2014 News archive

Ed Soph and Paris Rutherford to be honored at JEN 2014

01/06/2014 - 10:03am

Ed Soph and Paris Rutherford will be honored as 2014 LeJENds of Jazz Education on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 at the Jazz Education Network annual conference in Dallas. Tickets can still be ordered; today (Jan. 6) is the deadline. Click to order tickets.

NEA Jazz Master Candido Camero is being honored at the same event as Inaugural LeJENd of Latin Jazz "Keeper of the Flame". The UNT Latin Jazz Lab, directed by José Aponte, will play at this event in his honor.


UNT Jazz activities at JEN 2014

01/06/2014 - 9:37pm

Here's a list of performances and other activities by current UNT people at the Jazz Education Network conference.

Lynn Seaton Jazz Double Bass Workshop

01/15/2014 - 9:34pm

Registration is now open for the Lynn Seaton Jazz Double Bass Workshop.

The Funky Knuckles release their second CD

01/24/2014 - 2:12pm

Dallas-based band The Funky Knuckles, which includes several UNT Jazz alumni, is releasing its second CD, Meta-Musica. They're on the groundUP label that Mike League started along with Snarky Puppy.

Meta-Musica made it to #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts in recent days. Next week they are going to do a big CD Release Show on 1/27/14 at The Free Man (2626 Commerce in Dallas). They also have a weekly Monday residency at the same venue. Band members Ben Bohorquez, Evan, Phill and Wes Stephenson all attended the UNT Jazz Studies program.

Band Members:
Wes Stephenson, bass (band leader)
Caleb Sean McCampbell, keys
Cedric Moore, Drums
Phill Aelony, guitar
Evan Weiss, trumpet
Ben Bohorquez, sax

Special guests on Meta-Musica: Mark Lettieri, guitar; Frank Moka, percussion; Cyfa Fix, MC

Band website: www.thefunkyknuckles.com

Bandcamp: http://funkyknuckles.bandcamp.com/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/meta-musica/id795130941

Snarky Puppy prepares for the Grammys

01/24/2014 - 2:15pm

Article by Sarah Blaskovich for the Dallas Morning News.

Congratulations to alumni for Grammy recognition

01/27/2014 - 12:32pm

WINNER – Best R&B Performance
Snarky Puppy and Lalah Hathaway
-Band founded and led by Michael League, bass (attended 2002-2006)
-Nate Werth, percussion (attended 2001-2008)
-Justin Stanton (MM ’10)
-Bob Lanzetti, electric guitar (BM ’04)
-Mike Maher (BM ’05)
-Chris Bullock, tenor sax (attended 2005-2010)
-Jay Jennings, trumpet (attended 2002-2006)

WINNER – Best Tropical Latin Album
Pacific Mambo Orchestra
-Aaron Lington, saxophone (MM ’01, DMA ‘05)
-Steffen Kuehn, trumpet, co-leader (B.M. Jazz Studies, 1993)

WINNER – Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
A Roomful of Teeth
-Cameron Beauchamp, voice (attended 1998 – 2008)

NOMINEE – Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
album: Brooklyn Babylon
-Rob Wilkerson, saxophone (MM ’00)
-John Guari, associate producer (BM ’07; MM ’09)

NOMINEE – Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording
Dave Slonaker Big Band
-Clay Jenkins (B.M., music theory)
-Tom Luer (attended 2002-2003)

NOMINEE – Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording
Alan Ferber Big Band
Album: March Sublime
-Rob Wilkerson, saxophone (MM ’00)

This list was compiled by Rachel Yoder of the College of Music.

Dan Haerle publishes "Magic Motives

01/30/2014 - 10:17am

Dan Haerle's new book Magic Motives has just been published by Jamey Aebersold. Link to catalog page.

He introduces the concept in this video:

Mihwa Kim releases CD "Roja"

01/30/2014 - 10:22am

Recent master's graduate Mihwa Kim has released a new CD, "Roja". Here's her Facebook page for the CD.

Wana Hong releases new CD

01/30/2014 - 10:36am

Violinist Wana Hong has released a new CD, "First Impression". Also heard on the CD are Sergio Pamies, piano; Young Heo, bass; Rasmus Blixt, drums.

Dan O'Brien arrangement selected for Arranging Ellington project

01/30/2014 - 2:48pm

Dan O'Brien's submission for the Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange program, Arranging Ellington, is one of three selected to be performed at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in a concert featuring much of Duke Ellington's Sacred Music on March 30th. His submission is an arrangement of "Come Sunday" for alto voice, alto, tenor, and baritone saxes, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, and drums, and was adjudicated by Darcy James Argue with members of the Carnegie Hall staff.

Dan O'Brien is a UNT jazz master's student. He plans to attend the concert, and will receive an archival recording of the performance, which will feature Claudette Sierra (voice), Chris Washburne (trombone), John Walsh (trumpet), Ole Mathisen (tenor), and Eli Yamin (piano), and the rest of the band which has yet to be announced.

Congratulations to Dan and his faculty mentor Richard DeRosa!

Dan Haerle Quartet at JEN 2014

01/31/2014 - 3:05pm

Dan Haerle Quartet at JEN 2014: Dan Haerle, piano; Brad Leali, alto saxophone; James Driscoll, bass; Ed Soph, drums.

Addison Frei, Keith Karns win ASCAP awards

02/03/2014 - 4:25pm

Current jazz studies undergraduate Addison Frei and current jazz studies doctoral student Keith Karns are among the 2014 winners of the 2014 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award.

From the press release:

New York, NY January 30, 2014: ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams has announced the recipients of the 2014 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. Established by The ASCAP Foundation in 2002 to encourage gifted jazz composers under the age of 30, the program carries the name of the great trumpeter and ASCAP member Herb Alpert in recognition of The Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to support this unique program. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 11 to 29, and are selected through a juried national competition.

Commenting on the awards, Paul Williams said, "The talented young music creators we recognize through this program represent the future of jazz composition. We congratulate the recipients and extend thanks to the dedicated panel of ASCAP composers who selected the honorees. We are delighted to partner with the Herb Alpert Foundation in this significant endeavor that represents one of the brightest moments in ASCAP’s centennial year."

The Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Winners will be honored during ASCAP’s Jazz Wall of Fame event on June 9, 2014 at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.

Noel Johnston releases two CDs

02/10/2014 - 12:08am

Guitarist and composer Noel Johnston, UNT alumnus and adjunct instructor of guitar, has just released two new CDs on Armored Records. Marshmallow features Clay Pritchard on tenor, Adam Thomas on bass, and Stockton Helbing on drums. Salted Coffee features Jason "JT" Thomas on drums, Jeff Plant on bass, Shaun Martin on organ and keys, and Greg Beck on percussion. Noel will play a CD release show at Dan's Silver Leaf in Denton on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 at 9 p.m.

Gilberto Contreras's beautiful work with notation in Lilypond

02/19/2014 - 1:18pm

click for larger image

by John Murphy

Guitarist Gilberto Contreras completed his bachelor's degree in Jazz Studies at UNT in 2009. Soon he will complete his master's in Jazz Studies. One of his recent projects is an arrangement of Chopin's Nocturne No. 13 for guitar, which he prepared beautifully using Lilypond, the open-source music notation program.

Most music notation programs use a graphical user interface. The user clicks and drags and selects from menus. Lilypond is different: the user writes code in a text file which is then interpreted by Lilypond to produce the notated music as a PDF. It's very pleasing to read and play from. Here's a tutorial. I use Lilypond to make leadsheets. The basic syntax is easily grasped: c4 is a quarter note on C; r8 is an eighth-note rest. I like the way the durations of chord changes can be entered in terms of rhythmic values, so the chord symbols appear exactly where they should above the notation--no more dragging in the Finale interface. I've suggested it to students for years, but they've all preferred the point-and-click ease of Finale or Sibelius to the steep but ultimately fascinating learning curve of Lilypond.

