Jazz Studies News from the 2015-2016 Academic Year

Renee Elise Goldsberry

Alumna Renée Elise Goldsberry wins Tony for “Hamilton”

June 13, 2016

Renée Elise Goldsberry (MM ’97, jazz studies), singer, actress, and USC Thornton alumna, won a Tony Award for her performance as Angelica Schuyler Church in the Broadway musical, Hamilton. At the Sunday, June 12th award ceremony at New York City’s Beacon Theatre, Goldsberry delivered an emotional speech, thanking her supportive family and her fellow cast-members. […]

Ambrose Akinmusire

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire on his Miles Davis film collaboration with Don Cheadle

June 10, 2016

For years, Oscar nominee Don Cheadle has been struggling to bring his biopic of legendary musician Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, which premiered in April, to the silver screen. As Cheadle strove to capture Davis’ “unorthodox journey,” he enlisted the help of trumpeter, USC Thornton alumnus, and former Jazz Studies faculty member, Ambrose Akinmusire (MM ’07, […]

Alumna Renée Elise Goldsberry receives Tony nomination for featured role in “Hamilton”

May 4, 2016

Singer, actress, and USC Thornton alumna Renée Elise Goldsberry (MM ’97, jazz studies) has been nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Angelica Schuyler Church in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton. The production, which is nominated for a record 16 Tony Awards, has received rapturous acclaim from critics and audiences, alike. Goldsberry has […]

Paul Cornish and Henry Solomon win Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program

March 28, 2016

Jazz pianist Paul Cornish (BM ’18, jazz studies) and saxophonist Henry Solomon (BM ’17, jazz studies), both students in USC Thornton’s Jazz Studies program, were named as winners of the 2016 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, which recognizes exceptional young classical, jazz and contemporary musicians from around the world. Solomon, Cornish, and seven other winning […]

Alfred Darlington black and white image

Daedelus and Kneebody profiled in the Wall Street Journal

March 15, 2016

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled USC Thornton Jazz Studies alumnus Alfred Darlington (BA ’00 in Music), known professionally as Daedelus, and his role in the jazz sextet Kneedelus, which performed at the Echoplex last week. Darlington, who began experimenting in electronic music while at Thornton, took on the persona of Daedulus as he produced […]

Daily Trojan explores Music@RushHour series with Mak Grgić

March 2, 2016

The Daily Trojan, USC’s student-run newspaper, profiled USC Thornton’s weekly Music@RushHour concert series in their February 25th issue. The regular Wednesday concerts, which are coordinated by Classical Guitar doctoral candidate Mak Grgić (pictured), aim to provide a relaxing and engaging respite to USC students, faculty, and staff, who might otherwise by struggling through rush hour […]

Peter Erskine talks with “Music Radar” about his new album

February 29, 2016

Peter Erskine, legendary jazz drummer and director of Drumset Studies at USC Thornton, was interviewed at length by Music Radar about his recently-released album, Dr. Um. The album, which features performances by numerous Thornton faculty and alumni, marks Erskine’s return to an electric jazz drumming style that defined his early career. In the interview, Erskine […]

Ambrose Akinmusire

Rave review for jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire

February 26, 2016

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (MM ’07, jazz studies), former USC Thornton faculty member and an alumnus, received praise for his recent performance at Chicago’s Constellation club. Akinmusire headlined alongside a quartet of musicians who, according to reviewer Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune, “drew the largest crowd” seen at the venue in recent years. The Tribune […]

Bob Mintzer releases educational big band app, produced by Peter Erskine

January 22, 2016

Bob Mintzer, chair of the USC Thornton Jazz Studies program, has released a new educational app for iOS devices called the Mintzr Big Band Essentials Play-Along. Produced by Thornton’s director of drumset studies, Peter Erskine, the app features ten of Mintzer’s own compositions performed by many of the area’s leading jazz musicians, including faculty members […]

Peter Erskine emerges as “Dr. Um” in new album release

January 11, 2016

Peter Erskine, director of Drumset Studies at USC Thornton, will release a new jazz fusion album, under the moniker of “Dr. Um,” this week. The album, which embraces the sound worlds that Erskine first created with the Weather Report and Steps Ahead, also features performances by Jazz Studies faculty members Bob Sheppard (saxophone), Aaron Serfaty […]

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