Major: Saxophone Performance (Eastman School of Music)
Current Job Title: Director of Jazz Performance at Amherst College
Advice and Insights:
I thank both Alex Rodriguez and Liza Katz for the chance to share with our community the happenings within the current jazz scene at Amherst College.
As Alex mentions, I have been fortunate to be affiliated with Amherst College since 1996, and in a more full-time role since 2000. That's many many jazz musicians that I have known and would love to be in touch with to hear about your successes-both in the musical realm and in your life path (if music is not part of your day to day scene).
We have a webite that will be linked to this page such that you can check out our current membership and learn when we have concerts and other gigs.
Our current scene features our jazz ensemble, 6 jazz combos plus the usual contingent of academic offerings. We are happy to know that we have the services of Visiting Professor Jason Robinson who has augmented our jazz and pop offerings while pursuing a broader look at the art and practice of improvisation. The position he occupies will become a tenure-track faculty position (and a search is underway to fill this position). We are happy to know that the academic side of our jazz scene will be in solid hands from now on.
We make an effort to involve our alumni in our concerts. We have, in the recent past, used Darryl Harper '91, Jason Blynn '04, Freddie Bryant '87 and Daniel McGeeney '08 as performers and clinicians. We even had an entire group, the Blue Nomads, return and perform. David Lahm '63 presented a workshop on reharmonization that conculded with a fascinating version of "Moon Dance". We have yearly contact with Robin McBride '59 as part of our Spring performance. I love this engagement with you, our alums, and urge you to be in touch with your ideas on how to make more connections like this possible.
Please let us know how we can further assist you in your efforts, and I truly relish the chance to be in contact with all of you.
Director of Jazz Performance