All, that is, except Gilberto Contreras.* He accepted my suggestion that he learn Lilypond. In the past year his skill with the program has far surpassed mine. Why doesn't he choose Finale or Sibelius? Because he's legally blind. He has very limited vision. With the contrast reversed and the text greatly enlarged, he can work with one line of text at a time. This makes the graphical user interface of Finale inaccessible to him. The text-based coding of Lilypond, on the other hand, is compatible with his working methods. The score excerpt above is an example of the 77 intricately-notated measures of his arrangement. The code sample below is the opening of 7-1/2 single spaced pages of code, which he composed and edited one line at a time.

Gilberto plans to record and publish his arrangement. When it becomes available, I'll add information about it to this post.

click for larger image
*If you are one of my students who learned to use Lilypond and I didn't remember it, let me know and I'll revise this.

Rick Drumm on Music Business and Careers

02/21/2014 - 12:48pm

1:00-2:30 in Music Building room 287 on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014
Free and open to the public

Rick Drumm is a 33-year veteran of the music products industry. His career includes being president of D’Addario & Company, president of Vic Firth Inc., CEO of Midco International and director of sales and marketing for Remo, Inc. Rick has developed numerous percussion products for Remo, Vic Firth, Evans and Promark. He has also developed and directed educational and artist programs for all the aforementioned companies.

His initial goal was to be a studio drummer. Rick studied drums with Ed Shaughnessy, drummer for the Tonight Show and he also studied with Sonny Igoe, CBS staff musician for the Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason shows.

After high school, he performed with the U.S. Air Force NORAD band with UNT guitar professor, Fred Hamilton and the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his goal of being a studio drummer and discovered other interests that created a new and unexpected path into the music business.

Come hear Rick Drumm speak about making a career in the music products business and how you can adapt to unexpected changes in your music career paths.

Ryan Truesdell with the One O'Clock Lab Band

02/25/2014 - 12:52pm

Music from Miles Ahead and New Bottle, Old Wine
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. 5 p.m. Voertman Hall in the Music Building
Ticket Information:
General admission $10
Non-UNT Students/UNT faculty outside the College of Music $8
Free for UNT students and College of Music Faculty and Staff

Ryan Truesdell is a composer of diverse musical tastes and influences with a healthy reverence for jazz tradition and an ever-broadening sonic palette. He received his Masters degree in Jazz Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music and immersed himself in a broad range of musicals styles while studying composition with Bob Brookmeyer and Lee Hyla. He composes and arranges music for an eclectic variety of ensembles ranging from small ensembles to big bands, wind ensembles to string quartets. Recent commissions include arrangements for trumpeter Ingrid Jensen with the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, new music for pianist Frank Kimbrough with the University of Minnesota’s Jazz Ensemble, and a new piece for Bob Brookmeyer’s 80th birthday concert at the Eastman School of Music. Ryan was also awarded the First Music commission from the New York Youth Symphony’s Jazz Band Classic, and conducted its premiere at the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2009.

Ryan is also an accomplished and in-demand copyist. He is Maria Schneider’s primary copyist and also copies for Jim Hall, Geoffrey Keezer, Bob Brookmeyer, Luciana Souza, and Miles Evans and the Gil Evans Estate, among others. His work has been published in Rutgers University’s Annual Review of Jazz Studies and Chamber Music America’s Chamber Music magazine.

As a producer, Ryan has already distinguished himself as a valuable resource in the studio. In 2004, he served as production assistant for Maria Schneider’s record, Concert in the Garden, which won a Grammy award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble. He co-produced Schneider’s next recording in 2007, Sky Blue, which has received unanimous praise, including the honor of “Jazz Album of the Year” from the VILLAGE VOICE Critics Poll, a Choc Award in France, and was one of only two albums to receive a five-star review from DOWNBEAT in 2007. It was also nominated for two Grammy Awards, and won the category of “Best Instrumental Composition” (Cerulean Skies). Most recently, Ryan traveled to Hamburg, Germany to produce a recording with Bob Brookmeyer and the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Big Band, recording both new and old works from Bob’s catalog.

Currently, Ryan is embarking on an extensive project, in cooperation with the Evans family, to unearth and bring to light some of the lesser known music of Gil Evans. Throughout this process, he has discovered more than forty works of Evans’ that were never before recorded or released. In celebration of the upcoming centennial of Evans’ birth, Ryan will produce a record of the very best of these previously unheard works, to be released May 13, 2012 (Evans’ 100th birthday) through ArtistShare®. To follow the process of this recording or for more information, please visit GilEvansProject.com.

Spenser Liszt profiled in Denton newspaper

03/03/2014 - 4:39pm

Read the profile of Spenser Liszt by Lucinda Breeding in the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Remembering Paul Guerrero

03/08/2014 - 10:13am

As we work on our scholarship decisions for next year, we're preparing to recognize the important people for whom Jazz Studies scholarships are named. Among them is Paul Guerrero, Jr. (1931-1989), who played in the One O'Clock Lab Band in the early 1960s and had a distinguished career as a drummer, bandleader, and educator. His achievements were recognized in 1989 with a congressional proclamation. Alumnus Victor Rendón wrote about Paul Guerrero for Modern Drummer, as noted by the North Texan.

The Allen Jazz Invitational on March 22, 2014

03/10/2014 - 8:01pm


The Allen Jazz Invitational will be Saturday, March 22, 2014, headlined by the One O’Clock concert at 7:00 pm in the state of the art, Allen Performing Arts Center located at 300 Rivercrest Blvd on the campus of the Allen High School.

For the past two years, the Allen Performing Arts Center, partnering with the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, has brought in AMAZING artists, Denis DiBlasio, Frank Greene, Stockton Helbing, and Wayne Bergeron, who all played in Maynard Ferguson’s band. These concerts were inspired by the music of Maynard Ferguson and his legacy to jazz. We are excited to announce that ALL FOUR artists will be here for this year’s inaugural event as we take jazz to the next level!

This year we are expanding by introducing the first Allen Jazz Invitational on March 22, 2014. Our goal is to create a positive, exciting,educational experience for participating jazz ensembles, the audience and guest artists. This environment will be an opportunity to explore jazz in a comfortable setting that is inviting for jazz enthusiasts of all ages! The “hottest “jazz bands in the state have accepted our invitation for this high energy unprecedented event! Featured invitational bands are Plano Senior High, Wylie High School, Newman Smith High School, McKinney North High School, Southlake Carroll High School, Brazoswood High School and Allen High School.

This day will include:


  • Participating high school performances with guest artist’s critique beginning at 9:30 am
  • Guest artists“hands on” clinics with all high school ensembles immediately after each performance
  • Master classes with guest artists (sax, trumpet, bones, rhythm section) at 3:00 pm
  • Artist panel discussion including open forum Q & A for students immediately after masterclasses
  • “Outstanding Performance” certificates recognizing exemplary student performance at final concert
  • Sherman Jazz Museum exhibit
  • Jazz merchandise, Allen Jazz Invitational t-shirts, guest artist and One O’Clock recordings and merchandise
  • The UNT One O’Clock Lab Band in concert with featured artists at 7:00 pm


Purchase of a concert ticket will be your pass for access to all events throughout the day. Ticket prices range from $50.00 to$10.00. BUY TICKETS: allenisd.org/pac

Click image for larger version. Full-size poster in PDF.

