Mayor, City of Denton
Greetings and welcome back to Denton!
On behalf of the City, it’s my pleasure to welcome you.
It may have changed since you last visited.
When the Jazz Studies degree began at North Texas State Teachers College, 21,000 people called Denton home. That number now approaches 140,000. Denton County’s population of about 906,000 is included in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex – the fourth largest metropolitan area with a population approaching 8
million residents. The numbers themselves are not important except that they indicate vibrant communities where people want to live, work, study and where opportunities abound for musicians to perform and where music lovers can include themselves in the audience.
What has not changed about Denton is that everywhere you look, you see markers of the influence of music from the University of North Texas College of Music. Nearly every day Dentonites witness alumni, students, faculty and staff of UNT Jazz performing in a club or festival or on a campus stage.
Denton ranked 1st in the nation
as a best college town for music majors by MusicSchoolCentral. com.
From its beginnings on the Denton Square 131 years ago to another year of record attendance of more than 44,500, music from the University of North Texas continues to be a pillar of our community showcasing young (and not so young) musicians across the City and world.
We are often ranked highly where quality of life is indicated, and proudly so - but - it’s the people that make it a great place.
Please come back often. Everyone is welcome.Sincerely,
Mayor, City of Denton
NEAL J. SMATRESK President, University of North Texas
It is my sincere honor to welcome you back to campus for the University of North Texas College of Music Jazz Studies 75th Anniversary reunion.
Our commitment to College of Music facilities over the previous five years continues with renovation to Lab West in the amount of $2.5 million beginning Summer 2023 and renovation and expansion of the Möller pipe organ in the Main Auditorium. Additional improvements are on the horizon for music facilities as we continually work to provide a remarkable experience for every student by providing state of the art programs and educational spaces.
The College of Music and the Jazz Studies program at UNT elevate the University’s global reputation. While the University leadership values rankings, they are merely external recognitions of what we already know – that our many successes and reputation directly correlate to generations of tireless work of alumni, students, faculty and staff.
The University continues to defy national trends as our Denton campus set yet another enrollment record for Fall 2022 at 44,532. An increase of 5.6%.
It is thrilling that UNT continues to be the university of choice for more students than ever before, and UNT remains
one of the top producers in awarding degrees in the North Texas region, which speaks to our desire to truly help our students be successful. No other university in the region does more than UNT to drive Texas’ progress.
Be sure to walk our beautiful campus to see new buildings and public spaces and venture off campus to familiar spots you frequented “back in the day.”
Please know we value your contributions past and present in building the extraordinary legacy that is Jazz at UNT.
Enjoy your visit and return soon.
GO MEAN GREEN! Sincerely,
Neal J. Smatresk President, University of North Texas
JOHN W. RICHMOND Professor and Dean, UNT College of Music
Dear friends and Colleagues,
I am so delighted to join the chorus of congratulations to our Division of Jazz Studies as we conclude a year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Jazz Studies at UNT. What a legacymaking history our colleagues and their predecessors have produced, from international tours to award-winning recordings to broadcasts around the world to publications in the most prestigious venues and on an on! Jazz Studies at UNT has become a signature program not only of this College of Music but of the entire University of North
Texas, as well. The evocation of our university’s name routinely prompts a recognition of music generally and Jazz especially all around the world. This is an anniversary deserving of a yearlong celebration and more!
The UNT leadership certainly has chosen to lead by example in this regard, committing some $2.5 million in the renovation of our “Lab West” facility. Plans are nearing completion of that renovation now, and you will see artists’ conceptions of what a huge impact this renovation will be when completed in August 2023. This seems like another great reason to return to campus next year (and every year) to see and hear what a huge
improvement that renovation will bring about and discover what’s new in Jazz at UNT!
This also is a time to remember that we have a sobering obligation to honor our storied history by promising an ever more accomplished future for Jazz at UNT. Rest assured that we are mindful of that obligation and leaning into it with our mission-driven focus on diversity, excellence, integrity, and imagination. Not surprisingly, we will need your help to reach our full potential, and we know we can count on you as we always have.
Thank you for being a part of this joyous celebration.
John Richmond Professor & Dean of the UNT College of Music
University of North Texas College of Music
ROBERT PARTON Chair, Division of Jazz Studies
Welcome to Denton and the 75th Anniversary Celebration of North Texas Jazz. This weekend is the culmination of a year of celebrating what the College of Music alums helped build. Our students reap the benefits of the College of Music’s more than 15,000 alums as we work to provide extraordinary experiences for our students.
The Institution and its parts have walked through extraordinary times in its 131 years. For a significant time (75 years), North Texas Jazz has been a major player within the University and, of course, the College of Music. Therefore, I urge you to sit back and enjoy reading about the University of North Texas Jazz history.
We have much to be proud of, and while we recognize
the well-documented lists of awards, recognitions, and honors received by students, ensembles, and faculty, we are also mindful of those who have not felt welcome over time.
The University is now a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and is now a minoritymajority campus. The College of Music is working to reflect that diversity. We aren’t there yet, but we are continuing to improve with intentional listening and actions. Our Jazz and Gender Equity Initiative and the Dean’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are two ways we are working towards these goals in the College. We hope that future generations of music students will see rich diversity reflected in all the halls
Robert Parton Chair, Division of Jazz Studies
of the nine buildings we occupy.
Through thirteen decades of support by Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute; North Texas State Teachers College; North Texas State College; North Texas State University, and the current moniker, the College of Music at the University of North Texas is the largest public-university music program in the United States and one of the most globally respected. North Texas Jazz is a proud component of that statement.
I hope you will keep us updated about your activity through submit.music.unt.edu.
It’s an honor and a privilege to serve with many colleagues who continually work to build upon the rich jazz legacy left by so many for more than seven decades.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE Anniversary Reunion
OCTOBER 20–22, 2022
Music Library Jazz 75th Anniversary Exhibit
Willis Library 4th Floor #430A
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
1506 W Highland St., Denton
UNT Jazz Alumni Welcome Reception
Spec’s Charitable Foundation Courtyard | Music Building
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
UNT College of Music, 415 S. Ave. C, Denton
UNT Jazz Alumni Jam Session
Steve’s Wine Bar
9:00 PM – Midnight www.steveswinebar.com, 111 Industrial St., Denton
Music Library Jazz 75th Anniversary Exhibit
Willis Library 4th Floor #430A
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
1506 W Highland St., Denton
Lab West Rehearsals
Room 282 | Music Building
1:00 PM – 1980s Alumni Lab Band
2:00 PM – 1990s Alumni Lab Band
3:00 PM – 2000s Alumni Lab Band
4:00 PM – 2010s Alumni Lab Band
Winspear Performance Hall Rehearsals
Murchison Performing Arts Center
1:30 PM – UNT Jazz Singers
2:30 PM – UNT Vocal Jazz Alumni Ensemble
3:15 PM – UNT Vocal Jazz Alumni Small Groups
Murchison Performing Arts Center
Winspear Performance Hall
6:00 PM – doors open
7:00 PM – Concert – UNT Jazz Singers, UNT Vocal Jazz Alumni
Small Groups and Large Ensemble, 2010s, 2000s, 1990s & 1980s
Alumni Lab Bands
UNT Jazz Alumni Reception and Jam Session
Steve’s Wine Bar
10:00 PM – Midnight www.steveswinebar.com, 111 Industrial St., Denton
UNT Jazz Alumni Brunch
Banquet Room, UNT Gateway Center
10:00 AM – Noon
801 North Texas Blvd., Denton
Lab West, Room 282 | Music Building
1:30 PM – Zebras
2:15 PM – Jazz Gender Equity Initiative
2:30 PM – Composer/Arranger Forum
3:30 PM – Latin Jazz Lab
Spec’s Charitable Foundation Courtyard | Music Building
1:00 PM – Jazz Strings Lab
1:45 PM – Songwriters’ Showcase
2:45 PM – U-Tubes
3:30 PM – L-5 Guitar Ensemble
Winspear Performance Hall Rehearsals
Murchison Performing Arts Center
1:00 PM – One O’Clock Lab Band® w/Lab ‘75 alumni
2:15 PM – Check A/V for videos
3:00 PM – 1960s - 1970s Alumni Lab Band
Murchison Performing Arts Center
Winspear Performance Hall
6:00 PM – doors open
7:00 PM – Concert – North Texas Jazz @75 Years, 1960s–1970s
Alumni Lab Band, Lyle Mays Celebration, One O’Clock Lab Band ® ,
UNT Jazz Alumni Group Photo
UNT Jazz Alumni Reception and Jam Session
Steve’s Wine Bar
10:00 PM – Midnight www.steveswinebar.com, 111 Industrial St., Denton
North Texas State College Laboratory Dance Band, comprised of 18 musicians, performs on the Main Auditorium stage in 1948 as Gene Hall conducts.Photos courtesy UNT Libraries Special Collections
W ritten by John MurphyA ddition A l rese A rch & W riting by Maristella Feustle of Jazz SETTING THE STAGE e dited by Kimberly Hannon Teal
Music instruction has been a part of course offerings at North Texas since the institution was founded in 1890, with a “Conservatory Music Course” offered in Joshua Chilton’s first bulletin. Several overlapping factors encouraged the growth of the program, including Denton’s geographical proximity to Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as the rapid development of mass media in popular culture during North Texas’s early decades: The new “normal” college in Denton had the fortune of growing up alongside the advent of the phonograph record, Edison cylinder, piano rolls, a thriving sheet music industry and, in the 1920s, the birth of radio. Accordingly, music studies at North Texas arose in an environment characterized by an ample supply and eager demand for music, including popular music and jazz. At the same time, the growth of campus culture in the early 1900s set certain expectations of social life at a university with demand for events such as concerts and dances. At North Texas, the Saturday Night Stage Show debuted in 1927 and became a local institution for decades.
