Jazz Studies News

Sara Gazarek

Sara Gazarek featured on KNKX

May 1, 2019

Sara Gazarek, a USC Thornton Jazz Studies faculty member and jazz vocalist, was featured on KNKX, a public radio station in the Pacific Northwest that highlights jazz and blues. The story discusses her success and her recent return to Seattle, her hometown, for a series of performances where the vocalist previewed her upcoming album, Thirsty Ghost.


Billy Childs to headline festival in New Zealand

April 30, 2019

Billy Childs ’79, a GRAMMY Award-winning artist and USC Thornton alumnus, will headline the 24th annual New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival on June 1. He will perform with his quartet alongside Dayna Stephens on saxophone, bassist Alex Boneham and drummer Christian Euman. The five-day, 26-show festival is one of New Zealand’s longest-running music […]


Festival of Books

USC Thornton musicians take the stage at the 2019 LA Times Festival of Books

April 12, 2019

Over 150,000 Angelenos will make their way to USC’s University Park campus this weekend for the annual LA Times Festival of Books. The two-day festival, taking place April 13-14, is a world-renowned gathering of writers, poets, artists, filmmakers, musicians and emerging storytellers. As part of the programming, attendees will watch an impressive lineup of USC […]


USC Thornton mourns the loss of Jazz Studies student Victor McElhaney

March 10, 2019

We honor Victor’s life and send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends in this time of grief and tragedy.


Beloved professor Ndugu Chancler passed away last February.

LA Philharmonic Association to honor Ndugu Chancler

March 7, 2019

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association will honor the late Ndugu Chancler, a former USC Thornton Jazz Studies and Popular Music faculty member, during the 41st annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, June 8-9. Hosted by George Lopez, the celebration of Chancler will be held with Patrice Rushen, Chair of Thornton’s Popular Music program, […]


Vince Mendoza featured in Daily Trojan

February 27, 2019

Daily Trojan profiled USC Thornton Jazz Studies faculty member Vince Mendoza to celebrate his 30 GRAMMY Award nominations for his work in jazz and classical music. This year, Mendoza earned two nominations – for “Mona Lisa” (Best Arrangement, Instrumentals and Vocals) and “If You Really Want” (Best Jazz Vocal Album) – at the music industry’s […]


Will Kennedy

Big beats that were hard to replace

February 8, 2019

Celebrated drummer Will Kennedy joined the USC Thornton Popular Music faculty this fall, taking over for the late Ndugu Chancler, a longtime faculty member beloved by students and faculty alike. Kennedy was first invited to campus as one of “The Magnificent Seven,” seven remarkable drummers Patrice Rushen, chair of the Popular Music program, called upon […]


Sara Gazarek

Sara Gazarek to preview new album in Seattle this weekend

January 30, 2019

Sara Gazarek, a USC Thornton Jazz Studies faculty member, is set to debut her seventh album in her hometown of Seattle at the Jazz Alley, Jan. 31 to Feb. 3. “Thirsty Ghost,” which is to be released later this year, shows a different side to Gazarek, breaking away from her typical upbeat and more optimistic […]


Peter Erskine

Peter Erskine’s “On Call” named one of the top jazz albums of 2018

January 15, 2019

USC Thornton faculty member Peter Erskine’s album, On Call – which was composed and performed by his band, Peter Erskine and the Dr. Um Band, was named the eighth best jazz album of 2018 in Preston Frazier’s Best of 2018 jazz survey. The Dr. Um Band is a collaboration between Erskine, Thornton faculty member Bob […]


Thornton Jazz Orchestra

USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra to perform with New York Voices at 2019 JEN Conference

January 10, 2019

The USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra is set to close the 2019 Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference on Saturday, January 12. The JEN Conference brings together jazz beginners and experts to celebrate the genre and to join together in keeping the love and education of jazz alive. Bob Mintzer, Thornton’s Bowen H. “Buzz” and Barbara M. […]


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