The Allen Jazz Invitational on March 22, 2014

03/10/2014 - 8:07pm

Dan Haerle, Shelley Carrol receive D’JAM 2014 Jazz Legend Awards

03/20/2014 - 4:49pm

D'JAM stands for Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month, a collaborative effort of organizations that support jazz, including the Sammons Center for the Arts and UNT. In conjunction with the national jazz appreciation month sponsored by the Smithsonian, D'JAM highlights jazz activities in April in this area as a way to raise the profile of the jazz activities that happen year-round.

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, UNT Professor Emeritus Dan Haerle received a D'JAM Jazz Legend Award for Jazz Educator, and alumnus Shelley Carrol received the award for Jazz Artist. The Jessica Curran Quartet also performed. More information about the event is available at KERA's Art & Seek blog. These photos are by Jill Haerle.

Click on the photo for a larger version.

Dan Haerle

Dan Haerle, Bart Marantz of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts

Master of ceremonies Jack Bishop, pianist Arlington Jones, Shelley Carrol

Shelley Carrol, Dan Haerle, Arlington Jones

Tim Moore, Lucas Reader, Jessica Curran, Joe James

Lucas Reader, Jessica Curran, Joe James

Stefan Karlsson with Eddie Gomez 2014 Midwest Tour

03/24/2014 - 12:49pm

Friday April 4 at 9:30 pm (2 shows): Eddie Gomez Trio at the Jazz Estate, Milwaukee, WI
website: jazzestate.com
2423 N Murray Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 964-9923

Saturday April 5 at noon: 7th Woody Herman Educational Workshop, UW-Milwaukee,
12-2 pm (Trio Master Class & Rhythm Section Clinic),

Saturday April 5 at 8:00 pm (2 Shows): Eddie Gomez Trio at The Brink Lounge, Madison, WI
website: www.thebrinklounge.com

Sunday April 6 at 7:00 pm: Eddie Gomez Trio at UW-Stevens Point, WI
Master Class TBA, concert at 7:00 pm (Michelsen Concert Hall)

Monday April 7 at 8:00 pm (2 shows): Eddie Gomez Trio at the Jazz Showcase,
Chicago, IL
website: www.jazzshowcase.com
806 S. Plymouth Ct.

Tuesday & Wednesday April 8 & 9 (8 pm, 2 shows): Eddie Gomez Trio at Studio 222, Fargo, ND
Master Class on Wednesday April 9 TBA,

222 N Broadway Dr, Fargo, ND 58102
(952) 992-0785

Learn about the UNT Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop

03/24/2014 - 1:05pm

You can find this video, a list of frequently-asked questions, testimonials, and more on the Vocal Jazz Workshop page and on the Facebook page for the workshop.


News from alumnus Brad Williams

03/24/2014 - 1:13pm

Guitarist Brad Williams, a 2003 Magna Cum Laude Jazz Studies bachelor's graduate, recently sent news of his recent projects.

He played, wrote, and co-produced a Blue Note record for artist José James to be released June 10. He'll also be touring internationally with José for the next year or so. Here is Blue Note's press release for the record.

Additionally, he produced an album for UNT alumnus Sylvester Onyejiaka entitled Akuma that received a four-star review in the April 2014 DownBeat magazine. It was released on Truth Revolution Records, and includes UNT Alumni Hajime Yoshida, Jay Jennings, Daniel Foose, Ross Pederson, and on a couple of tracks Brad on acoustic guitar. It also includes trumpeter Philip Lassiter, keyboardist Cory Henry, percussionist Keita Ogawa, flautist John Leadbetter, and violinist Zach Brock. It can be previewed and purchased here: https://trrstore.bandcamp.com/album/akuma

Brad has an LP of his own to be released Summer 2014. It's an organ trio record featuring Tyshawn Sorey and Pat Bianchi, and is an all analog recording start to finish. It will be a vinyl release, and was recorded and mixed on the finest analog tape-- no computers. The lacquer for the LP will be cut straight from the analog source. We'll share news of it here when it's released.

Jimin Lee and Ronan Delisle release CD Somewhere Safe

03/24/2014 - 1:46pm

Jimin Lee and Ronan Delisle have recently finished a record, "Somewhere Safe". You can hear it on bandcamp. It's available for digital download as well as in physical form.

Stuart Mack wins second place in Yamaha Jazz Division at National Trumpet Competition

03/25/2014 - 10:46am

Congratulations to Stuart Mack, who placed second in the Yamaha Jazz Division at the recent National Trumpet Competition.

Thanks to Stuart for representing UNT so well. Congratulations to his faculty mentors as well.

Alex Hahn named finalist in NASA jazz competition

03/25/2014 - 10:53am

Congratulations to Alex Hahn and Prof. Brad Leali and Alex's other faculty mentors. Alex was a finalist in the jazz competition at the recent North American Saxophone Alliance conference.

Prof. Eric Nestler compiled this list of participants with UNT affiliations. In addition to Prof. Brad Leali, there are lots of jazz studies alumni among them:

The 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference was held at the University of Illinois School of Music, March 20-23rd, 2014. The University of North Texas College of Music Saxophone Department was well represented. Below, is a list of over 40 names of the people from UNT, alums and current student/faculty, who attended and/or participated:

Barrette, Tony -- alum (and employ of Meridian Winds in MI) repaired saxophones

Bland, Cheyenne – current student who performed

Bradfield, Ann – alum (and professor of saxophone at Northern Iowa) performed

Cain, Joren – alum; performed and served on Search Committee for Editor

Campbell, Will – alum (and professor of saxophone at UNC Charlotte) performed and judged

Ramsey Castaneda - alum, participated in jazz competition

Chen, Po-Hsuan – current student in attendance

Chien, William – current student who performed with traditional Chinese instrument

Dahlke, Andrew – alum (and professor of saxophone at University of Northern Colorado) performed

Dees, David – alum (and professor of saxophone at Texas Tech University) performed and judged

Dewhirst, Greg – alum (and professor of music at TCCC) performed a piece by Dr. Klein

Dewhirst, Kristan – current student performed a piece by Dr. Klein

Eby, Chad – alum (and professor of saxophone at UNCG) performed

Eckert, Joe – alum (and professor of saxophone at TCU) performed

Espinosa, Carols – alum; performed

Feng, Wenbo – current student who performed an original composition

Griggs, Joyce – UNT alum; assistant director of the school of music

Hahn, Alex – current student who was a finalist in the Jazz Competition

Hutchins, Kyle – alum who performed; student at Univ. of MN

Ishii, Tim – alum (and director of Jazz Studies at UTA) was a judge

Kim, Julie – alum; performed

Klein, Joesph – professor of music; wrote a piece that was premiered by Greg and Kristan Dewhirst

Koffman, Carrie – alum (and professor of saxophone at the Hartt School) who organized the classical competitions

Lamar, Jackie – alum (and professor of saxophone at University of Central Arkansas) performed

Leali, Brad – professor of music; performed with the UI Jazz Ensemble; participated in the NASA Executive Committee Meetings as Director of Jazz Studies

Little, JD – alum; performed

Mandel, Nathan – UNT alum; assistant to the host; employed by UI

McConnell, Michael – current student who performed

McNeil, Chip – conductor of the UI Jazz Ensemble

Myer, Tom – alum (and professor of saxophone at University of Colorado boulder) performed

Nabb, David – alum who performed the one handed toggle saxophone (professor of Music at University of Nebraska-Kearney)

Nestler, Eric – professor of music; presented a lecture-recital of Berio’s Sequenza IXb (including a complete performance)

Primavera, Brittany – alum who performed

Pulley, Emily – alum; performed Reid, Sam – alum; performed

Richards, Alex – current student who performed

Richtmeyer, Debra – former professor of music at UNT and current saxophone professor at UI; she hosted the event

Roberts, John – alum (and professor of percussion at Newberry College) performed

Romain, James – alum (and professor of saxophone at Drake University) performed

Sawyer, Matt – alum; performed

Shner, Idit – alum (and professor of saxphone at University of Oregon) performed and was a judge

Stonerock, Andrew – alum; performed

Tian, Chaofu – current student in attendance

Yuxin, Mei – current student who performed pipa with Chien

Colby Norton excels at Mean Green Triathlon

03/27/2014 - 7:48pm

Colby Norton, third year DMA student in trombone, plays bass trombone in the One O'Clock Lab Band. After last Saturday's concert in Allen, Colby headed home to get some rest. He was up before dawn on Sunday to compete in the Mean Green Triathlon in Denton. It was a sprint distance event: 400 yard swim, 20K bike, 5K run. Colby does much longer triathlons. This is a warm-up to get his season started. He finished 38th overall out of 380 participants. He came in 60th in the swim, 34th on the bike, and 24th in the run. After that, he went to Dallas to play with the One O'Clock Lab Band again.