F loyd Freeman Graham (1902 - 1974) was the founder of the Saturday Night Stage Show. Born in nearby Roanoke, Texas, Graham’s family moved to Denton so that he and his brother, Wynne, could attend school. Floyd Graham graduated from Denton High School in 1919; in the 1920s he taught violin, appeared in ensembles on Dallas and Fort Worth radio, and briefly served as band director at Denton High. He joined the faculty of North Texas in 1927 to teach band and orchestra, having earned a teachers certificate from Chicago Musical College. He continued his education with a bachelor of music in violin from CMC in 1931 and a master of music degree from the American Conservatory of Music in 1936. While in Chicago, Graham studied with Leo Sowerby, and he studied at Juilliard in the summer of 1939 with Ferde Grofé and Fritz Mahler.
The combination of Floyd Graham’s entrepreneurial spirit and musical achievements lent important context to the Saturday Night Stage Show as an incubator of local talent. Over the years, the show helped launch the careers of Joan Blondell, Louise Tobin, Ann Sheridan, the Moon Maids, and Pat Boone. The show’s Aces of Collegeland stage band became the forerunner of the present-day Jazz Studies program. It created a community of performers with common interests, and the existence of that community helped generate demand for expertise in jazz performance and arranging. The stage show provided a venue for live performance and also provided performance and income opportunities during the Great Depression.
Even before the formal Jazz Studies program was initiated, North Texas boasted a formidable assembly of future jazz stars, including Herb Ellis, Jimmy Giuffre, Harry Babasin, and Gene Roland, all of whom either graduated or moved on around 1942. Many of them lived together in a house that still stands at 204 Normal Street. Two women’s vocal ensembles, the Moon Maids (first known as the Swingtet, later joining Vaughn Monroe’s band), and the Sunnysiders (first known as the Blue Notes, later joining Sonny Dunham’s band), were also examples of early excellence, featuring precise, close-harmony arrangements.
GENE HALL AND THE EARLY DAYS OF THE JAZZ PROGRAM
The opportunities to play and earn money at North Texas attracted Gene Hall from Whitewright, Texas, as he was scrambling in “panic bands” around 1934. He and some other musicians had hoped to get into the fraternity circuit for gigs. But Hall had trouble even scraping together the $32 tuition and wound up touring with a band that got stranded in Spain before eventually returning to Texas. Hall later stated in an oral history that the demand for formal training in arranging that arose out of the stage shows was a prime motivator for curricular expansion, though one collection donor has insisted to the Music Library that the
‘Fessor Graham & the Aces perform at the Saturday Night Stage Show in 1937. Professor Floyd Graham can be seen standing to the left of the stage conducting his band.
urgency for increased enrollment during the Depression also made administrators more amenable to the idea of recruiting students interested in jazz. However, Hall himself recalled being assigned to patrol the practice room area to ensure no one was playing jazz or popular music. In spite of the apparent hostility to jazz, however, Hall said that School of Music Dean Wilfred Conwell Bain essentially selected his thesis topic for him: writing a method for teaching jazz on the college level. Hall finished his thesis in 1944 as the jazz community at North Texas continued to thrive.
Bain’s successor as dean of the School of Music, Walter Hodgson, offered Hall a job at North Texas leading the stillincipient Jazz Studies program. Through careful diplomacy, Hall obtained approval from the curriculum committee for a “dance band” program because, in his words, “jazz was such a negative term in those days.” The ensemble’s name, “Laboratory Dance Band,” is the origin of the famous “Lab Bands” we know today.
While many sources continue to cite 1947 as the year our program began, it started slightly earlier in the fall of 1946 before Hall began his full-time role. The fall 1946 academic catalog lists Dance Band as a major. Alumnus William Thomson, who played trumpet in the early bands and went on to a distinguished academic career that included serving as Dean of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California described that first fall semester in an email to Dr. John Murphy in 2010 in an effort to correct the historical record. Thomson explained that he turned down an opportunity to join the Jimmy Dorsey band in order to study in the brand-new program and played in the Dance Band under the direction of composition graduate student Charles Meeks. At the time, work commitments in Fort Worth kept Gene Hall away from Denton except on weekends, but Hall would take the helm in 1947. A photo from the North Texas yearbook from 1947 shows Meeks in front of the band and Thomson in the trumpet section.
Thomson’s clarification, combined with documentation from the University Archives, have led to the revision of Jazz Studies founding date despite prior anniversary celebrations as recent as 1997 that asserted the 1947 start date.
LEFT: Under Gene Hall’s leadership, the “dance band” program weathered criticism and resistance both on campus and elsewhere. The band played frequently in the area, including on local television, and some members on the nationally-televised Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.
As the new program picked up steam, Hall arranged media appearances to raise its national profile. The end of World War II and the educational benefits of the GI Bill encouraged enrollment. Hall entered the Lab Band in the Teenage DownBeat competition, and in 1957 he took the 5-Front Group, a scaled-down big band, to appear on the “Tonight Show with Steve Allen”. That same year he appeared on “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” on NBC with a student Dixieland group, and he appeared with various band members on the Dallas television station WFAA. Hall organized a Festival of High School Stage Bands towards the end of his tenure. The clinicians in 1958 were Marshall Brown, a band director from Long Island; Chuck Suber, publisher of DownBeat magazine; and jazz educator Ted Crager.
LEON BREEDEN, THE PROGRAM’S GROWTH AND RISE TO PROMINENCE
Leon Breeden, clarinetist, arranger, and music educator, succeeded Hall as director in 1959 and brought the program even more visibility. Like Hall, he had to contend with public opposition to the teaching of jazz in a public university in a formerly Confederate state. Breeden weathered hostility from within the School of Music, as well as calls to his home phone number and admonitions that his teaching jazz put him in peril of damnation. To counter it, he insisted on strict standards of professionalism, with an emphasis on sight-reading and stringent expectations of his students with respect to grooming and behavior. Breeden’s archive in the UNT Music Library preserves an early document in which he even forbade goatees. In order to understand Breeden’s concern for presenting the band as a disciplined, professional group, it helps to have the perspective of former students like guitarist Don Gililland:
I arrived at North Texas in Spring 1959, just hoping I might get close enough to the Lab Band to listen to it, never dreaming I could wind up sitting next to those guys. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, it was arguably the most incredible period of my life.
When Leon Breeden assumed the directorship, the young department was at a crossroads. There was a long-standing stigma attached to jazz and its artists—not altogether unwarranted—and the idea of bringing that element into the college classroom was not greeted warmly by many in the NT hierarchy; I knew this from firsthand accounts from friends and colleagues who were music majors with contacts in all genres of the music school.
What Mr. Breeden brought to the table was a legitimacy (not to imply Gene Hall did not) that jazz desperately needed to survive over the next few years. His credentials were impeccable, even to the most severe critics, and he maintained a professional rapport with fellow faculty members that I could not see existing had some of the more flamboyant jazz personalities of the day been in that position.
Remarkably, while navigating this administrative tightrope, Leon was still somehow able to inspire a talented, diverse group of guys to produce some of the most innovative music ever created to date. Then, at semester’s end, came the festivals, and that same bunch would pack those egos 4-deep into whoever’s car was running for the drive to South Bend or Georgetown. Breeden’s long-suffering ‘57 Chevy, hauling a trailer full of instruments, was a familiar sight on the side of the road.
No one could have envisioned that, only a few years later, the band would be making those trips on chartered flights. So many great things were to come, due in no small part to the sacrifices made during those formative years. I was gratified to learn that, approaching his retirement, Leon finally received some of the credit he so richly deserved.
Leon Breeden’s contributions to Jazz Studies at North Texas and in colleges and universities both nationally and internationally could fill a book, but several milestones are particularly worth noting:
It was under Breeden that “North Texas State Lab Band” became “The One O’Clock Lab Band” and this marker of time became synonymous with quality. His autobiography identifies April 11, 1961 as a pivotal moment, as it was the date of the first full concert that identified the top band as the One O’Clock Lab Band.
