Jazz Studies News

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. […]


Drumming and jazz events honor the memory of Leon “Ndugu” Chancler

October 18, 2018

In September, world-renowned drummer and USC Thornton faculty member Leon “Ndugu” Chancler, who passed away last Spring, was honored at the 37th annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival at the Watts Towers Arts Center. The day-long event featured a taiko drumming ensemble, percussion artists of all styles, members of the Locke High School […]


Alum John Storie records with Jeff Goldblum jazz orchestra

October 9, 2018

Guitarist and USC Thornton alumnus John Storie (BM ’06, Studio Guitar) is featured on the forthcoming album, Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, which will be released November 9th. The 14-track album by the well-known actor and part-time jazz pianist Goldblum, includes appearances by Haley Reinhart, Till Bronner, Imelda May, and comedian Sarah Silverman. […]


Sara Gazarek featured on Jazz Session podcast

September 27, 2018

The Jazz Session podcast recently featured an interview with jazz vocalist and USC Thornton faculty member Sara Gazarek, previewing tracks from her forthcoming album. Gazarek discussed her role as a performer, writer, arranger and band leader, as well as how she finds “the courage to bare her soul through her music.” Gazarek will perform with […]


The Yellowjackets to release new album

September 6, 2018

The Los Angeles-based jazz quartet, the Yellowjackets, will release a new album on September 14th. The group, which includes three USC Thornton faculty – saxophonist Bob Mintzer, keyboardist Russell Ferrante, and drummer Will Kennedy – along with bassist Dane Alderson, has recorded close to 30 albums, been nominated for 17 GRAMMY Awards, and has been […]


Daniel Weidlein to release new jazz album

June 6, 2018

Composer, saxophonist, and producer Daniel Weidlein (BM ’12), a USC Thornton Jazz Studies alumnus, will release his debut album, Fire in the Sky, on June 22nd. A preview single, The Red Line Suite, is now available for purchase. Weidlein will present a special album release concert at the Blue Whale in Los Angeles on June […]


Daedelus releases new album

June 1, 2018

Electronic musician and USC Thornton Jazz Studies alumnus Alfred Darlington (’00), known professionally as Daedelus, has released his 19th studio album, Taut, and will embark on a European and American tour through the end of July. The Barcelona Sónar Festival recently asked the artist to compose a 10-second, interstellar audio track to communicate with a […]


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