Lee Caplan

  • Graduate Student, Jazz Studies

I work in two capacities: doctoral student (specifically–jazz studies) and teaching fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. I compose music within a range of styles: Latin, gypsy, bebop, and many more. Typically, in musical settings I perform on the double bass; however, I am proficient on different instruments: piano, guitar, and drums (additionally, I have had some training in classical singing).

During my years as a graduate student at Rutgers University (2015-2017) my thesis, “Jazz Education in Israel” focused on three key figures: Zvi Keren, Arnie Lawrence, and Mel Keller.  The thesis explores university programs (specializing in jazz) that share ties with both the United States and Israel; necessary to this work was answering the question–how did jazz become a cultural import and export within Israel? Other chapters cover detailed musical analysis of Israeli multi-instrumentalist Anat Cohen, as well as interviews with bassist Tal Ronen, Dr. Arnon Palty, Dr. Alona Sagee, and author Keren Yair Dagan. Graduate responsibilities at Rutgers also included teaching several courses such as Introduction to music, and jazz history.

My creative output includes four albums (compositions on the album, Marathon Sessions consist entirely of original compositions), and a humor book, Wise Words and Other Exaggerations (an irreverent book of one-liners inspired by comedian, Demetri Martin).