2016 News archive

U-Tubes win American Trombone Workshop jazz ensemble competition

01/04/2016 - 12:33pm

The U-Tubes, our jazz trombone ensemble, has won the American Trombone Workshop jazz ensemble competition. Master's student Jake Macary is the director, mentored by Prof. Tony Baker. The group will open for the U.S. Army Blues on March 10, 2016 at Fort Myer, VA. The concert will begin at 6 p.m. eastern time and will be livestreamed.

Lab 2015 review at AllAboutJazz

01/05/2016 - 1:10pm

Jack Bowers reviews Lab 2015 at AllAboutJazz.

Three Jazz Studies alumni playing in David Bowie musical

01/15/2016 - 5:06pm

Three UNT Jazz Studies alumni are playing in the band for "Lazarus," the off-Broadway play based on David Bowie's music. Keyboardist Henry Hey and drummer Brian Delaney earned bachelor's of jazz studies degrees in 1992. Guitarist Chris McQueen (member of Snarky Puppy) completed his bachelor's in jazz studies in 2006. All are mentioned in this New Yorker article. Chris told me, "It's actually just about to be over, we end on Wednesday. But there will be a cast recording coming out, and it's always possible it might go to Broadway." Chris will be back on campus on Jan. 29 to do a clinic for the jazz studies guitar and bass club.--John Murphy

Three videos from the 2015 One O'Clock Lab Band Fall concert featuring Dennis Mackrel

01/24/2016 - 11:11am

Alumnus Dave Love produced Grammy-nominated recording

01/26/2016 - 2:09pm

UNT jazz studies alumnus and recording industry veteran Dave Love (’85) was the executive producer of Wouter Kellerman’s Love Language, nominated in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category in this year's Grammy awards. The album is on the Listen 2 Entertainment Group label, founded by Love to help many of the artists he has produced over the years continue to bring music to their fans. Recordings that Love has produced or executive produced since 2004 have earned 12 Grammy awards and more than 20 other Grammy nominations.

Snarky Puppy profiled in the New York Times

02/07/2016 - 11:28am

Snarky Puppy is profiled in this article by Nate Chinen in the Feb. 7, 2016 New York Times, one of the most important newspapers in the U.S. We're always glad to see our alumni get much-deserved attention. This part of the article needs a clarification:

Mr. League formed Snarky Puppy after his freshman year at the University of North Texas (in Denton), which has one of the oldest jazz programs in the country.

If there are 30 people in a room and the oldest are aged 68, 69, and 70, it's technically correct to say that each of the three is "one of the oldest." It's more correct, if you're referring specifically to the 70-year old, to say that the 70-year old is the oldest. Our program began in the 1946-47 academic year. It's well documented that it's the first and therefore the oldest jazz degree program in the U.S. There were jazz-related activities at other colleges before 1946. Ours was the first degree program.

When contacted about it via Twitter, Nate Chinen replied:

@northtexasjazz Oh, I know. That hedge was inserted at the insistence of a copyeditor. What's a guy to do?

— Nate Chinen (@natechinen) February 7, 2016

Danilo Pérez is the 2016 Gomez artist

02/15/2016 - 5:14pm

Pianist, composer, and educator Danilo Pérez is the 2016 artist in residence for The Glenn E. Gomez International Artists Endowment for Jazz Studies. He will work with students in the Division of Jazz Studies from February 29 through March 3. On the evening of March 3, he will perform with the One O'Clock Lab Band and with his Panama 500 project at Winspear Hall at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

Rich and Neil talk about "Neil"

02/15/2016 - 8:14pm

In this story by the Dallas CBS affiliate Rich DeRosa and Neil Slater talk about Rich's Grammy-nominated composition "Neil."

Kevin Brunkhorst's new CD, Otherwise

03/18/2016 - 9:26am

Alumnus Kevin Brunkhorst has released his new CD, Otherwise, which he recorded in Denton with John Murphy, tenor saxophone, Fred Hamilton, bass, and Ed Soph, drums. All of the tracks are original compositions by Kevin Brunkhorst. You can listen to excerpts at www.cdbaby.com/cd/kevinbrunkhorst2.