Sergio Pamies, Lupe Barrera accepted to Paquito D'Rivera Carnegie Hall Workshop

03/28/2014 - 2:44pm

Congratulations to pianist and doctoral student Sergio Pamies and percussionist and undergraduate student José "Lupe" Barrera for being accepted to the Paquito D'Rivera: Latin Jazz Traditions workshop to be held at Carnegie Hall on May 11-16, 2014. Congratulations to their faculty mentors, too.

Dan O'Brien's arrangement performed at Carnegie Hall

03/31/2014 - 12:12pm

Current jazz composition master's student Dan O'Brien's arrangement of Ellington's "Come Sunday" was performed on March 30, 2014 at Carnegie Hall as part of the Arranging Ellington project. Listen to Dan's arrangement:

William Flyn hired at Wichita State University

04/04/2014 - 11:29am

Congratulations to William Flynn, a May 2012 graduate of our master's program in Jazz Studies, for being hired as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Jazz Guitar at Wichita State University. Congratulations to his faculty mentors, too.

Jazz Singers on tour in California

04/05/2014 - 10:23am

UNT Jazz Singers are on tour to California this weekend. They'll perform at four schools, exchange music with seven vocal groups at those schools, do a house concert, and end with a clinic and performance at the Oceanside Jazz Festival on Saturday night.

They'll be collaborating with Valencia High School, Downey High School, Fullerton College, Cypress College, College of the Canyons, Santa Monica College, and Cal State-Fullerton. The house concert is in the Los Angeles area. The performance at the Oceanside Jazz Festival (Oceanside, CA, near San Diego) is the final event on Saturday night.

Alumni in the news

04/05/2014 - 10:45am

In the April 2014 issue of DownBeat, you'll find:


  • A review of Sylvester Onyejiaka's new release, Akuma, on truthrevolutionrecords. Also heard on this CD are Ross Pederson, Daniel Foose, Hajime Yoshida, Jay Jennings, Brad Williams (who also produced it), and John Leadbetter, plus liner notes by Bob Belden. (I bought the FLAC download. Listening now.--J.M.)
  • Craig Handy pictured in an ad for Ted Klum mouthpieces.
  • An article on lead trumpet playing by Mike Williams, who is also featured in an ad for P. Mauriat trumpets.
  • An ad for Carolina Calvache's new CD, Sotareño, on Sunnyside Records.


In the March 2014 issue of DownBeat you'll find:


  • A feature article on Craig Handy.
  • A photo of Craig Handy in an ad for Tenor Madness saxophones.
  • Listings and an ad for our summer workshops


In the April 2014 issue of JazzTimes, you'll find:


  • A review of Craig Handy's new CD, Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith
  • Listings and an ad for our summer workshops


Did I miss anything?

Carolina Calvache releases CD "Sotareño"

04/05/2014 - 2:48pm

Pianist and composer Carolina Calvache, a December 2010 UNT jazz studies master's graduate, has released the CD "Sotareño" on Sunnyside Records. She is profiled on the WBGO site. You can listen to samples and buy the CD on the Sunnyside site. Along with Carolina on piano the CD features Antonio Sanchez - drums, Michael Rodriguez - trumpet, Jaleel Shaw - saxophone, Hans Glawischnig - bass, Ludwig Afonso - drums.

Sylvester Onyejiaka releases CD "Akuma"

04/05/2014 - 5:38pm

Saxophonist and composer Sylvester Onyejiaka, a December 2008 bachelor's in Jazz Studies graduate, has released the CD Akuma on the truthrevolutionrecords label. Also heard on this CD are alumni Ross Pederson, Daniel Foose, Hajime Yoshida, Jay Jennings, Brad Williams (who also produced it), and John Leadbetter, plus liner notes by Bob Belden.

Pavel Wlosok releases CD "Czechmate"

04/11/2014 - 2:50pm

Pianist and alumnus Pavel Wlosok has released the CD Czechmate featuring Joel Frahm on tenor and soprano saxophones and UNT alumni Steve Haines on bass and Bill Campbell on drums.

News from Chad Willis

04/11/2014 - 3:08pm

Trumpeter Chad Willis, who will soon complete his bachelor's in Jazz Studies, is pictured at left playing with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band at a performance at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo on March 7th. Chad traveled with the band to Japan on April 9. They will play two shows a night at the Blue Note in Tokyo on April 11, 12, 13 and 14. The week before, Chad ran front-of-house sound for the UNT Jazz Singers for their California tour that ended at the 8th Annual Oceanside Jazz Festival at Mira Costa College. Chad will start his master's at the University of Southern California in the fall of 2014, working with Bob Mintzer in his jazz ensemble. Before starting at USC, he'll be out on the road with Lyle Lovett again from July 16 to September 12.

Tigran Hamasyan Trio at UNT

04/13/2014 - 10:49am

Tigran Hamasyan- piano
Sam Minaie - Bass
Arthur Hnatek - Drums

April 16, 5:00-6:30PM in Room 258 -- Clinic with Tigran ($10 cash at the door)
April 17, 4:00-5:00PM in Kenton Hall-- Clinic with Tigrans's trio (free admission)
April 17, 8:30PM in COM Recital Hall-- Trio Concert (Free for jazz studies majors. $10 General Admission at the door)

Visit Tigran's website for more information: www.tigranhamasyan.com/biography/

Ally Hany and Aaron Hedenstrom recognized at Honors Day 2014

04/14/2014 - 9:37pm

Photo by Alyssa Hedenstrom. Click for larger version.

At Honors Day on April 4, 2014, Ally Hany was recognized as Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Jazz Studies and Aaron Hedenstrom was recognized as Outstanding Graduate Student in Jazz Studies. This recognition is the result of nominations and voting by the jazz studies faculty. Thanks to Alyssa Hedenstrom for the outstanding photo.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month in Denton

04/16/2014 - 12:40pm

click for larger image

Denton mayor Mark Burroughs issued this proclamation in support of Jazz Appreciation Month at the April 15, 2014 city council meeting.

We used the year 1946 in this case because the jazz studies major, then called "Dance Band", was listed in the fall 1946 academic catalog. The band was directed by graduate student Charles Meeks that semester. We also recognize the merit of using 1947 as the starting year because the first director, Gene Hall, started his duties in spring 1947.

Jonny Beckett releases CD "Son of a Mother"

04/18/2014 - 2:17pm

Saxophonist and alumnus Jonny Beckett has released the CD Son of a Mother on Armored Records. Heard along with Jonny are Terry Hankins: guitar; James Driscoll: bass, and Stockton Helbing: drums.

The Watch and Wait release EP "Possibilities"

04/18/2014 - 2:20pm

Brooklyn based indie-pop-soul band the Watch and Wait released Possibilities EP this week.

