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UCLA

Jazz Legends Join Faculty

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By Shilo Munk

Published Jan 15, 2013 12:57 PM


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Herbie Hancock masterclass with Monk Fellow. Photo by: Chip Latshaw, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is enhancing its leadership in jazz education with the addition of two renowned faculty members who are multiple Grammy Award winners, as well as National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters.

Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter have been appointed UCLA professors as part of the school’s Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. This marks the first time the two artists have made such a major commitment to an educational institute.

"When we established the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in 2007, one of our goals was to build on the stellar faculty and students in place and strengthen jazz as an essential, core component of the school's program," says Herb Alpert, principal donor to the School. "The addition of the preeminent Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance program brings a great richness of resources and talents to the mix, giving students even more opportunities to work with the world's great jazz artists."

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Wayne Shorter (left), Herbie Hancock (right) with TMIJP. Photo by: Chip Latshaw, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA is a two-year graduate-level program that accepts one ensemble of musicians for each class; the current class includes seven students. Known as Thelonious Monk Fellows, they will study with Hancock and Shorter throughout the academic year. The two professors will share their musical philosophies and the knowledge gained from their years of playing with the architects of jazz, including Miles Davis and Art Blakey. Hancock and Shorter also will lead master classes open to all UCLA students.

"Wayne and I look forward to working with and guiding the new class of Monk fellows over the next two years," says Hancock. "These exceptionally gifted young artists are destined to become some of the most influential jazz musicians of their generation, and we look forward to helping them forge successful careers in jazz performance. The mentoring experience will be profound for us as well. The inspiration in the classroom that develops from the master–apprentice relationship enhances our personal creativity on the bandstand and in the recording studio."

All of the Monk fellows receive full scholarships, as well as stipends to cover their monthly living expenses. The students study individually and as a small group, receiving personal mentoring, ensemble coaching and lectures on the jazz tradition. The current class will be the first to graduate with a master's degree in jazz performance from UCLA.

This April, the fellows will accompany Hancock and Shorter to Istanbul to participate in a global, televised performance marking International Jazz Day.

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