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 […]


KUSC Classical

KUSC’s “Play On, California!” highlights virtual performances by Gina Luciani, USC Oriana Choir

June 5, 2020

KUSC highlighted two performances from the Live! From Somewhere video series in a recent installment of the daily broadcast and online feature “Play On, California!” The June 3 feature included highlights of the USC Oriana Choir’s virtual Live! From Somewhere performance of “La Mia Stella” and alum Gina Luciani’s performance of “Passacaille” from her home studio. […]


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 […]


Dean Robert Cutietta

A message from Dean Cutietta to the USC Thornton community

June 1, 2020

Dear Thornton Community, Our hearts ache for our society after the murder of George Floyd, the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others we have lost. These tragic events are happening while the Thornton community is still healing from the death of student Victor McElhaney who was murdered in March of last […]


Photo of Jason Issokson holding violin

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra introduces violinist Jason Issokson in new video

May 31, 2020

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra recently introduced violinist and USC Thornton alum Jason Issokson (DMA ’11) as one of the newest members of the orchestra in a video interview and performance. In the video feature, filmed in November of 2019, he discusses how he was first introduced to chamber music, and performs Brahms’ Sonatensatz in […]


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 […]


Ayoni Thompson

Ayoni Thompson interviewed by V Magazine

May 21, 2020

USC Thornton Popular Music student Ayoni Thompson was interviewed by V Magazine about her music and inspiration. The artist was the “Pick of the Week” in the magazine’s Creativity 01 series highlighting up-and-coming creatives. Thompson discusses how she got her start writing music, artists that have inspired her sound, and her creative process while writing […]


Gabriel Martins with cello

Gabriel Martins wins first prize in two classical strings competitions

May 19, 2020

Cellist and USC Thornton alum Gabriel Martins (BM ’19) has recently won first prize in two classical strings competitions. In February, Martins won first prize in the Senior Division of the 2020 Sphinx Competition, a national competition for Black and Latino classical strings musicians. He was awarded second place in the competition in 2018. As […]


Maahir Shah in studio

Maahir Shah wins Independent Music Award

May 18, 2020

New Music Production graduate Maahir Shah (BM ’20) recently won the Independent Music Award for Best Music Producer in the Dance/Electronica category for his album Electric. Released under his moniker, 5önikk, in the Fall of 2019, Electric is Shah’s first full-length project. Listen to the album on Soundcloud.    


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