The USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra Performs at the 2011 Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA.

Jazz Studies


As one of the first free-standing jazz studies departments in the nation, the USC Thornton School was a pioneer in the development of an academic curriculum dedicated to the one true American musical art form. With a world-renown faculty, the Jazz Studies department prepares young musicians for success in the professional performance arena. Recent graduates have assumed prominent roles in jazz and popular music across the nation. The USC Thornton Jazz Studies department consistently ranks in the top three to four in the nation in major jazz periodicals.

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In February 2014, the USC Thornton School of Music’s Contemporary Music Division welcomed Lee Ritenour, acclaimed jazz guitarist and USC alumnus, to campus for a week-long residency. Through several workshops and discussion forums, Ritenour mentored student musicians and discussed his fruitful career in the music industry.

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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 […]

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