Music News

By Missy Bowen on 8/25/2014 3:44 PM
It's showtime! Jazz Studies alumnus Jamal Batiste portrays drummer John "Jabo"  Starks in the wide-release film "Get On Up," the story of James Brown.  Normally busy with his bands The Honorable South and Unorthodox Drummer, Jamal took time out to attend open auditions a few months back - and ended up being cast in the movie as one of funk's most notable groove masters.  Jabo Starks is credited with many of the Godfather of Soul's signature - and often sampled - beats.   The movie opened in early August.

To read more, check out these articles in Offbeat and

By Missy Bowen on 8/8/2014 10:27 AM
The UNO Department of Music has received a $10,000 grant from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation to support the department’s JazzEd Jazz Educational Outreach Program. 

The 11-year-old program’s mission is to improve musical performance skills and understanding of jazz by providing additional instruction in the Orleans Parish public schools.  UNO JazzEd teachers have worked in several area schools, most recently McDonough 35 and Warren Easton, directing jazz ensembles and teaching theory and jazz history basics. Teachers include current and recent UNO students, including clarinetist Gregory Agid and saxophonist Calvin Johnson, Jr.  

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, based in New York, was a pioneer supporter of the program.  The program is also supported by Jazz at Lincoln Center through that organization’s Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Fund, which benefits musicians and music industry-related enterprises....
By Missy Bowen on 8/8/2014 10:27 AM
MM student Shawn Myers has been named the 2014-15 ASCAP Louis Armstrong Scholar.  The $3,000 award is made to a graduate student in Jazz Studies who demonstrates excellence in composition.  A California native, Shawn attended Interlochen Arts Academy and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and chose UNO for his graduate studies in jazz.  He focuses on original works, and took first place in UNO’s 2014 Ernest and Shirley Svensen Jazz Composition Competition. 

In December, Shawn will be honored at the ASCAP Foundation’s annual award ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The scholarship is supported by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc.

Find out more about ASCAP awards and scholarships here.

By Missy Bowen on 8/8/2014 10:24 AM
UNO's Summer Big Band, under the direction of Dr. David Phy, will showcase their talents August 22 at 8 pm at the Little Gem Saloon, 445 S. Rampart (at Poydras).  The event is free to UNO students. We are celebrating the start of the new academic year; see you there! 
By Missy Bowen on 8/8/2014 10:23 AM
Jonathan Batiste will be featured on the Colbert show on Tues 7/29 and I believe Jamison Ross and Barry Stephenson (recent UNO Jazz Program grads) will be playing with him.

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