In the early 1960s, Stan Kenton first heard the One O’Clock Lab Band (or as he called it, the Number One Lab Band), and was astounded. Breeden began a
collaboration with Stan Kenton that included collaborating at the Kenton Clinics and a Lab Band appearance on ABC television in 1966; this resulted in Kenton’s donation of his library to UNT and the naming of Lab Band West, the One O’Clock Lab Band’s rehearsal hall that had been added in the 1978 expansion of the music building, in Kenton’s honor.
Stage band contests had brought Gene Hall and Leon Breeden in contact with judges who included Voice of America’s jazz radio host Willis Conover. By 1962, Conover was broadcasting recordings of the One O’Clock to a global audience on his nightly program.
In 1964, Breeden welcomed the band’s first Black member, Billy Harper, almost a decade after the university began to integrate. Harper graduated in 1965 and hit the ground running as a distinguished leader and sideman, playing with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Elvin Jones, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Max Roach’s quartet, and Gil Evans in addition to leading his own projects.
The year 1967 brought a State Department-sponsored tour of Mexico, followed by a summer trip to the White House to perform with Duke Ellington and Stan Getz for President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson and the king and queen of Thailand. The late king Bhumibol Adulyadej was himself a composer and jazz saxophonist, and he met the band again on its tour of Thailand in 2004. Ellington was also impressed by the encounter and was quoted as saying that after hearing the “kids” of the One O’Clock Lab Band, he was going to go home and call a five-hour rehearsal. In addition, 1967 saw the inaugural album of the band’s annual album series with Lab ’67
The ascendancy of the band – and with it, the profile and reputation of jazz education – continued into 1968. While the band was reaching a new high point, Breeden pressed on through a crushing low point in his life, grieving the death of his 19-year-old son Danny in a hit-and-run accident in February of 1968. The band grieved with Breeden and supported him as they prepared for the Music Educators National Conference in Seattle. There, the band played for over 3,000 of the top music educators in the United States. As they waited to play, one band member told Breeden: “Tell them not to open that curtain. We’re going to blow it open in memory of your son Danny!” Indeed, the band
It was under BREEDEN that “North Texas State Lab Band” became “THE ONE O’CLOCK LAB BAND”
brought the house down, and gave the first encore in the history of concerts at MENC conferences. Breeden later wrote in his autobiography:
It was wonderful to receive letters from many parts of the United States from administrators who said in effect: ‘After hearing your band in Seattle, how can we get such a program started at our school?’ I wrote and gave them the best advice I could, namely that it will take a strong desire on the part of many people and also must be given strong support by your administration if your program will succeed! This always reminded me that at our school we would not have survived if the desire had not been so strong on the part of all of us. I felt in summation that we succeeded in spite of and not with the help of many who could have helped us but did not.
The band followed its North American travels with a transatlantic tour in 1970, in which the One O’Clock Lab Band was the official band of the Montreux Jazz Festival and was recorded and broadcast on the Armed Forces Network. The band returned to Europe in 1976, playing in Portugal before undertaking an extended tour of the Soviet Union and its major cities. In this tour, Breeden wore a custom pair of cowboy boots with “NTSU” on the front of the right boot, and “JAZZ” on the left. These boots came to the UNT Music Library with the rest of Breeden’s extensive archive.
Breeden solidified the program’s reputation as a place where students learn to be well-rounded professionals by studying the jazz tradition and by adding to it with their own compositions, arrangements, and improvisations. The degree title was changed from Dance Band to Jazz Education in 1975, in a year that coincided with the first of the One O’Clock Lab Band’s seven Grammy nominations for Lab ’75, which featured compositions and arrangements by Lyle Mays. The first and only collegiate jazz band to achieve this honor, the One O’Clock Lab band earned a second nomination for Lab ’76.
Beverly Dahlke-Smith was the first woman to ever play in the One O’Clock Lab Band; she played baritone saxophone on Lab ’76. She has since gone on to have a prolific saxophone career playing as a member of the “Late Show” Band, appearing in the “Heat is On” music video with Glenn Frey, recording on dozens of movie soundtracks, television
(“The Simpsons,” “The Family Guy”) and broadway shows, not to mention albums with numerous artists (Dwight Yoakum, Jimmy Buffett, Kansas, Bette Midler, Dianne Reeves, Kirk Franklin). Beverly has had the distinctions of being the only female instrumentalist in the Les Brown Band of Renown, the first female instrumentalist in the Harry James Band and the first woman to be a full-time member of a studio band for a TV talk show, “The Joan Rivers Show.”
As the ’70s went on, Breeden hired faculty who had long, influential tenures, including Jim Riggs, Dan Haerle, Rich Matteson, Jack Petersen, and Paris Rutherford, strengthening the program’s institutional standing. Rutherford built upon a group of singers initially put together by Lew Gillis to sing jingles for a commercial arranging class to form the Jazz Singers in 1979. The ensemble has gone on to perform in a variety of high-profile national and international festivals and win numerous awards, and the vocal jazz program has grown to include three additional groups.
NEW DIRECTIONS AND NEW YORK CONNECTIONS
Pianist and composer Neil Slater succeeded Breeden as director in 1981. He brought a New York sensibility to the program and established the Jazz Lecture Series in 1982 to bring top jazz musicians, mostly from New York, to perform and speak with students. He hired faculty who would have a lasting impact: Mike Steinel (trumpet, improvisation, pedagogy), Ed Soph (drumset), Fred Hamilton (guitar), Lynn Seaton (bass) and David Joyner (jazz history).
The undergraduate degree title was changed to Jazz Studies in 1981. A master’s degree was added in 1983. Later in the 1980s, a distinct degree program for vocal jazz emerged, and it has since grown to serve around 20-25 students at any given time. The university’s name changed from North Texas State University to the University of North Texas in 1988. According to John Murphy, the previous name has nonetheless proven quite durable, with the name change being, “a fact that continues to be overlooked by journalists and musicians—and everybody who wants to seem hip by pretending they knew about it before the name changed.”
Under Slater’s leadership, the One O’Clock Lab Band added two more Grammy nominations, including “Got a Match?” from Lab ‘89 and one for his composition “Values” from Lab ‘91; toured Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Thailand, and all the major European festivals; and recorded live in Montreaux, Australia and at Blues Alley. Starting in 1995, the Glenn E. Gomez International Artists Endowment for Jazz Studies has brought distinguished musicians to meet with students and perform with the One O’Clock Lab Band and other student ensembles.
Slater’s era also saw the beginnings of the diversification of the program’s faculty and curriculum. When Stefan Karlsson succeeded Dan Haerle as professor of jazz piano and small group coordinator, he became the first full-time Jazz Studies faculty member from outside the United States (Sweden). When classical and jazz trombonist Tony Baker joined the faculty of the Division of Instrumental Studies and began teaching lessons to jazz trombonists, he became the first Black full-time professor to teach in Jazz Studies. Rosana Eckert joined the faculty in 1999 as not only the first recipient of an MM in vocal jazz from UNT but also the first woman and Hispanic faculty member to teach in the division. In 2003, José Aponte, another alumnus who had been involved in leading early Latin jazz projects as a graduate student in the 1990s, returned to UNT as director of the Latin Jazz Ensemble. Designated a Lab Band in 2010, they have recorded five albums, including their most recent project, 5th Harvest, released as part of the 75th anniversary of the program. They have performed at numerous festivals; worked with guest artists Michael Spiro, Ignacio Berroa, Luis Conte, Manuel Valera, Duduka da Fonseca, and Danílo Pérez; and received multiple DownBeat awards.
TRANSITIONS AND TRADITIONS
The 2008 retirements of Neil Slater and Jim Riggs, followed by that of Paris Rutherford the next year, began a period of renewal during which the program adapted to a changing music profession and jazz education market while holding fast to fundamental values of tradition, student creativity, and professionalism.
Because the university had begun to require more administrative work by chairs, Dean James Scott separated the roles of division chair and director of the One O’Clock Lab Band, which until then had been filled by the same person. John Murphy was named to the chair position to advise graduate students while continuing to teach history, analysis, and research. Trombonist, composer, and alumnus Steve Wiest, recently hired in a new jazz composition line, became director of the One O’Clock Lab Band.
