRAMMY Museum unveiled Pride & Joy: The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Students from the USC Thornton Popular Music Program and the Jazz Studies program were invited to serve as the house band exhibit’s opening reception. Stevie’s brother and guitarist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmie Vaughan, even jumped on stage […]


Kathleen Grace’s album “No Place to Fall” receives positive reviews

April 4, 2014

Arizona Daily Star featured No Place to Fall, the latest album by Kathleen Grace, USC Thornton alumna and current Jazz Studies faculty. The album was recorded with Grammy-winning producer Sheldon Gomberg. Though Grace has a jazz background, No Place to Fall features some songs with a more country and folk appeal inspired by her Tucson […]


Ambrose Akinmusire profiled by NPR Music, DownBeat Magazine

March 17, 2014

Jazz Studies faculty and USC Thornton alumnus Ambrose Akinmusire was recently interviewed by NPR Music to promote the release of his upcoming album, the imagined savior is far easier to paint. Akinmusire is also features on the cover of the April 2014 edition of DownBeat Magazine.


Ambrose Akinmusire’s upcoming LP mentioned in Wall Street Journal

January 30, 2014

Jazz studies faculty Ambrose Akinmusire was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article on Blue Note Records President, Don Was, who is teaching a music business course at USC Thornton. In the article, Was talks about Akinmusire’s upcoming album, The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint, which will be released via Blue Note on […]


Faculty member Bob Mintzer and students play jazz show at Vitello’s

December 10, 2013

On Nov. 15, the Bob Mintzer R and Big Band project performed for a packed house at Vitello’s jazz club in Studio City. The band, comprised of five current and three former students, along with some of L.A.’s top musician, played a program of Mintzer arrangements of 60’d R and B songs. The USC contingent did a […]


Teodross Avery bridges teaching, learning, and performance at USC Thornton

October 2, 2013

Saxophonist and Thornton DMA candidate Teodross Avery was featured in International Musician, where he spoke on his upbringing, musical influences and how he built and maintained a professional career while being a student. “What you get from college is clear music theories, or clear ways to approach music in a regimented form. Information is spread […]


Thornton faculty and alumnus join New York City Opera for new premiere

September 18, 2013

The New York Times reviewed the U.S. premiere of the New York City Opera’s production, Anna Nicole, which features jazz studies faculty Peter Erskine, vocal arts and opera faculty Rod Gilfry, and alumnus Montgomery Hatch. Based on the life of model and actress Anna Nicole Smith, the opera was praised for its balanced and multi-dimensional […]


Ambrose Akinmusire featured in Jazzwise Magazine

August 28, 2013

Jazz studies faculty Ambrose Akinmusire was featured in Jazzwise Magazine‘s article on the Siena Jazz Foundation Summer Workshop. The Sienna Jazz Foundation was one of the first jazz education organizations in Italy, launched in the late 1970s. Jazzwise calls Akinmusire one of jazz’s “finest practitioners” and “most inspired educators.”


Thornton Jazz faculty produce new Afro-Cuban music app

August 16, 2013

Jazz studies faculty Peter Erskine and Aaron Serfaty recently released their new app, Erskine Afro Cuban Essentials, created for musicians and listeners interested in increasing their understanding of Afro-Cuban music. The app lets users create their own Afro-Cuban combos and includes a variety of lead sheets. To download the app, click here.


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