Wynton Marsalis Appointed Director of Jazz Studies at Juilliard
(Published: October 30, 2013)
Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing & Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis will become Director of Jazz Studies at New York's prestigious Juilliard School beginning 1 July 2014. Mr. Marsalis, an alumnus of Julliard, will oversee the Spring 2014 auditions and admissions cycle to select the entering class for Autumn 2014, while immediately beginning to plan for how the program and curriculum will evolve under his leadership to meet the needs of gifted young jazz musicians.
In addition to the academic appointment, The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center (JaLC) announced a substantial new initiative to give Juilliard Jazz students increased access to Jazz at Lincoln Center's education programs, concert opportunities, and audience development projects that will augment their academic work and career. Adding to the School's existing practical teaching experiences for its jazz students, JaLC will provide additional opportunities to perform, and develop practical insights into managing their own careers by participating in JALC's innovative social media, digital marketing, and webcasting initiatives. This new collaboration revitalizes the relationship between the two organizations, which began when jazz education was introduced at Juilliard with the first class of jazz instrumentalists arriving in September 2001.
"Juilliard always is open to new initiatives and programs that benefit our students, prepare them for a long and successful career, and strengthen our relationships with the professional community that surrounds us," Joseph W. Polisi, the school's president, said in a statement.
Juilliard Jazz began as a pre-professional two-year program for 18 advanced jazz instrumentalists, created in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and organized with considerable input from Wynton Marsalis. The Jazz Studies program at Juilliard currently offers both undergraduate and graduate degree levels, including an advanced pre-professional Artist Diploma program. Among the most performance-intensive departments at Juilliard, it also guarantees weekly lessons with a student's major teacher, and features both large and small-ensemble concerts. The reinvigorated Juilliard Jazz collaboration mirrors two other programs, also led by Juilliard alumni, that have brought houses of Lincoln Center into closer relationships with Juilliard - the partnership between the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program with Music Director James Levine, and the appointment of New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert to lead Juilliard's conducting and orchestral studies programs.
Now in its 12th season, Juilliard Jazz offers degrees at bachelor, master, and artist diploma levels. The curriculum combines tailored studio and coursework with professional performance opportunities designed to successfully integrate students into a thriving jazz environment. In addition, its faculty and students conduct national and international master classes and clinics.
The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and its ensembles play more than 50 performances annually including appearances at the Detroit Jazz Festival and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and tour to destinations, such as Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, and Brazil. Juilliard Jazz Ensembles perform regularly at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and the world-renowned Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. For the past several seasons they also have enjoyed week-long runs at Jazz at Lincoln Center with guest artists such as Ernie Andrews, Kenny Barron, Tom Harrell, Sean Jones, Lew Tabackin, Gerald Wilson, Bobby Watson, Frank Wess, and others.
Juilliard Jazz is one of the newer programs of study at The Juilliard School, which was founded in 1905 and long renowned for its superlative performing arts education in classical music, dance, and drama. One of Lincoln Center's original constituents, Juilliard's second century began with a major expansion of its facilities, adding 39,000 square feet of state-of-the-art studios, theaters, and rehearsal studios, growing with the needs of a thriving cultural community in the US and abroad. Juilliard's student body is drawn from 35 states and 44 foreign countries.
The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education and advocacy. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, one of the world's finest big bands, features 15 of jazz music's foremost soloists and ensemble players, performing under the leadership of Wynton Marsalis. The band's repertoire includes original compositions by members of the orchestra, as well as the masterworks of Ellington, Mingus, Coltrane and other jazz greats. Now in its 26th year, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of performance, education, and broadcast events each season in its home in New York City (Frederick P. Rose Hall, "The House of Swing") and around the world, for people of all ages.
Mr. Marsalis, a native of New Orleans, entered Juilliard in 1979, a student of legendary classical trumpeter (and New York Philharmonic principal) William Vacchiano (who also had been Miles Davis's teacher at Juilliard). Already performing with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, his rise as a jazz musician, and classical soloist was meteoric. In 2006, adding to his many awards, Juilliard conferred on Wynton Marsalis an honorary Doctor of Music degree at its 101st commencement ceremony.