Recent DMA graduate Keith Karns will join the faculty of Western Oregon University this fall. He will direct the WO Jazz Orchestra and Latin Jazz Ensemble, coach brass ensembles, and teach applied trumpet lessons. He'll also collaborate on the jazz festival and summer camp. Congratulations, Keith!
UNT Jazz Studies alumni Jordan Burchill and Mikaela Kahn "started a group called Beth // James a couple years back when a big exodus of UNT grads moved to Austin," Jordan reports. "We recently found out that one of our original songs, 'Lion Eyes,' is going to be in Spike Lee’s newest movie called BlacKkKlansman (in theaters everywhere August 10th). Terence Blanchard did the score and the movie also includes music by Prince, James Brown, and Emerson Lake & Palmer. We’re very excited about this news and we wanted to share it with our UNT family!" Congratulations Jordan and Mikaela!
UNT alumna Michelle Alonso, who earned a bachelor's degree in composition and a master's degree in Jazz Studies at UNT, has released her first EP, entitled "The Present." Michelle reports that she is "very proud to say that it was recorded, produced, and engineered by almost 100% UNT alumni (the string players were the only non-alumni)." Congratulations to Michelle and her colleagues!
UNT vocal jazz Principal Lecturer Rosana Eckert has published a book titled "Singing with Expression." It is a collection of exercises and etudes aimed at helping singers develop an original point of view with their songs, react in-the-moment, experiment with interpretation, unlock their vocal potential, and establish deeper connections with their audiences. It is divided into five sections: Timing (phrasing), Tone, Melodic Alterations, Style, and Other Factors. The book comes with over 145 downloadable tracks of Rosana's demonstrations as well as backing tracks in various keys. Styles discussed include Rubato Ballad, Swing, Cha Cha, Salsa, Funk, Odd Meter, R&B, Double time-feel samba, and more! Published by Hal Leonard. Available at amazon.
Alumni Dan Higgins (tenor 1), Alex Hahn (lead alto), and Ramsey Castaneda (tenor 2) recently recorded for Michael Bublé's newest record produced by David Foster.