USC Thornton Afro-Latin American Jazz Ensemble (ALAJE)

The USC Thornton Afro-Latin American Jazz Ensemble (ALAJE) celebrates salsa music.

Students perform onstage at an ALAJE concert.


The USC Thornton Afro-Latin American Jazz Ensemble (ALAJE), led by Aarón Serfaty, performs the music of Cuba and Puerto Rico, also known as salsa, which evolved in New York City out of the interactions of Latin players and jazz musicians. It was co-founded by former Thornton faculty Dr. Thom Mason and former student Roberto Miranda in the mid-1980s.

The band has evolved into a large group with three percussionists, horns and singers and features student-transcribed and arranged music, as well as frequent guest artists.

Ensemble Information

The USC Thornton Afro-Latin American Jazz Ensemble is directed by jazz studies faculty member Aarón Serfaty.

Aarón Serfaty and student drummer perform onstage.

Venezuelan percussionist Aarón Serfaty’s extensive career includes touring performances, master classes, and session work with renowned jazz performers internationally.

Jazz students perform on guitar, saxophone, and bass.

ALAJE operates under the auspices of the Jazz Studies program, one of the first free-standing jazz studies departments in the nation.

Performance Experiences

ALAJE performs annually at USC Thornton and is a favorite at Los Angeles-area festivals and cultural events.

Hear from students and faculty as they reflect on Jazz Studies at USC Thornton.

Jazz students perform on percussion and trombone at USC Thornton.

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