UNT alumni involved in the recording of the EP include:
John Guari - Songs, Keyboards, Vocals
Melissa McMillan - Vocals
Paul Orbell - Guitars
Myles Turney - Engineering and mixing

Pamies, Ward, and Heaverin represent UNT in Peru

04/18/2014 - 4:35pm

Current DMA student Sergio Pamies (piano) and recent graduates Brian Ward (bass) and Justin Heaverin (drums) will be in Peru from April 21-25 to play concerts with UNT alumna Mónica Gastelumendi in Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa sponsored by the Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano.

Craig Handy interviewed by Tavis Smiley about his new CD

04/22/2014 - 12:47pm

Saxophonist and former UNT student Craig Handy was interviewed by Tavis Smiley about his new CD, "Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith." Audio of interview. Page for the CD at Okeh Records.

Denton Arts & Jazz Festival 2014

04/24/2014 - 9:19am

José Pérez playing with Latin Jazz Lab in 2006

Join us this weekend at the UNT Showcase Stage at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival for three days of exciting performances by our small and large ensembles.

Jay Saunders to direct the One O'Clock, Rodney Booth the Two O'Clock in 2014-2015

04/24/2014 - 5:52pm

Jay Saunders, currently the director of the Two O'Clock Lab Band, will serve as interim director of the One O'Clock Lab Band for the 2014-2015 academic year. Rodney Booth, currently the director of the Jazz Repertory Ensemble, will serve as interim director of the Two O'Clock Lab Band for the 2014-2015 academic year. These changes are a result of the acceptance by Steve Wiest, currently the director of the One O'Clock Lab Band, of a faculty position at The Lamont School of Music at The University of Denver.

Jazz students, faculty quoted in NT Daily story on Denton Arts & Jazz Festival

04/29/2014 - 4:34pm

One O’Clock Lab Band welcomes Jay Saunders as interim director

04/29/2014 - 4:42pm

DENTON, Texas (UNT) – The six-time Grammy nominated One O’Clock Lab Band will welcome Jay Saunders as interim director in the 2014-15 season.

Saunders, a College of Music alumnus and current director of the Two O’Clock Lab Band, will take the helm from Steve Wiest, who has accepted a faculty position at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.

As an undergraduate, Saunders was a member of the One O’Clock Lab Band and played two tours with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. After graduation, he played lead trumpet in the Studio Band of the U.S. Army Field Band and rejoined Kenton’s orchestra after he was discharged. He subsequently returned to UNT for his master of music education degree.

His professional career has included performances with major artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Ray Charles, and The Supremes. Since the 1980s, Saunders has been a staple of the Dallas-Fort Worth music scene, as a performer with the Dallas Summer Musicals, Casa Mañana Musical Theater and pops concerts of the symphonies of Dallas and Fort Worth. His extensive recording career includes 11 albums with Stan Kenton as well as albums with Doc Severinsen and Ornette Coleman.

Saunders has served on the faculty of the College of Music’s Division of Jazz Studies for 21 years, directing both the Three O’Clock and Two O’Clock lab bands. During his time as Two O’Clock director, the lab band won three DownBeat Student Music Awards.

“Jay has been a vital part of the jazz studies division for many years, and we are delighted that he has postponed his plans for retirement by one year to direct the One O’Clock Lab Band,” said John Murphy, chair of the Division of Jazz Studies.

Wiest, an alumnus of the College of Music, was named director of the One O’Clock in 2009 after serving a year as interim director. In his first year as director, the band was nominated for two Grammy awards: Best Large Jazz Ensemble for Lab 2009 and Best Instrumental Composition for Wiest’s composition “Ice-Nine.” He also worked to bring the Maynard Ferguson library to UNT, established an online presence and mobile app for the One O’Clock, and led the band in performances throughout the U.S. and in Ireland, England, and Thailand.

“Steve accomplished a great deal in his time here and we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said Murphy. “We are confident that under Jay’s leadership, the One O’Clock will continue to maintain its reputation as one of the best large jazz ensembles in the world.”

Taking over the reins for the Two O’Clock Lab Band will be interim director Rodney Booth. Booth, currently the director of the UNT Jazz Repertory Ensemble, is a graduate of the College of Music’s jazz studies program and a former One O’Clock Lab Band member. He traveled across North and South America and Europe with Woody Herman's Thundering Herd Big Band, and has performed and recorded with many major recording artists, such as Lou Rawls, Wayne Newton, Dionne Warwick, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole and Al Green. Booth is also active in studio and commercial recordings, and with his big band.

About the UNT One O'Clock Lab Band

The six-time Grammy-nominated UNT One O'Clock Lab Band – the premiere ensemble of UNT's Jazz Studies program in the College of Music – has performed and toured throughout the world, including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand and The Netherlands. UNT offered the nation's first bachelor's degree program in jazz studies in the 1946-47, and the university's jazz studies program is consistently rated among the nation's best.

UNT Jazz Studies students recognized in 2014 DownBeat Student Music Awards

05/01/2014 - 11:04am

Congratulations to the UNT Jazz Studies students who are recognized in the 2014 DownBeat Student Music Awards and their faculty mentors!

Jazz Soloist
Graduate College Winner
Aaron Hedenstrom, Saxophone; Brad Leali, mentor

Large Jazz Ensemble
Graduate College Winner
Two O’Clock Lab Band; Jay Saunders, director
Based on their work on the CD Kind of Two

Vocal Jazz Soloist
Graduate College Winner
Michelle Alonso; Jennifer Barnes, mentor

Vocal Jazz Soloist
Graduate College Outstanding Performance
Mihwa Kim; Rosana Eckert, mentor

Small Vocal Jazz Group
Graduate College Outstanding Performance
Mihwa Kim Band; Rosana Eckert, mentor

Blues Pop Rock Group
Undergraduate College Winner
The Alex Hahn Crossing; Brad Leali, mentor

Blues Pop Rock Group
Graduate College Outstanding Performance
Aaron Hedenstrom Organ Quartet; Richard DeRosa, mentor

Latin Group
Graduate College Winner
Juan Chaves Big Band
Richard DeRosa, mentor

Original Composition – Large Ensemble
Graduate College Winner
Keith Karns, “The Square”; Mike Steinel, mentor
Performed by The One O'Clock Lab Band on Lab 2013

Jazz Arrangement
Graduate College Outstanding Performance
Drew Zaremba, “As Time Goes By”
Richard DeRosa, mentor
Performed by The One O'Clock Lab Band on Lab 2013

Erskine Hawkins on tour with Eminem

05/01/2014 - 5:19pm

Pianist and Jazz Studies bachelor's graduate (May 2010) Erskine Hawkins has played three tours with Eminem, two in Europe and one last February in Australia and South Africa. He'll tour the U.S. with Eminem and Rihanna this summer.

Erskine put a lot of time and effort into his classical piano studies while earning his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies degree at UNT. It's paying off. "[It's] the Bach three-part fugues that I studied in school that help me the most on this gig," Erskine says.

Erskine got the job after he "met [Eminem's] musical director Adam Blackstone, who MDs for EVERYONE from Justin Timberlake through Jay Z, at NAMM a few years ago. At first he would just call me to transcribe songs and chart them to make it easier for his bands to learn material. After doing that for a few months, he asked me to do a string arrangement for Nikki Minaj's performance on the BET Awards. After that, he asked me if my hip hop chops are pretty good. I've been doing shows with Eminem now for almost a year. It's really a blessing."

He continues: "Eminem's music is EXTREMELY classically based and is very piano-driven. Since it's hip hop, all of the parts are very specific and there is not a lot (really none in my case) of room for improvisation. Most times, there are two or three specific piano parts happening at the same time on each song and I'm responsible for playing all of them. Definitely something I would not be able to do if I hadn't spent some real time diving into Bach's two and three-part fugues. All of that is on the 'playing the songs' side. As far as what we create (transitions, intros, endings), I pull from every classical piece I've ever learned and try my best to remember all of the rules and cadences. We try to keep his music as dark and minor as possible."