Wiest’s high-energy, jazz-rock influenced compositions continued the band’s tradition of pushing the envelope and resulted in two Grammy nominations for Lab 2009, one for best large ensemble jazz album and the other for best instrumental composition for his “Ice-9.” The band continued to perform extensively across the United States, including headlining such festivals and jazz venues as the Jazz Education Network Conference, Texas Music Educators Association events, Monterey Jazz Festival, Catalina’s, and Birdland where they released a three-piece live video. They also toured internationally, returning to both Thailand and the United Kingdom. Wiest collaborated with donor and alumnus Bill Collins III, an anonymous donor, and the UNT Music Library to bring the library of Maynard Ferguson, Wiest’s former employer, to UNT in 2008. He also founded the U-Tubes jazz trombone ensemble, which has won national recognition.Steve Wiest and Phil Bulla
Most of the current faculty joined the department after the end of the Slater-Riggs-Rutherford era, bringing fresh perspectives to the already robust program. Vocalist and composer-arranger Jennifer Barnes became director of the UNT Jazz Singers and the first woman to be a full-time, tenure-track faculty member in Jazz Studies. Her efforts in collaboration with the UNT Music Library led to the donation of the Gene Puerling library of vocal jazz arrangements to UNT in 2014, and she has begun publishing her editions of Puerling’s arrangements. Brad Leali, who succeeded Jim Riggs as professor of jazz saxophone, became the first Black full-time, tenure track professor in the Division of Jazz Studies. In addition to his applied lesson teaching, he directed the Three O’Clock Lab Band and coordinated the small group program. Composer and drummer Rich DeRosa succeeded Paris Rutherford and added orchestral and new media emphases to the composition and arranging curriculum.
Upon Wiest’s departure in 2014, lead trumpet specialist Jay Saunders, who had succeeded Jim Riggs as director of the Two O’Clock Lab Band, directed the One O’Clock Lab Band for two years and added the seventh Grammy nomination, for Rich DeRosa’s composition “Neil” (in honor of Neil Slater) on Lab 2015. Saunders led the band on their return to Australia, headlining the 2016 Generations in Jazz Festival. Composer-arranger Alan Baylock became the One O’Clock Lab Band director in 2016. A UNT alumnus himself, Baylock enjoyed a successful and prolific career as chief arranger for the United States Air Force’s Airmen of Note before he returned to North Texas.
As the 2010s continued, Tanya Darby succeeded Jay Saunders in the lead trumpet teaching role and directed the Three O’Clock Lab Band before departing to chair the Brass Department at the Berklee College of Music. The expertise of new faculty continues to expand and enrich the experience of jazz students at UNT: Quincy Davis as professor of drumset, Davy Mooney as professor of jazz guitar, Philip Dizack as professor of trumpet, and Dave Meder as professor of piano and coordinator of jazz improvisation. When health issues forced John Murphy to retire after the fall 2019 semester, Rob Parton, professor of jazz trumpet (lead emphasis), assumed the chair role, and musicologist Kimberly Hannon Teal was hired in 2021 to teach jazz history, analysis, and research.
To help students meet the changing demands of the music profession, adjunct instructor and lead trumpeter Jason Levi created and taught a music business class. With the help of Dean John Richmond, new faculty lines were created in popular music and technology, taught by Jonathan “Capital” Patterson; jazz strings, taught by violinist Scott Tixier, who re-established the Jazz Strings Ensemble as a faculty-led ensemble; and jazz trombone, taught by Nick Finzer, whose media company/jazz record label Outside In Music provides a model of entrepreneurship. This fall, Jessica Muñiz-Collado and Federico Llach joined the faculty to teach music business and commercial music.
Other recent developments in the curriculum include the addition of a doctoral degree in 2012 and a refreshed undergraduate curriculum designed to help jazz majors grapple with the music’s past and future. The new program centers jazz’s African American history with its inclusion of 15 credits of courses that make up the Africana Studies certificate, and it also provides space for students to pursue a minor in commercial music alongside their Jazz Studies major as they prepare to bring their jazz knowledge and skills to contemporary music careers. Jazz at North Texas continues to thrive by building on its remarkable history while preparing students to be at the forefront of the music’s future.
America is an old house. We can never declare the work over. Wind, flood, drought, and human upheavals batter a structure that is already fighting whatever flaws were left unattended in the original foundation. When you live in an old house, you may not want to go into the basement after a storm to see what the rains have wrought. Choose not to look, however, at your own peril. The owner of an old house knows that whatever you are ignoring will never go away. Whatever is lurking will fester whether you choose to look or not. Ignorance is no protection from the consequences of inaction. Whatever you are wishing away will gnaw at you until you gather the courage to face what you would rather not see. Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (New York: Random House, 2020), page 15.
As the program looks back on its first 75 years and imagines its future, we are surveying our 75-year-old house. In addition to surveying our program’s achievements, it’s important to look in the basement: to check its foundation, to address its failings, how it has been perceived over time, what its effects on jazz education and the music profession have been, and how its enduring values can be adapted to the continuously changing music profession.
SEGREGATION, RACE AND INCLUSION
Not surprisingly for a program that was started in a stillsegregated university, race in particular and diversity and inclusion in general have been continual concerns, in various ways. Gene Hall’s 1944 master’s thesis on the dance band curriculum, regarded as a founding document of the program, includes an overview of jazz history that credits Native Americans, not Black Americans, as the originators of swing rhythm. He ignored the consensus of jazz writers of the time and adopted the view of a fringe commentator. In his 1991 oral history interview, Hall was asked by historian Michael Cogswell, “Did you have any black students in the program?” Hall replies, “No, we didn’t have any black students because this was not an integrated school until--what--1954 or 1955.”
Interviewer Ron Marcello states, “The first graduate student was accepted in 1954, and actually it began accepting its first black undergraduate students in the spring semester of 1956.” Gene Hall replies:
Well, that year we had some good blacks come in. There was a guy who is still active around Dallas. He played saxophone. He plays piano now. I can’t think of his name. We had a good tenor man and a good baritone man come up from Dallas. Both of them were good tenor men—both saxophone. We were all delighted to have them because they improved the band. But about a couple of weeks later, I got a note from [then university president] Matthews to the effect that, if we played on our campus, it was all right; but if
we went off the campus, we couldn’t use them in the band. So I had to tell the guys, and they left the school. I don’t blame them, but I had to be honest with them about it. I said, “Here is the way it is. What can I say?”
In this and other ways, the interview is a reminder that Hall was a product of his time and place. He was born in 1913 in Whitewright, TX, a small town near Sherman, the population of which has never exceeded 2,000, and spent much of his early musical career in a music business that was as segregated as the rest of society in those years. His choice not to make an issue of including black musicians in off-campus performances may reflect a reluctance to take actions that would jeopardize the continuation of the recently established program, which had faced opposition from faculty and community.
Guitarist and alumnus Don Gililland provides the perspective of a white player on the racial divide in the bands in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in the early 1960s:
I had been playing professionally for several years prior to NT, first with some outstanding high school colleagues and later with all-black bands (the legendary Buster Smith for one), where I gained valued experience. This was short-lived, however, as the black ensembles became popular in some of the mainstream Dallas venues. Sadly, while I had been accepted and welcomed at private parties and allblack functions, the still segregated downtown supper club scene was not open to integrated bands and I was let go.
At North Texas, the atmosphere was totally different. In the bands, and campus-wide, the diversity was apparent and harmonious, a stark contrast to what I was experiencing just a few miles away.
Regarding the job with Buster Smith, mentor of Charlie Parker, Gililland recalls:
Actually I inherited the job from a fellow classmate and mentor, Steve Rodriguez. We were making a whopping $8 a night playing in a strip club I was too young to even be in. I had no idea at the time I was in the presence of greatness.
The separation of the music scene into white and black spheres—not to mention separate locals of the American Federation of Musicians—was accepted as normal. White and black musicians in the DallasFt. Worth area in those years worked in separate spheres. There were exceptions in the case of private parties or smaller clubs. But the larger venues expected bands to be segregated, and country clubs required all of the musicians to be white.
Trumpeter Lester Bowie of the Art Ensemble of Chicago also studied at North Texas in the early 1960s. His experiences here, as relayed by George Lewis, provide a glimpse of what studying in the program in the early years was like for black students:
Bowie’s subsequent experience at North Texas State University, where he was part of the earliest crop of jazz students in the first degree-granting program in
jazz in the United States, proved first enlightening, then daunting. Given the presence in the community of such amazing musicians as saxophonists Billy Harper, James Clay, and David “Fathead” Newman, Bowie found the atmosphere at the school itself incongruous, to say the least. “I’m trying to figure out, how can these motherfuckers be up here studying black art, and got the audacity to be racist? I went there one year, then dropped out.” [Quoted in George Lewis’, A power stronger than itself: the AACM and American experimental music (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), pp. 137-138]
A well-known saxophonist of color who attended UNT in the late 1980s told me that he transferred away from UNT due to racist incidents experienced off-campus.