David Baker

03/27/2016 - 8:25am

With the rest of the jazz education community, we mourn the loss of David Baker, a pioneer in the field and a close friend of UNT professor emeritus Dan Haerle, who wrote on Facebook, "He has been a deep part of my musical life and an inspiration to me for many years."
Announcement from Indiana University
Indiana University blog about David Baker

Tom "Bones" Malone receives governor's award

04/02/2016 - 10:43am

Congratulations to alumnus Tom "Bones" Malone, who received the Mississippi Arts Commission Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement on February 11, 2016 in Jackson, MS.

Five students recognized at Honors Day 2016

04/02/2016 - 10:49am

Click for larger image

Five Jazz Studies majors were recognized at Honors Day on April 1, 2016 at Winspear Hall. L to R: Amanda Ekery, Robert Cox Memorial Award from the Honors College; Brendon Wilkins, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Woodwinds; Eric Pers, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Percussion; Aaron Holthus, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Jazz Studies. Not pictured is Brian Horton, Outstanding Graduate Student in Jazz Studies, who attended the ceremony but had to return right away to rehearsal for his doctoral recital on Monday, April 4 at 8 p.m. in Voertman Hall.

Help send the One O’Clock to Australia with a gift by April 30th!

04/04/2016 - 3:25pm

Dear Friends of the One O’Clock Lab Band,

Greetings from the UNT College of Music and the Division of Jazz Studies! As you may have heard, our One O'Clock Lab Band has been invited to tour Australia in May 2016. This is the professional development opportunity of a lifetime, as our musicians will assist in leading concerts and clinics at the James Morrison Academy, perform for thousands of jazz students from all across Australia as featured headliner at the Generations in Jazz Festival, and collaborate with numerous jazz professionals and jazz orchestras from Australia and around the world.

We last toured Australia in 1986 under the direction of Neil Slater. It was an experience that helped to launch careers for our alumni, including: former One O’Clock Lab Band director Steve Wiest; Dave Pietro, a jazz saxophonist who recorded with the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra; Mike Williams, Count Basie Orchestra's lead trumpet since 1987; and Tony Scherr, a bassist who has recorded with Bill Frisell.

We are receiving support from our Australian partners, and have raised more than 50% of the remaining costs. Our goal is to raise $70,000 in the month of April to fund our travel costs, which will be matched by the UNT College of Music. We need your help to meet this goal! All contributions will allow for our students to receive an otherwise impossible experience that may help establish their careers. I'd like to introduce you to some of our students who would benefit from the life changing opportunity your gift provides:




Garrett Wingfield
MM Jazz Composition
Bari Sax
"I'm looking forward to collaborating with Australian musicians and getting to know people who are equally as invested in jazz…I'm excited to understand the logistics of the tour...and to have my compositions/arrangements performed by the band!"
John Sturino
BM Jazz Studies ’16
"We'll be sharing our love of jazz with a plethora of students and artists alike …and hopefully opening doors to future engagements …touring a continent with a big band seems like a rarity in this day and age...it won’t be taken for granted."
Nicholas Olynciw
BM jazz Studies ‘16
This trip is perfectly tailored to my career goals. It will give me the opportunity to teach young, aspiring jazz musicians, perform throughout the country with my peers, and make new connections with prolific musicians and educators.


Your gift makes a momentous difference in the professional lives of Garrett, John, Nicholas, and all the One O’Clock musicians. Please consider making a gift by April 30, 2016 to aid in the professional development and cultural experience of our students. No donation is too small, and any household budget can make a donation! Simply click here to donate, or mail a check made out to UNT Foundation with Music Australia Tour in the memo line to:

University of North Texas
College of Music – Development
1155 Union Circle #311367
Denton, TX 76205

Thank you in advance for your generosity. We are constantly grateful for the passion our alumni show for the continued growth of our students. If you have any questions about our One O’Clock Australia Tour campaign, contact Erin Smith at (940) 565-2243 or Erin.Smith@unt.edu.


