Dean Robert Blocker Announces YSM Jazz Initiative

blockerI am pleased to announce that an anonymous gift will enable the School of Music to continue and expand its legacy of jazz studies at Yale. This initiative will also strengthen our collaborative efforts with the Yale College Dean’s Office and the Department of Music, as well as the New Haven community.

Professor Thomas C. Duffy has accepted the responsibility of administrative oversight for this initiative. As we announced in April, the Yale Jazz Ensemble, which had to be suspended two years ago due to a lack of qualified players and adequate rehearsal space, will be reconstituted this fall under Tom’s direction. The School of Music has provided modest support for the Yale Jazz Ensemble through the years, though it had until now been an extracurricular undergraduate organization. Going forward, the group will be open to all Yale students. Tom will announce auditions in the near future.

Other aspects of this initiative include an improvisation course that will be taught by Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist Wayne Escoffery. Undergraduate jazz combos will be auditioned and coached by professional jazz artists, including Mr. Escoffery. We are currently in conversations with some of these individuals and will announce their names when appointments are finalized. Additionally, distinguished saxophonist Carrie Koffman will teach private lessons in saxophone. These new colleagues will help us build on the School’s rich history of jazz education, which began nearly fifty years ago. MORE

Published July 29, 2016
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Frank Tirro speaks on his latest book in Albuquerque

With Trumpet and BibleFormer Yale School of Music Dean and Professor Emeritus, Frank Tirro, will give a talk on his most recently published book With Trumpet and Bible: The Illustrated Life of James Hembray Wilson (Pendragon Press, 2015) on Sunday, June 5. This event, hosted by Bookworks — a locally owned, independent bookstore in Albuquerque, NM — will include a book signing.

More About the Work

What was life like for an African American raised in the South in the 1880s? Were there paths to education and success for Black Americans facing the terrible prejudicial environment in the states that lost the War Between the States? And issues concerning the status of Black women surface, too. What kind of life and what possible hope might they have during the years before World War I to the years after the Second World War? Exploring these questions and illustrating one Black man’s life are but some of the many threads that Frank Tirro weaves into the fabric of his fascinating biography, With Trumpet and Bible.

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Published June 3, 2016
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