The jazz program, like any undertaking of imperfect human beings, has at times fallen short of being optimally welcoming and inclusive. This has been addressed in several ways in recent years. In 2018, in the context of the #MeToo movement, when fresh reports were made of instances in which faculty and students had treated each other with less than the respect they deserve, we acted. I collaborated with the university’s Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity to offer training sessions for faculty and students. Those who didn’t already know what a microaggression was found out. A committee of faculty and students designed a survey, which, after review by Equity and Diversity, was administered and studied as a basis for more training sessions for faculty. A student group, supported by Tanya Darby and me, formed the Women in Jazz Initiative, later renamed the Jazz & Gender Equity Initiative, both of which included all genders in their memberships. More of an effort was made to invite women as guest artists and to make sure they had opportunities to perform and to act as musical mentors, not only as speakers on women in jazz. Recent examples are residencies by Maria Schneider and the Terri Lyne Carrington group.
In 2020 the honorific naming of Kenton Hall was removed, and the name reverted to Lab Band West, due to concern from faculty and students about a 2010 book by Kenton’s daughter in which she claimed the two had a sexual relationship.
The jazz studies faculty is more diverse than ever. Of the fifteen full-time faculty whose primary division is Jazz Studies, four are people of color and three are women; a sixteenth line, in popular music, remains unfilled at the time of writing.
We’re moving in the right direction. If the program is to deal effectively with the legacy of its founding, it must continually reflect on how well it is meeting goals of diversity and inclusion. Our 75-year-old house needs continual maintenance.
THE NORTH TEXAS JAZZ PROGRAM AS MODEL & TARGET
Once a program has become prominent as a model of excellence, it’s not surprising that it then can become a target of criticism. When higher education in jazz is critiqued by journalists and scholars, our program and a few others are frequently cited as examples of the downsides of the shift in the way young musicians learn the tradition: from the
bandstand to the classroom. Such critiques underestimate the degree to which professors’ traditional knowledge acquired on the bandstand and on the road is passed on to their students, many of whom will shortly have road experiences of their own.
During my time as chair, I tended to give more consideration to critiques by journalists and scholars in proportion to the time they have spent here in person, observing classes, listening to rehearsals and performances, and talking with students, faculty, and staff. In some cases the time spent in Denton has been zero, yet their opinions were published anyway.
The most meaningful critiques of our program are the ongoing ones provided by students, faculty, and staff. There is a strong sentiment that, while we are still a prominent program, and still attract highly capable students, we can always do better. In formal evaluations and informal exchanges, the students let us know when the program could be preparing them better. The faculty and staff actively seek ways to improve their teaching and the curriculum. Another source of constructive criticism has been the guest artists who visit regularly, especially those who are here long enough to coach and rehearse with our students.
A PROGRAM BASED IN DENTON
The history of the jazz studies degree included in this program identified the actions and motivations of the people responsible for founding a world-class jazz studies program in Denton, Texas, which had a population in 1950 of around 20,000. This place has had a significant effect on the experience of the program’s students. For those from even smaller Texas cities and towns, it represented a new kind of sophistication. Composer and trombonist Morgan Powell recalls:
I came from Archer City, TX of Larry McMurtry’s movie The Last Picture Show fame. Larry and I grew up in this dismal town of 1,400 people. We went on to be house mates in Denton—Larry as a sophomore and I a freshman. I was used to wearing cowboy clothes—Levi’s, pearl snap shirts and boots. After the first rehearsal day of the lab band in ‘56, several older members took me aside and said, “look boy, if you’re going to play in this band, you’ve got to get rid of that cowboy outfit.” And I did.
For students from larger cities and the coasts, Denton could feel like a town that was very small. The fact that there was little to do was a plus for their musical development. Bill Collins III recalls:
Denton was a small, boring town when I arrived from the big city of Ft. Worth. There was very little to do, and no distractions. Instead of being tempted to go see a great movie, or concert, I would find myself so bored that I would go practice. I didn’t have to make time to practice, there was nothing else to do in town. The school had a lousy football and basketball program compared to others, so I had hours to practice. The small-town environment is perfect to promote practice with few distractions. ItUniversity of North Texas College of Music
worked for me because my playing improved much faster in Denton than in Ft. Worth thanks to the overall environment (small town, great faculty, great peer players, great writers, etc.). The environment is the key part of learning and growing, in my opinion.
What students then and now appreciated is the fact that the cost of living in Denton is relatively low compared to a larger city. The rental house that hosts jam sessions is a fixture of student culture. It’s close enough to Dallas and Ft. Worth to allow frequent gigging. Denton has typically had clubs where students could play for their peers, though too often for no pay. For much of the program’s history, when tuition was regulated, tuition was easily affordable. Even after many increases, UNT’s tuition is less (in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars less) than that of other nationally prominent jazz programs.
Denton has incorporated jazz in its civic identity. In 2011, when train service began between Denton and the Dallas transit system, it was named the A Train, after the Billy Strayhorn composition.
Denton, TX. The North Texas Jazz program is now lauded by the very institution that once shunned it.
During my tenure as chair, when I described the program to prospective students and parents, I typically described our mission this way:
Our mission is:
• To prepare students for careers as professional musicians. This doesn’t mean only performing; it could be stated as preparing students for careers as professionals in music, which could include composition and arranging, music education, music production, music business, and so on. It also obliges the program to adjust its curriculum as the demands of the music profession change.
• To ensure that students are knowledgeable about the jazz tradition. In each studio, in each professor’s unique way, students learn that “it didn’t start with me,” and that they need to internalize that history through listening so that they can make music with an awareness of who came before.
• To encourage student creativity. What’s traditional in jazz is to know the tradition and then add to it by making music that speaks to what it means to be alive right now. Many of us like New Testament Basie, Sarah Vaughan’s scatting, and the Blue Note records sound, but it’s not the 1950s–60s. We’re not relaxing between takes at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio. We’re dealing with 2021, so the music should sound different.
Over the 75 years the program has gone from an outsider program, one that required a name other than jazz, to the pride of the university. This has been accomplished through the collective efforts of the faculty, staff, administration, and largely the students themselves, whose accomplishments continue to shine light on the value of their experience in
Looking ahead, I envision continual improvement, as the program is revised to prepare students for the music profession they will enter. I expect the program to maintain what Neil Slater often stated as a reason for our success: “Full. Time. Faculty.” And I have confidence that the creative drive of our students, faculty, and staff will propel the program towards its centennial.
“VALUES”: WHAT HAS ENDURED, WHAT HAS CHANGED, AND WHAT’S AHEADDowntown Denton
ONE O’CLOCK LAB BAND ®DIRECTOR Alan Baylock
Ian Weidmann (lead) San Antonio, TX
Carly Stock Los Angeles, CA
Gabriel Nieves Rolling Hills, CA
Anthony Bolden Salem, OR Jack Lanhardt Corona, CA
Renée McGee (lead) Stafford, VA
Richie Thaller (split lead) Acton, MA Ben Carroll Jupiter, FL
Craig Schroeder Dallas, TX David Vest Lexington, KY
Ken Ebo (split lead/III) Camden, SC
Jason Schilling Bellevue, WA
DJ Rice (split lead/III) Rowlett, TX
Connor Fallon (bass) Fort Worth, TX
Kenny Ross (bass) Sherwood, OR
Will St. Peter (guitar) Bucksport, ME
Jake Nalangan (piano) Sacramento, CA
August Bish (bass) Harrisburg, PA
Colman Burks (drumset) Plano, TX
Thomas Reilly (vibes) Bernardsville, NJ
Katelyn Robinson (voice) Los Angeles, CA
ONE O’CLOCK LAB BAND®
is the premier performing ensemble of the jazz studies program. With seven Grammy Award® nominations (one or more per decade since the 1970s) from a library of over eighty critically acclaimed recordings to date, the One O’Clock is noted for its exceptional individual musicianship and tight ensemble performance. Concerts feature the wealth of compositions and arrangements from the UNT Jazz Library, which contains critical big band repertoire and thousands of musical works written by current and former North Texas students and faculty members. In addition, every performance now showcases music composed or arranged by both prominent and up-and-coming women musicians.
The band has toured internationally, including performances in Russia, Mexico, Switzerland, England, France, The Netherlands, Australia, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Canada, Italy, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Poland, Ireland, and Thailand. Additionally, the band has performed at major jazz festivals, including Monterey, Cork/Guinness, Montreux (the first college band to do so), Vienne, North Sea, Spoleto, Pori, and Umbria, and frequently appears at major jazz venues such as Birdland in New York City, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., and Catalina’s in Los Angeles, California. Furthermore, the One O’Clock has been the featured headliner at music conferences, concerts hosted by fine arts series, and numerous colleges and high schools across the United States and abroad.
The One O’Clock Lab Band continues to inspire new generations of musicians through unforgettable performances, stellar studio recordings, and a strong social media presence - honoring the past while forging the future.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited by applicable laws. Proceeds from the sale of North Texas Jazz recordings benefit the University of North Texas and are used to support the jazz studies program through scholarships, public performances, tours, and related activities.