John Murphy
Chair of the Division of Jazz Studies

The Airmen of Note perform at UNT on April 21, 2016

04/13/2016 - 1:40pm

The Airmen of Note is the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The U.S. Air Force Band. Through the years, the Airmen of Note has presented its own brand of big band jazz as well as more contemporary forms of jazz to audiences via annual tours across the United States, deployments around the world and local performances throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C. About the Airmen of Note

Come to the UNT Union Syndicate on April 21 to see the Airmen of Note (and six UNT alumni who are members of the group) perform for FREE!

Name of Event: The Airmen of Note
Date/time: April 21 at 9:00 pm
Cost of Admission: FREE
Venue Information: UNT Union Syndicate

Parking is available to the public at the Highland Street Garage and the Union Circle Garage. In lot 39, a P lot east of Welch St. between Highland and W. Prairie Sts., parking is allowed with any valid UNT permit between 5 and 9:59 p.m., and no permit is required after 10 p.m.

New composition for orchestra by Rich DeRosa

04/13/2016 - 2:15pm

Join the Concert Orchestra and conductor Clay Couturiaux on April 20 at 8:00pm for the highly-anticipated performance of Grammy-nominated faculty member Richard DeRosa’s newly composed work, Suite for an Anniversary.

This composition commemorates the 125th anniversary of the University of North Texas and showcases some of the extraordinary talent within the College of Music in both the classical and jazz programs. The instrumentation includes a full orchestra (mixed with classical and jazz performers), an additional jazz rhythm section, and an improvising saxophonist. Since UNT’s development is firmly rooted in the ‘old’ American West, Richard DeRosa’s composition includes a section with a bold and rugged energy which creates a thrilling, modernized Western Swing style reminiscent of the American frontier. Come be one of the first to hear this exciting new composition performed by the Concert Orchestra combined with UNT jazz musicians.

Full press release

Cost of Admission: $10 Adults; $8 Senior Citizens 55+, Non-UNT Students, Children, UNT Faculty/Staff/Retirees and Groups of 10+; Free to UNT Students (limit 1, UNT Student ID required, must be picked up in person at the MPAC Box Office).
Tickets: thempac.music.unt.edu/
The concert will be streamed live: https://recording.music.unt.edu/live/8085

2016 DownBeat Student Music Awards

04/26/2016 - 9:57am

Congratulations to UNT students, ensembles, and faculty mentors for their recognition in the 2016 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards! Prof. Jennifer Barnes is recognized by DownBeat this year with an Education Achievement Award.


Alumni news from Alex Hahn

05/17/2016 - 9:49am

Alex Hahn, who completed his bachelor's in Jazz Studies at UNT in 2014, recently graduated with a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from USC. In the fall, he will be attending the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and will be working alongside Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. He won two Downbeat Magazine Student Awards and received First Place in the North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Saxophone Competition. He's endorsed by D'Addario Woodwinds and plans to record his next album this summer.

Thomas Nokes

06/21/2016 - 11:23am

We mourn the passing of Thomas Nokes, a master's student in trombone performance who played trombone in lab bands in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

His obituary was published in his hometown newspaper in Bangor, Maine on May 20:

DEXTER AND DENTON, TX – Thomas Nokes, 26, died unexpectedly May 15, 2016 in Denton, Texas. He was born on April 30, 1990 in Dover-Foxcroft, and spent his youth in Dexter, where he graduated from Dexter Regional High School as his class’s salutatorian.

Musically talented from a young age (and gifted with perfect pitch), he began studying the trombone at the age of ten. He subsequently completed bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance and Education at the University of Maine, where he studied the trombone and held leadership roles in the university symphonic band, jazz ensemble and orchestra. In addition to his exemplary musicianship, Thomas was an accomplished student, graduating summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Lambda. After completing his undergraduate education, he enrolled in the graduate performance program at the University of North Texas, where he participated in the wind studies and jazz lab band programs, minoring in music theory.

He received his Master’s Degree in May 2016. Friends and family will remember him for his intelligence, wit, kindness, humor, and intense devotion to music.

He is survived by his parents, Ted and Eileen; his brother, Michael; his grandmother, Margaret Radke; several aunts, uncles (especially Dr. Frederick Radke), and cousins; close family friends, Lynn and Harry Anderson; and countless friends/colleagues in the Maine and Texas musical communities.