Carolyn Bednarski

Announcer
Anton Kruger

Cape Town, South Africa is home to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, so it’s no wonder that the largest jazz school in the region is also in Cape Town.

The jazz program at SACM is in its 30th year, and was founded by Cape Town Native Professor Michael Campbell after he graduated from the University of North Texas and began his music career in the United States. Students come to the school from all over South Africa and neighboring countries.

The University of North Texas College of Music — headed by John Murphy, Chair of the Division of Jazz Studies — is housed within America’s largest music school. The university was the first in the world to offer a degree program in jazz, and has spawned the careers of numerous top musicians and educators, including a few who lead some of the other school ensembles featured in WBGO’s JAM celebration this year, like NYU’s Dave Pietro and UCT’s Mike Campbell.

Simon Rentner

Jazz House Kids is a community-based arts organization located in Montclair, New Jersey, with a mission to provide year-round musical, educational, and cultural programs to students in grades K-12, teachers, adults, and families from diverse backgrounds. The "Jazz House" provides the framework for students to cultivate the talent, discipline, skills and principles they need to play, sing, and appreciate America's original musical art form. Through music, mentoring and education, Jazz House Kids cultivates tomorrow’s global citizens so they may build vibrant communities where they live.

Simon Rentner / WBGO

Since the Jazz Program at City College began in 1974, distinguished musicians like Jaki Byard, John Lewis, Sheila Jordan and Jimmy Heath have passed through its doors as educators. These days Associate Professor Steve Wilson, a well-regarded jazz saxophonist and bandleader, leads the Jazz Studies program at CCNY, and he brought one of the school's multiple ensembles to perform at the WBGO studios for our Jazz Appreciation Month Celebration.

Pianist and composer Pete Malinverni serves as coordinator and head of the Purchase College Conservatory of Music’s Jazz Studies Program at the State University of New York.

Isaiah McClain / WBGO

The jazz program at William Paterson University has been helmed by Bill Charlap since 2015. There are 24 active ensembles, and Charlap, who serves as the school's Director of Jazz Studies, joined saxophonist and author Dr. David Demsey in bringing one of them to perform in our studio for Jazz Appreciation Month.

Isaiah McClain / WBGO

Acclaimed vibraphonist Stefon Harris leads the Jazz Arts Department at the Manhattan School of Music. The school features an array of ensembles and combos, and Stefon brought one to perform for us live in the WBGO studio for Jazz Appreciation Month.

Group members are Savannah Harris (drums), Hwansu Kang (bass), Brandon Woody (trumpet), Abdulrahman Amer (trombone), and Matthew Malanowski (piano), who take turns composing the music they perform.

Courtesy of the artist

Montreal is home to the largest jazz festival in the world, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. So it’s no surprise that the city is also the home to one of the most prestigious music schools in Canada, The Schulich School of Music of McGill University. Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc is Associate Professor and Jazz Area Chair at McGill.

Under the direction of trombone masters Ed Neumeister and Conrad Herwig, the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights Trombone Ensemble was named winner of the 2018 Winding Awards at the Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition, organized by the International Trombone Association.

The Plummer Jazz Combos, named in honor of Indiana saxophonist Paul Plummer, features students from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Led by the renowned saxophonist and IU Jazz faculty member Walter Smith III, the groups perform original music composed by each member of the band, and fresh interpretations of standards and songs by modern composers.

The Juilliard Jazz Max Roach Ensemble

The Juilliard Jazz Max Roach Ensemble is one of four student groups at the Juilliard School, and excels under the direction of drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.

Owens, an alumnus of Juilliard's inaugural jazz program, is also known for his stellar work with Christian McBride and Kurt Elling, among others. 

Courtesy of the artist

Helmed by  Neal Smith, a drummer, professor and ensemble coach at the Berklee College of Music, The Neal Smith Jazz Ensemble is a handpicked ensemble featuring some of the top players from the school, all of whom separately play around the Boston area.

Isaiah McClain

In 2001, The National Museum of American History designated April "Jazz Appreciation Month" (JAM).

Of course, jazz appreciation is a year-round pursuit for WBGO and our listeners — but we'll acknowledge the nationwide JAM celebration this month with a focus on the emerging generation of jazz artists. Tune in each weekday to hear an array of student musicians from across America and around the world. 

NYU WAYNE SHORTER JAZZ ENSEMBLE