"I'm always keeping up with what's happening at the school," Erskine said, "and love the direction the department is going." We're always glad to hear from alumni and always interested to hear how they're applying what they've learned in our program.
Thanks to current student Alex Browne for telling me about this in MUJS 4470 class, which prompted me to contact Erskine and ask him about it.
--John Murphy

Better sound in Kenton Hall

05/13/2014 - 2:42pm

Kenton Hall without sound panels. Click for larger image.

If recitals and rehearsals in Kenton Hall are sounding better lately, you can thank Craig Marshall. He managed the project of installing sound-absorbing panels on the walls of the hall that previously lacked an acoustical treatment. Jon Nelson, Associate Dean for Facilities, helped with funding. The goal was to reduce the slap echo between the parallel walls made of painted cinder block. This recording Craig made of baritone saxophonist Christian Ortiz shows what that sounded like: Kenton Hall before

The echo is visible in the oscillogram:

click for larger image

Kenton Hall with sound panels. Click for larger image.

After the panels were installed, the sound was much improved. Here's Christian Ortiz again: Kenton Hall after

The reduction in unwanted echo is visible in the oscillogram:

click for larger image


Sarah Roberts hired at University of Texas at Tyler

05/21/2014 - 4:00pm

Sarah Roberts teaching at East China Normal University in Shanghai on a UNT study abroad in 2010.

Congratulations to recent graduate Sarah Roberts, who has been hired as professor of saxophone and jazz studies at the University of Texas at Tyler. She will be teaching saxophone and directing the jazz band and jazz combo.

Kevin Brunkhorst named Music Dept. Chair at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada

05/28/2014 - 11:45am

Kevin Brunkhorst during the recording of The Quiltmaster

Kevin Brunkhorst has been named chair of the Music Department at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. When it was founded in 1977, the jazz studies program at St. Francis Xavier was Canada's "first dedicated Jazz Studies degree program." Kevin earned bachelor's and master's degrees from UNT, was a member of the One O' Clock Lab Band, and can be heard on Lab 2003, Lab 2004, Live from Thailand (all by the One O' Clock) and The Quiltmaster by the L5 Electric Guitar Ensemble.

UNT jazz studies master's graduate Josh Hanlon adds:

A very special program, Kevin has become a big reason for that. There has been a strong connection of people moving from UNT as teachers to STFX. Fred Hamilton taught there earlier in his career, as did Paul Mazzio, Robbie Smith, and currently Paul Tynan, Unsurprisingly, there have been a number of undergrads from X who when on to pursue grad studies at UNT, including Scott Marshall, Steve Haines, Erin Costelo (studied comp @ UNT),Tim Dunn, Ryan Davidson (who co-led a nifty quartet album with Kevin called Border Crossing), Jared Farney, Scott Neary, Carolyn HM, and likely others I didn't name, and hopefully many more to come. My brother Jake and I both grew up in Antigonish, and got degrees from both institutions, now he teaches with Kevin, and I live in Denton, having taught at each school.

One O'Clock Lab Band plays last concert with director Steve Wiest at Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens

05/29/2014 - 9:33am

From the One O'Clock Lab Band site:
As part of the Fort Worth Symphony's "Concert in the Garden" series, The One O'Clock will perform their final concert of the year on June 15, 2014 starting at 8:15 p.m. Coincidentally, this will be Director Steve Wiest's final concert with the band as well. A beautiful venue and fireworks! Get your tickets now, this will be BIG fun!
Buy tickets

Alumni news from Hubert Waldner

05/29/2014 - 3:06pm

Alumnus Hubert Waldner sent this note and some photos:

I studied at NTSU (now UNT) between 1981 and 1982 and graduated in August 1982 with my Master's degree in Music Ed.
I found some old posters and also the program that I had written back then for my premiere concert with the newly founded Jazz String Ensemble. This Jazz String Ensemble was founded in 1982 by me and we performed one concert in Kenton Hall. I will submit one or two of the old memorable pictures taken in 1982 at this concert.

Hubert Waldner

One pic shows me talking to the trumpet legend Donald Byrd (while rehearsing one of my compositions) In the back you can see the sax player (now also with the Rolling Stones) Tim Ries.

UNT Jazz in Peru

05/29/2014 - 3:27pm

Sergio Pamies, Brian Ward, and Justin Heaverin traveled to Peru to play concerts with alumna Monica Gastelumendi in April 2014

Monica writes:

I just wanted to let you know that the band had a wonderful time in Peru, that we played three wonderful concerts in Lima, Arequipa and Cusco, and that the musicianship level of Sergio, Brian and Justin was superb in every concert. Despite a very tight agenda they were always ready to play and showed maturity in their playing as well as professionalism that was recognized everywhere we went. UNT was very well represented on this tour! We even had the opportunity to give a master class at a music school in Cusco. It went great and many students are now in touch with the band through Facebook and email.

I am sending you some pictures that shows a bit of our trip.

Monica Gastelumendi
T. (511) 955977406

Click for larger image

Photo credit: Julio Del Carpio Fotografía

Hanlon, Hurn, Smith, and Willis play with Texas Tenors

06/12/2014 - 10:43am

(L to R) Jacob Smith, Ryan Hurn, Josh Hanlon, Chad Willis

Ryan Hurn (drums) came to Ft. Worth last weekend with the Texas Tenors and the Ft. Worth Symphony at the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens for the Concert in the Garden series. Jacob Smith (bass) and Josh Hanlon (piano) played with the Texas Tenors and Chad Willis (trumpet) played with the symphony that night. All are UNT alumni.

Progger's new CD and tour

06/13/2014 - 10:24am

News from Progger, the Austin-based band started by alumni Brian Donohoe and Matt Muehling:

In support of their heavily-anticipated second album's release, Progger will be embarking on a summer 2014 tour of the eastern United States that will take them from their native Austin, Texas all the way to New York City. Progger was formed in Austin in 2011 by several of the most in-demand young touring and recording musicians on the verdant Texas scene. Drawing inspiration from such masters as D'Angelo, Herbie Hancock, and George Clinton, Progger grew together through their passion for soul, jazz, funk, gospel, and rock music, as well as a desire to create a new, exciting, authentic American sound.

After contributing countless performances, compositions, and arrangements to groups like Snarky Puppy, Malford Milligan, Col. Bruce Hampton, and more, Progger's members started playing regularly in June of 2011, and soon developed strong followings in Austin and Dallas. Their debut album, "Beatmaker," was released in February 2013 to local critical acclaim, and a slew of interstate performances with Ropeadope recording artists The Funky Knuckles brought Progger's sounds to new thirsty audiences. Progger's second studio release, "Populace," was released on May 13, 2014.

Progger and the Funky Knuckles will be performing at the Free Man in Dallas, TX on July 28, 2014. Performances start at 10:00pm. For more information, visit:


UNT Jazz Newsletter

06/19/2014 - 4:28pm

We have a new email newsletter that you're invited to subscribe to. It's intended for anybody and everybody who is interested in the UNT jazz studies program, especially alumni and people who attend our events and listen to our recordings. If you're one of the 2,400 people who have Liked our Facebook page, for example, you might want to subscribe to this list because you'll probably see only a small percentage of the items we post on Facebook in your newsfeed. The list will only be used for UNT Jazz Studies-related topics. We won't sell the subscriber list to marketers and we won't track you.

Use this form to subscribe.

