Jazz Studies

Hammond Wins Emerging Leadership Award

The Department of Music is very pleased to announce that Frank Hammond, our intrepid Jazz Studies Program Assistant, has won the Orosz Award for Excellence in Emerging Leadership. The Orosz Award recognizes Dietrich School and College of General Studies staff members in the early stages of their careers who have exhibited excellence in their performance and displayed leadership qualities among their peers.

Helbig and Heller Named ACLS Fellows

Faculty members Adriana Helbig (Ethnomusicology) and Michael Heller (Jazz Studies) are among 78 recipients selected nationally as 2018 American Council of Learned Society Fellows. Peer reviewers selected the fellows from a pool of nearly 1,150 applicants. Awards range from $40,000 to $70,000, depending on the scholar’s career stage, and support scholars for six to twelve months of full-time research and writing.

In Memoriam: Nathan Davis

Dr. Nathan Davis, founder and director of the Jazz Studies Program and a Pitt faculty member from 1969 to 2013, passed away April 9, 2018, in Palm Beach, Florida, at age 81.  In 2017, he was named to the International Academy Jazz Hall of Fame, which he created to honor the great musicians with whom he had performed and many of whom he brought to campus in the Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert.

Ben Barson Wins ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award

PhD candidate Ben Barson is one of 15 recipients of the 2018 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) has made the awards since 2002 to encourage jazz composers under the age of 30. Barson received an award for his composition Insurrealista which he describes as an,

“…homage to the revolutionary surrealism of the father of Negritude, Aime Cesaire. In terms of influences, the piece employs a 20-string koto, within a jazz-hip hop rhythmic section.”