Jazz Studies News from the 2019-2020 Academic Year

Portrait of Gerald Clayton

Thornton artists feature prominently in Carnegie Hall 2020-21 season

February 17, 2020

Carnegie Hall has announced its 2020-21 season, with concerts featuring a number of USC Thornton artists. The Los Angeles Philharmonic returns to Carnegie Hall this season, after a 30 year absence, with two of four concerts featuring work by Composition faculty member and Thornton alum Andrew Norman (BM ’02, MM ’04). Oct. 8, the LA […]


Photo of Daniel Weidlein holding saxophone

Daniel Weidlein produces debut album by vocal artist Julie Craig

January 30, 2020

USC Thornton Jazz Studies alum Daniel Weidlein (BM ’12) recently produced, arranged and orchestrated the debut album by vocal artist Julie Craig, From Here, released on Jan. 10. On the album, Craig, who is known for her roles in Broadway shows such as “Les Miserables” and “West Side Story,” performs classics and original music, backed […]


Photo of Peter Erskine drumming

Thornton faculty perform at annual Jazz Education Network Conference

January 23, 2020

USC Thornton Jazz Studies faculty recently performed at the Jazz Education Network Conference on Jan. 7 in New Orleans, an annual conference bringing together jazz professionals, educators and students.


Photo of Sara Gazarek

Sara Gazarek performs live set at Paste Studio NYC

January 21, 2020

USC Thornton alum and current Jazz Studies faculty member Sara Gazarek (BM ’04) recently performed a live set at Paste Studio NYC, performing three tracks from her latest album Thirsty Ghost. “The record is a truly, beautifully authentic representation of a very specific story, at a very particular time of my life,” Gazarek says of […]


Photo of Andris Mattson

Andris Mattson of Moonchild remixes Sara Gazarek’s “Cocoon”

December 22, 2019

Andris Mattson (BM ’13), Jazz Studies alum and one third of neo-R&B trio Moonchild, recently released a remix of Björk’s “Cocoon” performed by Jazz Studies faculty member Sara Gazarek, skillfully merging faculty and alumni talent. Though Mattson primarily performs with Moonchild, a band of Jazz Studies alumni, he also releases music independently. Gazarek originally recorded […]


Photo of Amber Navran and Max Byrk at NPR Tiny Desk

Moonchild makes NPR Tiny Desk debut

December 17, 2019

USC Thornton alumni trio Moonchild made their debut on NPR’s Tiny Desk series this week, performing two songs from their new album, Little Ghost, and one from their previous album, Voyager. With their unique blend of soul, jazz and R&B, the group pulled out all the stops for their set, bringing in additional percussion and […]


Photo of Armen Movsesyan with guitar

Armen Movsesyan announced as semi-finalist in International Guitar Competition

November 25, 2019

Studio Guitar alum Armen Movsesyan (BM ’15) has been announced as a semi-finalist in the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Guitar Competition. Movsesyan and 11 other guitarists will compete in the semifinals on Dec. 2 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Three finalists will be selected to compete at the Kennedy […]


Spencer Lemann with Carol Rosenstein

Jazz Studies student receives Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award

November 6, 2019

Jazz Studies student Spencer Lemann has received the Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Los Angeles Chapter. Lemann will be recognized for his work with Music Mends Minds, a nonprofit that creates musical support groups for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Lemann has volunteered with Music Mends Minds since its founding […]


Andrew Harrison selected as Beverly Hills National Audition winner

October 10, 2019

USC Thornton alum and saxophonist Andrew Harrison (DMA ’15) was recently selected as a 2019-2020 Beverly Hills National Audition winner. Performers are awarded annually, and subsequently perform monthly in various concert series to celebrate and showcase their selection. After a recent installment of the concert series The Interludes, Harrison received a glowing review in the […]


Photo of record player

USC Thornton faculty and alumni enter GRAMMY Award consideration

October 9, 2019

A number of Thornton faculty and alumni have entered consideration for GRAMMY award nominations. Jazz Studies faculty member Sara Gazarek’s album Thirsty Ghost is up for consideration in multiple categories including Best Jazz Vocal Album. Alumnus Gernot Wolfgang’s (GCRT ’94) chamber music album, Vienna and the West, was entered in the Best Classical Compendium category. […]


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