Alumni news from Keith Javors

06/27/2014 - 1:48pm

Keith Javors sent two press releases about news from his label, Inarhyme Records:

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Inarhyme Records, LLC is pleased to announce the performance and recording rights acquisition of the NDR Bigband - Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra’s Tall Tales of Jasper County; The Double Doubles Suite, the latest full-length concept work by the inimitable U.S. composer Dr. Dale Wilson.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – At a time of great political and social uncertainty, the dynamic post-cold war partnership of the Russian Federation's Oleg Kireyev (saxophone) and America's Keith Javors (piano) has inspired jazz audiences around the globe. A follow-up to their critically-acclaimed debut record Rhyme and Reason, the co-leaders welcomed jazz trumpet luminary Tom Harrell and the heralded bass/drums combination of Ben Williams (Pat Metheny) and E.J. Strickland (Ravi Coltrane) to the studio in late October 2013 for their powerful upcoming release, entitled The Meeting, available next Winter. The new record, which bridges the influences of two continents, will feature new original compositions by Kireyev and Javors, interspersed with standard material.

For more information, see inarhymerecords.com.

New musical for young voices by Rosana Eckert and Sharon Burch

07/03/2014 - 10:38am

UNT vocal jazz faculty Rosana Eckert has teamed up with popular children's author and educator Sharon Burch to create Freddie the Frog and the Jungle Jazz, a musical for young voices. Published by Hal Leonard, the musical was written for children ages 7-11 and includes five original songs, 26 speaking parts, and a "beginner band student" performance option to feature some young jazz players. The Performance/Accompaniment CD features New Orleans-style jazz accompaniment tracks by The N'Awlins Gumbo Kings, which includes UNT trombone faculty Tony Baker, drum faculty Mike Drake, and vocal jazz faculty Brian Piper (on piano). For more information, visit HalLeonard.com.

Faculty concerts at the Jazz Combo Workshop

07/03/2014 - 12:02pm

UNT Jazz Combo Summer Workshop Evening Concerts
Voertman Hall, UNT College of Music

The public is invited to this series of faculty concerts that are part of the UNT Jazz Combo Summer Workshops. Admission is free. Tax-deductible contributions in support of the Jazz Combo Summer Workshop are invited. Voertman Hall is located within the College of Music building at 415 Ave. C in Denton. Recommended parking lot: between music practice buildings and Bain Hall. For more information, call (940) 565-3743.

Performer lineups are subject to change.

Monday, July 14
7:00 p.m.
Stefan Karlsson, piano
Ed Soph, drums
Lynn Seaton, bass
Brad Leali, saxophone
Rod Booth, trumpet

7:45 p.m.
Fred Hamilton, guitar
Mike Drake, drums
Jeffry Eckels, bass
Steve Jones, saxophone
Tony Baker, trombone

Tuesday, July 15
7:00 p.m.
Rich McLure, guitar
José Aponte, drums
Jeffry Eckels, bass
John Murphy, saxophone
Tony Baker, trombone
Will Campbell, saxophone

7:45 p.m.
Dan Haerle, piano
Mike Drake, drums
Lynn Seaton, bass
Jim Riggs, saxophone
Rod Booth, trumpet

Wednesday, July 16
7:00 p.m.
Dan Haerle, piano
Lynn Seaton, bass
José Aponte, drums
Chris McGuire, saxophone
Steve Jones, saxophone

7:45 p.m.
Stefan Karlsson, piano
Fred Hamilton, guitar
Ed Soph, drums
Jeffry Eckels, bass
Mike Steinel, trumpet
John Murphy, saxophone

Thursday, July 17
7:00 p.m.
Fred Hamilton, guitar
Mike Drake, drums
Jeffry Eckels, bass
Will Campbell, saxophone
Mike Steinel, trumpet

7:45 p.m.
Stefan Karlsson, piano
Ed Soph, drums
Lynn Seaton, bass
Chris McGuire, saxophone
Jim Riggs, saxophone

Rich DeRosa releases CD That Music Always Round Me

07/03/2014 - 12:40pm

A new CD that Rich DeRosa has been working on intermittently for the past two years will finally be released this month. It is called That Music Always Round Me. Garry Dial and Dick Oatts are the composers of the project. They created music set to 15 poems by Walt Whitman. DeRosa was commissioned to create the arrangements for the various choirs that accompany their jazz group. During the first week in July, the WDR big band will record Rich DeRosa's arrangements of 10 compositions by legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter. Carter will also be recording with the band. The CD should be released by the WDR organization later in the year.

Lynn Seaton receives Fulbright

08/06/2014 - 8:36am

Lynn Seaton will spend the fall 2014 semester teaching in Latvia. See the UNT news story.

Hanlon, Kervin earn faculty positions

08/09/2014 - 10:31am

Congratulations to Josh Hanlon, a UNT jazz studies alumnus (M.M. '06) and former adjunct instructor of jazz piano at UNT, who will join the faculty of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music. He will teach music courses and help develop Tarleton's new music business focus. Originally from Canada, now a longtime Denton resident, Josh spent five years as country legend Ray Price's pianist and conductor.

Congratulations to recent UNT jazz studies master's graduate Sarah Kervin, who has been hired as part-time jazz voice faculty at Berklee College of Music.

Photos from the 2014 Jazz Combo Summer Workshop

08/11/2014 - 6:54pm

Our 2014 Jazz Combo Workshop was very well attended. More than 100 students spent the week rehearsing, jamming, and studying jazz theory, improvisation, and history--and hanging out in Maple Hall, eating in Bruce Hall cafeteria, and making friends.

Photos can be found here.

Two Music: It Don't Mean A Thing, If It . . .

08/29/2014 - 3:03pm

Two Music: It Don't Mean A Thing, If It . . . , the new CD by the Two O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Jay Saunders, will be released on Sept. 10, 2014. Pre-orders can be made now in our online store, and will start shipping on the release date.

Lab 2014

08/29/2014 - 3:05pm

Lab 2014, the new CD by the One O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Steve Wiest, will be released on Sept. 17, 2014. Pre-orders can be made now in our online store, and will start shipping on the release date.

Brad Leali wins Creative Impact Award, Grant to fund recording

09/18/2014 - 5:07pm

Professor Brad Leali of the UNT Jazz Studies Faculty has received the Creative Impact Award as part of UNT's internal Research and Creativity Award recognition process. This award is in recognition of his many contributions to the promotion of jazz as a performer, recording artist, and educator. Although he enjoys an ongoing career of jazz performances with some of the top musicians alive and at the most renowned locales around the world, he remains enthusiastic and dedicated to training the next generation of jazz artists. The Creative Impact Award is one of the Office of Research and Economic Development's highest honors.

Professor Leali also won a Scholarly and Creative Activity grant. Both grants will be used to fund a live recording at the Dazzle Jazz Club in Denver, Colorado by the jazz orchestra that he collaborates on with Claus Raible.

Faculty searches now open for One O'Clock Lab Band Director, Jazz Piano, Lecturer

09/19/2014 - 3:20pm

Our faculty searches for the One O'Clock Lab Band Director and Lecturer positions are now open. If you have questions about the searches, contact John Murphy at john.murphy@unt.edu.
One O'Clock Lab Band Director (Assistant/Associate Professor): http://facultyjobs.unt.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=52047
Jazz Piano (Assistant/Associate Professor): http://facultyjobs.unt.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=52079
Lecturer: http://facultyjobs.unt.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=52046

Brad Leali honored at Salute to Faculty Excellence

09/30/2014 - 2:06pm

Brad Leali was honored as the recipient of a Creative Impact Award at the Salute to Faculty Excellence dinner on Sept. 26, 2014 at Apogee Stadium. He played with the student jazz group and played a solo version of "Star Dust."

Drew Zaremba, Brad Leali

Matt Young, Jack Helsley, Drew Zaremba, Gabe Evens. Marion Powers and Sergio Pamies played in another location at the event.