Recording and Producing The One O’Clock Lab BandBy Phil Bulla
Producing and recording the One O’Clock Lab Band since 1986 has led to some of the most re warding and memorable experiences of my ca reer. Each year, my role with the band presents a unique opportunity to invest in the lives of the next generation of jazz musicians. My approach has ALWAYS been to create a recording experience that will educate and inspire the members of the band. For the students, recording the Lab Band album is a culmination of their years of practice, training, and focus, with one goal—to make an outstanding recording that is of the highest de gree of excellence knowing that it will become a part of their legacy. A legacy that will be listened to and studied for generations.
During my tenure, I’ve recorded the One O’Clock in three different recording studios, numerous live venues throughout the world, and experienced
substantial innovations in recording technologies. During the 1980s we recorded onto 2” reel-toreel analog tapes. By the 1990s, analog recording transitioned into the digital era and we worked on various forms of digital tape formats includ ing 1” reel-to-reel tape and DA-88s. Later in the 1990s most recording studios had changed from analog-only systems to digital recording and Pro Tools became the de facto recording software, which we still use today.
The recording of The One O’Clock annual album typically requires three to four marathon (14-hour) days in the studio. Throughout the recording pro cess each student’s stamina and talent are taxed and tested to the highest degree. During the sessions I take a three-pronged approach to my engineering and producing.
First, I make technical decisions that directly af fect the sonic presentation and continuity of the
recording: The selection and placement of mi crophones, the sonic processing of the individual instruments and the seating of the band, typically a “block” or “performance” setup, all contribute to the sound that is the hallmark of the One O’Clock Lab Band recordings.
Second, as a musician myself, I make sponta neous musical and creative decisions, working hand-in-hand with the director, production team
and students, spending two to three hours on each piece. I meticulously follow scores, make performance notes, continuously make “tweaks” and edits to performances, jot down timings so I can navigate to specific sections in a piece, and most importantly help guide the overall process so that we work effectively and efficiently.
The third prong of my approach is in many ways the most important. Someone once said, “Educa tion means inspiring someone’s mind,” and that has become my mantra as I’ve worked on each One O’Clock recording. During the recording pro cess I engage and involve the students as much as possible in every aspect. I encourage them to make creative decisions, explain recording tech niques and tips and in the case of student com posers, involve them in the mixing sessions, which is an invaluable opportunity for them to partici pate in the final step of the production process.
The technical and creative aspects of the record ing are of course essential, but I’ve learned that the most important goal, and the one that is most rewarding to me, is for each and every student to leave our sessions encouraged by their achieve ment and experience. This will be an inspiration and memory that will resonate with them through out their careers.
Unsung HeroMichael Vazquez
One of the unsung heroes of the UNT Jazz Program is audio engineer Michael Vazquez. He has mixed more live concerts of the One O’Clock than anyone and continues to mix for the band regularly for off-campus performances. Vazquez has served as the assistant recording engineer on every One O’Clock Lab Band studio album since 1990. He’s also mixed for the UNT Jazz Singers on numerous occasions. Since 2009 Michael has been the front of house engineer for the UNT Jazz Stage at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival, annually putting in a marathon forty hours over three days. Always working hard; always with a smile. Michael Vazquez is mixing monitors for our reunion concerts this weekend. We thank you, Michael, for your loyalty to the jazz program and decades of dedicated service.
Nigel Regan North Haven, CT
Gabriel Burns Long Beach, CA
Tito Charneco Guayanilla, Puerto Rico
Anthony Singer Denver, CO
Rylan Villarreal Keller, TX
Tyler Jones Columbus, OH
Alex Billingsley Asheville, NC
Jeremiah Arenas Bryan, TX
Jonathan Orellana-Sanchez Chantilly, VA
Joshua Zeitlin Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Cam Henderson Vancouver, Canada
Maximo Santana Houston, TX
Paul Covert Richmond, VA
Daniëlla Hart Rossouw (voice) Johannesburg, South Africa
James Merritt (drumset) Waxahachie, TX
Anthony Casolari (bass) Tamarac, FL
Jeongmin Ha (piano) Hwaseong, South Korea
Gabriel Garcia (guitar) Dallas, TX
TWO O’CLOCK LAB BAND
Under the direction of Rob Parton, The University of North Texas Two O’Clock Lab Band is among the premier collegiate big bands in the nation. The Two O’Clock maintains a tradition of garnering national and state recognitions, including twenty invited headline performances at the Wichita Jazz Festival, first place at the Longhorn Jazz Festival in Austin, TX, invited performances at the Texas Music Educators Association state convention, the International Association fpr Jazz Education Conference, Jazz Education Network, and The Midwest Clinic.
With a recording catalog of 20 critically acclaimed albums, the band has earned multiple DownBeat Student Award recognitions across four decades as the Best Graduate Level Jazz Ensemble in addition to innumerable individual student recognitions. Previously under the direction of jazz legends James Riggs (1978–2008), Jay Saunders (2008–2014), Rodney Booth (2014–2019), and now led by Professor of Lead Trumpet and UNT Jazz Division Chair Rob Parton, the Two O’Clock continues the storied tradition, focusing on its legendary reputation for heavy swing and outstanding jazz soloists.
The Two O’Clock performs from a curated library of the very best repertoire for large jazz ensemble as well as innovative original compositions by UNT students and is actively sought after to present jazz concerts at jazz festivals, high schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States Alumni of the North Texas jazz program are virtually everywhere in the professional music industry as performing artists, jazz educators, producers, composers, and arrangers.
YJ Shin Seoul, South Korea
Lawrence Bellevue, WA
Los Angeles, CA
O’CLOCK LAB BAND
Jack Starkey Chandler,
De Rudder Wylie,
Congdon New Braunfels,
Williamson Orange County, CA
Isaac Gong Tianjin, China
Parker Williamsburg, VA
Bryant St. Charles,
Nan Wang (voice) Taiyuan, Shanxi,
Reilly (vibes) Bernardsville,
Getman (guitar) Birmingham,
Hu (piano) The Woodlands,
Quezada (bass) McKinney,
Aramís Fernández (drumset) Hialeah,
THREE O’CLOCK LAB BAND
Professor of jazz composition and arranging at UNT, Richard DeRosa directs the Three O’Clock Lab Band. This, along with the One and Two, is a clear indication of the depth of experience in the UNT jazz studies division represented by these faculty-led top three jazz lab bands.
The Three O’Clock has appeared at the Notre Dame, UT Longhorn, Friends University and Wichita jazz festivals. The Three has served as the house band for the annual UNT Jazz Trombone Day event at UNT by former director Nick Finzer. It has also performed for the Gospel Meets Jazz series organized by former director and jazz saxophone professor Brad Leali.
Professor DeRosa has extensive experience writing for and conducting many of the top professional jazz orchestras in the world, including residencies with the WDR Big Band and guest conducting his commissioned pieces with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the request of Wynton Marsalis. Recent album projects include: My Personal Songbook, featuring Ron Carter; Rediscovered Ellington, featuring Garry Dial and Dick Oatts; Perseverance – The Music of Rich DeRosa at North Texas, that includes “Suite for an Anniversary,” a commissioned work that celebrated UNT’s 125th anniversary.
DeRosa received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition for his big band composition “Neil” which is dedicated to Neil Slater, director of the One O’Clock Lab Band from 1981–2008 and recorded by the One O’Clock Lab Band on Lab 2015
University of North Texas College of Music
JAZZ STRINGS LAB
The Jazz Strings Lab was founded by professor Scott Tixier in 2018. Repertoire includes selections from movie scores, jazz standards, new classical and minimalist music.
The Jazz Strings Lab has collaborated and been featured with legendary artists such as Regina Carter, Kurt Elling and Matt Jones.
LATIN JAZZ LAB BAND
Nigel Regan North Haven, CT
Christopher Schiavoni Cramerton, NC
Daniel Henson Fairfax, VA
Heath De Guzman Houston, TX
Zane Crider Lubbock, TX
Alejandro Munoz El Paso, TX
Richard Thaller Acton, MA
Jeremiah Arenas Bryan, TX
Jonathan Orellana Chantilly, VA Alexander Billingsley Asheville, NC
Nicholas Mailes Joplin, MO
Max Santana Houston, TX
Joshua Busby Sherwood, OR
Paul Covert Richmond, VA
Abigail Litjens (voice) Oshkosh, WI
Keita Onuma (guitar) Yokosuka, Japan
Isaiah Nygard (piano) Kutztown, PA
Adam Abrams (bass) Frederick, MD
Aramís Fernández (drumset) Hialeah, FL
Isaac LaVigne (congas) Lake in the Hills, IL
Jeffery Chaidez (bongó) Houston, TX
LATIN JAZZ LAB BAND
is a jazz ensemble that ventures into the musical realm between the rich legacy of Latin American rhythms and the profound tradition of the jazz language. Among the many Afro Latin expressions, the Afro Cuban and the Brazilian languages had the most significant impact in the origins and development of Jazz in the United States. Through performance our students gain a clear perspective on how these musical traditions continue to influence jazz composition, performance and improvisation. The Lab is directed by UNT Jazz Studies faculty member José M. Aponte.
