Jazz Studies News from the 2019-2020 Academic Year

Portrait of Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton signs with Blue Note Records, new live album to release in July

June 10, 2020

Four-time GRAMMY Award nominee and USC Thornton alum Gerald Clayton (BM ’07) signed with Blue Note Records earlier this year, and will release his first album with the label, Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard, on July 10. The album was recorded live at the Village Vanguard in New York City with a quintet of […]

Alfred Darlington black and white image

Daedelus releases new album What Wands Won’t Break

June 8, 2020

Jazz Studies alum Alfred Darlington (BA ’00), known professionally as Daedelus, has released a new album from record label Dome of Doom. Titled What Wands Won’t Break, the album follows the electronic music artist’s 2019 release, The Bittereinders, and continues his streak of producing an album every year. What Wands Won’t Break draws influence from […]

Ambrose Akinmusire

Ambrose Akinmusire to release new album from Blue Note Records

June 4, 2020

USC Thornton Jazz Studies alum Ambrose Akinmusire (MM ’07) releases his sixth album, on the tender spot of every calloused moment, on Friday, June 12 from Blue Note Records. The album’s 11 new original compositions are met with warm reviews from NPR Music and PostGenre. In a recent preview, NPR Music traces the album and […]

Bob Mintzer

Bob Mintzer to release Blue Soul collaboration on Strikezone Records this June

May 23, 2020

Blue Soul, a collaborative album featuring Jazz Studies faculty member Bob Mintzer, is soon to release on June 5 on Strikezone Records. The album is a collaboration with guitarist Dave Stryker, with saxophonist and arranger Mintzer leading the WDR Big Band, a Germany-based ensemble for which he is director and conductor. “Bob is one of […]

Luca Mendoza and USC Thornton jazz ensembles win in DownBeat’s 43rd Annual Student Music Awards

May 1, 2020

The USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra, the Thornton Monday Night Band, and undergraduate pianist and composer Luca Mendoza were winners in DownBeat’s 43rd Annual Student Music Awards. The awards will be published in DownBeat’s June issue. The USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra, led by Bob Mintzer, won in the category Large Jazz Ensemble for Graduate College Outstanding […]

JG Miller playing french horn

Thornton alumni musicians host and perform online concerts with U.S. Army Field Band

April 15, 2020

The United States Army Field Band, featuring many alumni of USC Thornton, has launched We Stand Ready, a series of daily concerts streamed live on the band’s YouTube channel. The full-length, interactive concerts are hosted by the band’s members, such as USC Thornton alums Kevin Pick (MM ’01) and J.G. Miller (DMA ’13). While the […]

Kathleen Grace

Kathleen Grace releases single ahead of April 17 album release

April 8, 2020

Jazz Studies alum and current faculty member Kathleen Grace (MM ’04) has released a new song, “Everywhere,” off of her forthcoming album Tie Me To You, made in collaboration with pianist Larry Goldings. The duo released the album’s first single, “Where Or When,” on Feb. 10. “It’s a strange time to be releasing music but […]

Photo of classical guitarist

Daily Trojan highlights Live! From Somewhere performance series

March 31, 2020

The Daily Trojan, USC’s student-led newspaper, recently highlighted USC Thornton’s new video series, Live! From Somewhere. The series was launched on March 16 in response to recent closures and event cancellations, and as the school’s artists have looked for ways to continue making music while social distancing. Live! From Somewhere presents homemade performances by Thornton […]

Roy McCurdy

Roy McCurdy to be inducted into Rochester Music Hall of Fame

February 29, 2020

Jazz Studies faculty member Roy McCurdy has been announced as one of the 2020 class of inductees into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. A native of Rochester, McCurdy has made his city proud as a world-renowned jazz percussionist. He has recorded and toured with a long list of jazz legends, including Count Basie, Ella […]

Portrait of Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton named artistic director and conductor of Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

February 25, 2020

Thornton alum Gerald Clayton (BM ’07) was recently announced as the Artistic Director and conductor of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra for 2020-2022. The 50th annual Next Generation Jazz Festival, organized by the Monterey Jazz Festival, will take place April 3-5 and showcase over 1,300 middle and high school musicians. Clayton is […]

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