Jazz at Juilliard turns 10

9 12 2010

Carl Allen

I spent a day hanging out with Carl Allen and his students at Juilliard’s Jazz Studies program back in October for a story in Downbeat’s Jazz on Campus section, and man, are those kids dedicated. The story was just a happy-go-lucky tenth anniversary item, but I came home inspired — and not just by the amount of work necessary for them to undertake a venture as daunting as studying to become a career jazz musician, although that was part of it. The attitudes I saw students bring to rehearsal with them were bright, excited, open-minded, and those things translated to a pretty amazing performance when I saw them a few days later (under the guest direction of the awesome) John Clayton.

The whole experience reminded me that all of us — artists, students, writers, fans — are doing what we do for one beautiful, intangible thing: “to keep this music going,” if I may recycle the words of Juilliard prof., Kenny Washington. Anyway, their program has only been around for ten years, surprisingly. Check out this piece from the January issue of of Downbeat, to find out why that is and what Jazz at Juilliard is all about.

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