The lab performs multiple concerts every semester and have shared the stage with such recognized guest artists as Michael Spiro, Ignacio Berroa, Luis Conte, Manuel Valera, Duduka da Fonseca and Danílo Pérez. The group has released five CDs, En Clave (2006), Dancing Small (2010), Late Night Mambo (2012), Little d Town (2016) and 5th Harvest (2022).
The ensemble is also the recipient of DownBeat magazine’s 36th Annual Student Music Awards “Best Latin Group” Award (2013), the Jazz Education Network Conference “Outstanding Performance Award” (2014), DownBeat magazine’s 39th Annual Student Music Awards “Latin Group Outstanding College Performance” (2016) and the DownBeat magazine’s 45th Annual Student Music Awards “Best Latin Group Graduate Level Performance” (2022).
The UNT Latin Jazz Lab has performed at renowned venues and festivals such as the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, The Alma y Fuego Latino Festival, Dallas Latino Cultural Center, the Dallas International Festival, the 5th Annual Jazz Education Network Conference and the 13th Annual Jazz Education Network Conference.
Spice up the Season!
UNT JAZZ SINGERS
Julie Coggiola Syracuse, NY
Hannah Goodwin Coeur d’ Alene, ID
Christiana Schiller San Jose, CA
Bianca Lopez Harlingen, TX
Katelyn Robinson Los Angeles, CA
Daniela Toralla Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
Christian Anderson Shawnee, KS
Kelemen Szabo Plano, TX
Dakota Andersen Fairfield, IA
Jasper Fearon Ithaca, NY
Will Peters-Seymour (guitar) Lexington, KY
Tomás Jonsson (piano) Houston, TX
Paul Briggs (bass) Cincinnati, OH
Jeffrey Dalton (drumset) Portland, ME
UNT JAZZ SINGERS
is the premier vocal jazz ensemble within the Division of Jazz Studies in the College of Music. Under the direction of Jennifer Barnes, Jazz Singers consists of ten vocalists and a four-piece rhythm section who perform a challenging and varied repertoire of jazz and jazzinfluenced cutting-edge repertoire, notably featuring compositions and arrangements by current students, alumni, and UNT faculty. They have performed at state, national, and international music conferences including those for the Jazz Education Network, International Association for Jazz Education, and the American Choral Directors Association, and have earned a DownBeat magazine Student Music Award in eight of the last nine years.
Jazz voice majors at UNT sing in one of the four vocal jazz ensembles, as well as studying both modern and historical practices of solo jazz singing, songwriting, vocal pedagogy, improvisation, jazz aural and keyboard skills, jazz theory and arranging, and jazz history. In addition, they sing in Jazz Chamber Ensembles, Latin Jazz Lab Band, Zebras (pop/R&B/soul band), Brazilian Ensemble, and with one of the seven Lab Bands. Over the years, individual UNT vocal jazz students have received DownBeat magazine Student Music Awards for solo singing, arranging, leading small groups, and composition. Alumni of the program have gone on to win or receive nominations for Grammy Awards, Independent Music Awards and CASA awards, and are enjoying successful careers as recording artists, studio singers, college professors, composers, arrangers, music producers, and worship leaders.
Christopher Polloni Isaac Jacinto
Jonathan Arcangel Kyle Leonard
Naoki Hoshi Cody Saucier Christina Smith Joshua Jennings Richard Cruz
Joey Lopez Jack Timmins Austin Hallmark
Jasper Fearon (voice)
Nathan Siegel (vibraphone)
Ian Zinecker (guitar)
Benjamin Barker (piano) William Tober (bass)
Jack Zondlo (bass)
Jeffrey Dalton (drumset) William O’Rourke (drumset)
Luke Bielfeldt Emma Campbell Ely Eckles Sasha Garcia Renée McGee
Robert Hawley (guitar)
Samuel Wood (piano)
Brendan Nie (bass)
Isaac Lavigne (drumset)
Natalie Suvarnasuddhi Michael Petty Joshua Constantine Aidan Schwarz
Barent Foley Nicolas Lofgren Bryant Johnson
Joshua Busby Luke Bielfeldt
Aksel Martinsen Jackson Thomas
Sasha Garcia (voice)
Nathan Siegel (vibraphone)
Taylor Hatch (guitar)
Runsheng Zhao (guitar)
Alessandro Paino (piano)
Patrick Bird (bass)
Tyler Kinser (bass)
Joshua Ferrell (drumset)
Isaac Lavigne (drumset)
Daniëlla Hart Rossouw
Georgia Barge Alana Dove
Margaret Gunter Benjamin Johnson Reese Namee
Donye Robinson Lia Wiese
Zixiang Yan (piano)
William Hagan (guitar)
Mildred Mariel Perez Hernandez (bass)
Joseph Craig (drumset)
DIRECTOR DJ Rice
William Chenoweth Heath De Guzman
Jae Jang Nathanael Green
Bradley Swanson Remy Gilboe Leland Rossi
Aleyna Ashenfarb Hunter Sims
Devonte Ezell Nick Bryan Joseph Fremed
Luke Bielfeldt (voice)
Nathan Siegel (vibraphone) Hector Deleon (guitar)
Max Rubenstein-Miller (piano)
Aidan Gould (bass)
Natalia San Lee Salazar (bass) Todd Kiefer (drumset) Asa Nero (drumset)
Jaden Malik-Savoy Jackson-Cooper
Cristian Mojica Holly Sullivan
Brandon Ortega (guitar)
Aakash Sridhar (piano)
Palmer McDaniel (bass) Jacob Speth (drumset)
Avenue C, Third Street, and West End are complete vocal jazz ensembles in the Jazz Studies Division, directed by our Graduate Teaching Fellows. Differences between the four levels of ensembles include size of the group, composition of the group and repertoire focus.
University of North Texas College of Music
Cristian Mojica Jonathan Forbes Caden Walsh Zachary Gresik Michael Kreuzer
David Yoon Alejandro Sigala Matthew Pulido Jaden Oldham Trinity McHellen
Ian McGuire Travis Harris Lucky Floyd Molly Lum Kenneth Spencer
Georgia Barge (voice)
Nathan Siegel (vibraphone)
Michael Morales (guitar)
Benjamin Broussard (guitar)
Joseph Woodburn (piano)
Henry Peyrebrune (bass)
Sarah Short (bass)
Joseph Craig (drumset)
Yizhuo Li (drumset)
Anthony Schneider Joshua Garrison Kevin Morrison Jacob Jones Jacob Elibol
Kurt Murrow (bass)
Kyle Dorny (drumset)
Jason Schilling Isaac (Xi) Gong Joshua Busby Sean DeCoursey Alex Parker Drew Bryant Paul Covert Connor Fallon
Ariel Glassman (guitar)
Alexandre Lesieutre (piano) Claudia Easterwood (bass) Joshua Ferrell (drumset)
The U-Tubes, directed by Assistant Professor Nick Finzer and teaching assistant Cameron Henderson is the premier jazz trombone en semble of the University of North Texas. Con sisting of eight trombonists and rhythm sec tion, they exclusively perform arrangements and original compositions by members of the group. In the past three years, the U-Tubes have been the winners of international trom bone ensemble competitions hosted by the American Trombone Workshop and the Inter national Trombone Association.
Will St. Peter
Warren Talcroft Christopher Schiavoni
Ethan Hope Samson Dinkins
Bodin Chompoosri (bass) Jackson Beebee (drumset)
The UNT guitar ensembles were created by Professor Emeritus Fred Hamilton. They are some of the many diverse performing groups at UNT. Davy Mooney, Professor in Jazz Studies, coordinates them. In these ensembles, guitarists have the unique opportunity to rehearse and perform in a section of five or more guitars. This helps students focus on reading skills, ensemble blend, group articulations, electric effects utilization, comping and soloing. The premier group, the L-5, specializes in jazz, blues, rock and electric-avant-garde. The L-5 has released two CDs, The Quilt Master (2002) and A Collection of Signs (2006), available through UNT.