John Murphy, Warren Henry, Brad Leali

Mike Steinel profiled

10/01/2014 - 12:18pm

Mike Steinel is profiled in the Denton Record-Chronicle on the topic of helping in his wife's fight against breast cancer.

Jimin Lee 's new CD

10/17/2014 - 12:39pm

Jimin Lee, vocalist-composer and recent UNT graduate, released a debut album Lasting Fragments. She’s joined on the CD by Addison Frei, piano; Ronan Delisle, guitar; Young Heo, bass; Matt Young, drums; Nick Salvucci, tenor saxophone; and Gabby Byrd, Marion Powers, Jordan Coffing, voice. It’s available at CD Baby and Bandcamp.

Ron Smart donates Fender bass

10/17/2014 - 12:40pm

Ron Smart donated a 1973 Fender Precision bass to our program this week. He bought it in the summer of 1973 at Strait Music Co. in Austin. Thanks to Ron for his generosity and for driving to campus from his home in Granbury, TX to make the donation.

Armando Núñez Portillo directs the IV Festival de Jazz Chihuahua,

10/21/2014 - 11:36am

UNT jazz studies master's alumnus Armando Núñez Portillo is the artistic director of the IV Festival de Jazz Chihuahua, Mexico.
Armando writes, "This year’s edition has UNT representation again. Pianist Roberto Verástegui is performing with his own trio, sax player Gil Del Bosque is performing with the Pete Rodriguez Quintet, and I am too performing with my band."

Open images in a new window to embiggen.


Kenneth Prouty, Aaron West, Paul Engle, and Mark Breckenridge in Jazz Perspectives

10/29/2014 - 2:27pm

Three UNT alumni are involved in the current issue of Jazz Perspectives, a top academic journal in jazz studies. Kenneth Prouty (M.M. in Jazz Studies, 1997) has been named editor-in-chief. In volume 8, issue 1, the first issue produced under Prouty's editorship, Aaron West (M.M. in Jazz Studies, 1997; Ph.D. in Musicology, 2008) has a review of Peter Elsdon's book on Keith Jarrett's The Köln Concert, and Paul Engle (M.S. in Library Science, 1995, with coursework in Jazz Studies) serves as book review editor. Mark Breckenridge (Ph.D. in Musicology, 2012, with coursework in Jazz Studies), published an article in vol. 7, issue 2 based on his dissertation research on Willis Conover. Those with UNT IDs can read it via the library.

Terence Sun to start jazz program in China

10/29/2014 - 4:55pm

Kanging (Terence) Sun, current Jazz Studies master's student, has been hired as the Music Director of the Zhuhai Golden Jazz Cultural Industry Management Co., Ltd. in Zhuhai, China, a company that focuses on jazz education and jazz promotion in South China. His job is to design a jazz program. The company is opening a new program in Zhuhai called the Contemporary Music Institute (CMI), a non-degree school where students can study jazz music. While he is in the U.S., Terence is designing the curriculum, working on policy, scheduling concerts and workshops, and planning. His future job will include designing more jazz-related programs for the Golden Jazz company and teaching applied jazz piano, improvisation and small group performance at CMI.

UNT College of Music acquires collection of Grammy-winning vocalist and vocal arranger Gene Puerling

10/30/2014 - 10:33am

Maristella Feustle, Music Librarian (L), Jennifer Barnes, Director of Vocal Jazz (R). Photo by Ahna Hubnik/URCM. Click to view larger image.

What: The UNT College of Music’s newly acquired Gene Puerling collection will be housed in the Music Library. The collection of music and memorabilia from the Grammy-winning vocal arranger will be available for research by the UNT community and other library guests by special arrangement.
Save the date: At 8 p.m. April 16 and 17, 2015, the UNT Jazz Singers and One O’Clock Lab Band will perform concerts celebrating the music of Gene Puerling in Voertman Hall in the College of Music, 415 Avenue C, Denton. Guest artists for the concerts include Don Shelton, vocalist with The Hi-Los! and The Singers Unlimited. Tickets may be bought after Jan. 26 and will be $10 for adults; $8 for seniors non-UNT students, children, UNT faculty, staff and retirees, and groups of 10 or more; and free for UNT students.
More information: For information related to the collection, visit jazz.unt.edu/genepuerling, which will be updated regularly.

Read more at jazz.unt.edu/genepuerling.

Works by Karns and Zaremba in JEN Student Composition Showcase

11/05/2014 - 5:27pm

Keith Karns, current doctoral student, and Drew Zaremba, current master's student, have had their works selected for the Jazz Education Network Student Composition Showcase, which will happen during the Jazz Education Network annual conference in San Diego in January 2015. Keith's "The House At The End Of High Street" and Drew's "Blues for Gabe" from Lab 2014 will be played by the Alan Baylock Orchestra at the JEN conference.


Chuck Findley is the Fall Concert Guest Artist

11/12/2014 - 1:20pm

Poster designed by Brad Haefner
Chuck Findley is the guest artist for the 54th annual fall concert by the One O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Jay Saunders, on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. in Winspear Hall. Tickets: http://music.unt.edu/mpac/

One O'Clock Lab Band Fall Concert will be streamed

11/24/2014 - 12:27pm

The One O'Clock Lab Band Fall Concert featuring Chuck Findley on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. in Winspear Hall will be livestreamed at:


Michael League Q&A on Dec. 4, 2014

11/26/2014 - 1:30pm

Michael League will hold a Q&A on Thursday, Dec. 4 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Kenton Hall (room 282 in the UNT College of Music building). Admission is free.

Michael League is a Grammy Award-winning bassist, guitarist, composer, arranger, producer, label owner, and bandleader based out of Brooklyn, New York.

As a military brat, he was born in southern California and grew up in both southern Alabama and northern Virginia. Michael attended the University of North Texas' jazz studies program for 4 years, then moved to nearby Dallas for another 3 years, where he worked with some of the most influential figures in modern gospel, R&B, and soul music, and was mentored by legendary keyboardist Bernard Wright (Miles Davis, Chaka Khan).

Performing, recording, and production credits include Grammy Award winners Kirk Franklin, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Sims, Israel Houghton, Marvin Sapp, John Popper, Bobby McFerrin, Gordon Chambers, Lalah Hathaway, Walter Hawkins, and Patti Austin, as well as Musiq Soulchild, Chris Potter, Wayne Krantz, Ari Hoenig, Adam Rogers, Lionel Loueke, Donnie McClurkin, Lucy Woodward, DJ Logic, Myron Butler & Levi, Ivan Neville, and Jason Marsalis among others.

Michael runs the Grammy Award-winning instrumental music ensemble Snarky Puppy, whose grass-roots approach to the changing music industry has met major critical and commercial success. Their albums reached #1 on the ITUNES Jazz and #5 on the Billboard Jazz charts in 2013 and 2014, and their collaboration with Lalah Hathaway on the Family Dinner - Volume One DVD resulted in a Grammy for “Best R&B Performance” in 2014. His efforts as a bandleader and bassist earned him an interview in the Random House release "The New Face of Jazz" alongside the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Sonny Rollins.

Now in Brooklyn, Michael has his hands in dozens of pots. He plays regularly in several New York-based groups and spends the majority of his time producing and arranging for an eclectic blend of artists on both independent and major labels. In early 2012, he launched his own imprint, GroundUP Music, under Ropeadope Records.

Michael is passionately committed to music education and outreach, having given clinics at over 150 schools throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, Pacific, and Europe. He also works closely with several non-profit organizations in the U.S.A. and holds an open-ended artist-in-residence position at Roanoke, Virginia's Jefferson Center for the Arts. He also holds a position as Visiting Faculty at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London, England, and teaches private lessons through The New School in New York City.