The USC Thornton studio/jazz guitar department is considered one of the finest guitar programs in the world, boasting a faculty of world class touring and recording guitarists. The doctoral program in studio/jazz guitar is the first of its kind in the world. Graduates include top touring sidemen with major recording artists, composers for film, television and other media, classical ensembles, music supervisors and world renowned teachers of music. They perform with a diverse array of distinguished artists and ensembles including Michael Buble, Sara Evans, Mel Tormé, Ray Charles, Shadowfax, Enrique Inglesias, Ricky Martin, Mark Anthony, The Backstreet Boys and Jack McDuff. Alumni include Paul Jackson Jr. and Lee Ritenour, as well as Andrew York (a member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet), Richard Smith and Larry Koonse.