Victoria Ricalde Sasha Garcia Christiana Schiller Kay Cruz
TRUMPETS Tyler Jones Bryant Johnson
Kori Park Alexander Siler Ruixin Liu
Brandon Ortega (guitar)
Anthony Hernandez (guitar)
Max Rubenstein-Miller (piano) Josh Busby (piano)
Spencer Paulsen (bass)
Asa Nero (drumset)
Jaiyu Cao (drumset)
UNT Regents Professor and Faculty Emeri tus Dan Haerle formed The Zebras in 1980 to give keyboard players a special oppor tunity to work with electronic instruments. The group explores a wide variety of mu sic, focusing on an eclectic mix of jazz fu sion, funk, soul, and pop, often including a horn section and vocalists. Some semes ters the Zebras would perform the music of a particular artist or group, such as Ste vie Wonder, the Pat Metheny Group, Chick Corea, and Al Jarreau.
Now directed by UNT Jazz Division chair and Professor of lead trumpet Rob Parton, the Zebras is an ensemble in the UNT Jazz Studies division that continues that tradi tion of offering students a chance to per form music they would not experience in other labs within the College of Music.
The Zebras album The Flamenco Jazz Project exemplifies the diversity of reper toire wielded by this outstanding ensem ble. The current focus of the Zebras rep ertoire is horn-based bands similar to the classics such as Tower of Power and Earth, Wind and Fire, as well as newer contem porary bands and artists like Bruno Mars. High-energy performances are what the Zebras are known to deliver, and that UNT tradition continues.
Meet the UNT Division Jazz Studies
The UNT Jazz Studies Division is comprised of faculty and staff who have devoted themselves to the betterment of the students they serve and the experiences they receive.
We also recognize the countless jazz librarians over the decades who contributed greatly to the success of the lab band program. Thank you all for your hard work! Our current students in the jazz librarian role: Ariel Glassman, Thomas Reilly, Natalie Suvarnasuddhi and Zachary Williamson.
JAZZ STUDIES FACULTY
José Aponte is a principal lecturer at the University of North Texas in the Percussion and Jazz Studies departments, where he teaches drumset and Latin percussion. In addition to his private lesson studio work, José is the director of UNT’s AfroCuban Ensemble, Brazilian Ensemble, and Latin Jazz Lab Band.
José M. Aponte, a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico, earned degrees from the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico (BM), Musicians Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, California (Artist Diploma), and University of North Texas Jazz Studies Program (MM). José has performed with such artists as Giovanni Hidalgo, Emil Richards, Carlos Guedes, Poncho Sanchez, Batacumbele, Gino Vanelli, Brian Bromberg, Lyle Mays, Andy Narell, David Rudder, Relator, Fred Hamilton, Dan Haerle, Tracy Thornton, Lian Teague, Airto Moreira, and Michael Spiro.
JOSÉ M. APONTE
PRINCIPAL LECTURER OF DRUMSET & LATIN PERCUSSION
DIRECTOR OF THE AFRO-CUBAN ENSEMBLE DIRECTOR OF THE BRAZILIAN ENSEMBLE DIRECTOR OF THE LATIN JAZZ LAB BAND
Aponte is an active member of the Dallas/Fort Worth musical scene as a freelance performer and studio musician with groups such as Fifo and Citizens of the World Colombian Jazz Group, Fifo and his Afro Bacanos Salsa Band, John Murphy Jazz Trio, singer/songwriter Tania Cordobes, David Lee Schloss’s Caravan, Kalimbe World Jazz Group, Island Boogie Caribbean Band, Justin Cash Jazz Fusion Trio, Tito Charneco’s Diaspora Jazz Group and his own projects (José Aponte and Caribe Club Latin Jazz Quintet, Batuque Brazilian Jazz Trio, and Brasuka Brazilian Jazz Group). José is an artist/ clinician for Pearl drums/percussion, Evans drum heads, ProMark sticks and Sabian cymbals.
PROFESSOR OF VOCAL JAZZ
DIRECTOR OF VOCAL JAZZ STUDIES
DIRECTOR OF JAZZ SINGERS
Jennifer Barnes is the Director of Vocal Jazz at UNT, in addition to being a highly sought-after vocalist, educator, clinician and arranger throughout the United States and Canada. She has directed award-winning Vocal Jazz Ensembles at eight universities, won a 2016 “Jazz Education Achievement Award” from DownBeat magazine, has served as a guest conductor for District and All-State Music Festivals in 16 states, and her vocal arrangements are published by Sheet Music Plus, Anchor Music, UNC Jazz Press and at her own website (JenniferBarnesMusic.com).
In addition to her teaching activities, Jennifer is an active performing and studio vocalist, including her roles as alto vocalist, composer and arranger for the professional vocal ensemble Vertical Voices, solo and group vocals for television shows, video games and films including “World of Warcraft”, “Wall-E”, “Enchanted”, “Ice Age (2, 3 & 4)” and “Glee”. Ms. Barnes is a member of the American Society of Composers, Arrangers and Publishers, Screen Actors Guild and the Jazz Education Network. She earned the master of music degree in studio music and jazz performance from the University of Miami (FL) and the bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Western Michigan University.
JAZZ STUDIES FACULTY
Born and raised in a small town in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Alan Baylock has composed music that is performed throughout the world. One of the most respected and soughtafter jazz composers and educators in the industry today, he is the director of the multi-Grammy nominated One O’Clock Lab Band® at the University of North Texas, and previously served 20 years as chief arranger for the USAF Airmen of Note in Washington, D.C. The Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra recorded three critically-acclaimed CDs and performed throughout the United States for 15 years. Baylock graduated from Shenandoah University (BME ‘90), where he later became jazz composer-inresidence, and the University of North Texas (MM ‘94).
Baylock travels extensively as guest conductor and clinician, and has been featured with close to 100 professional, collegiate, high school (all-state and regional) and middle school jazz ensembles. Alan is on faculty at the National Jazz Workshop (NJW) and directed the NJW All-Star Big Band in performances on the East and West Coast. Thanks to the Nu Psi Chapter, Alan became an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia in 2016 and became an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi (Kappa Epsilon Chapter) in 2017. He is an active member of the Jazz Education Network and is a strong advocate for women in jazz.
Baylock lives in Denton, Texas with his wife, cellist Maria Baylock. In his spare time, Alan enjoys playing table tennis and golfing with his UNT Jazz colleagues.
Rodney Booth has been an active professional musician for over 50 years. A native of El Paso, Texas, he began his professional career at age sixteen as a trumpet player in his father’s bands. He received his degree in jazz studies at the University of North Texas and was a student of Don “Jake” Jacoby. Rodney was also member of the renowned North Texas State One O’Clock Lab Band®. He traveled across North and South America and Europe with Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd Big Band. He has performed with many major recording artists such as Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, Wayne Newton, Michael Feinstein, Dionne Warwick, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Hamlisch, Natalie Cole, Jimmy Cobb, Curtis Fuller, Roy Haynes and The Who, just to name a few. Rodney has performed in over 40 different Broadway shows.
Rodney is very active in studio and commercial recordings. He can be heard on national commercials for the Fina Corporation, Texaco, McDonald’s Corporation, Domino’s, Miller Brewing Company and Chevrolet. In addition, he performed on the commercial recordings for the Texas Rangers, the Boston Red Sox, CNN News, the United States Postal Service and many more. His various bands have been chosen to perform for companies such as Exxon, Honda, Budweiser, the Zales Corporation, Gordon’s Jewelers, Merle Norman Company and Cartier’s Jewelers.
Rodney has taught at the University of North Texas for the last seventeen years teaching improvisation, ear training, and jazz trumpet lessons. He has been the director of the UNT Jazz Repertory Ensemble and he directed the UNT Jazz Singers in the fall 2010 and spring 2011. Rodney directed the Two O’Clock Lab Band for five years (2015-2019).
Rodney’s CD Look Over There features his jazz quartet. His CD Ten and One features Swing and Big Band music. It was released in January 2010 and has been featured on radio shows from South Africa to Argentina. His duo CD with pianist Bill Lohr will be released this year.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR DIRECTOR OF THE ONE O’CLOCK LAB BAND® COORDINATOR OF LAB BANDSPRINCIPAL LECTURER OF JAZZ TRUMPET
JAZZ STUDIES FACULTY
Quincy Davis , currently an associate professor of jazz drumset at the University of North Texas, studied classical percussion at Interlochen Arts Academy. He continued his undergraduate studies at Western Michigan University in 1999 studying with the master drummer Billy Hart. He lived in New York City from 2000-2010 where he played with many world-renowned artists like Bobby Watson, Benny Green, Tom Harrell, Hank Jones and many more.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF JAZZ PERCUSSION
In 2010, Davis accepted a teaching position at the University of Manitoba where he was the assistant professor of jazz drumset. Quincy has two leader albums: Songs in the Key of Q and Q Visions . Both albums rose to the top three rankings on JazzWeek’s jazz radio charts. Quincy earned a master’s degree in composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2019 and continues to work and travel with world renowned musicians.
Richard DeRosa is the Director of Jazz Composition and Arranging. In 2015 he received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition for his big band composition “Neil” which is dedicated to Neil Slater. In 2022, the UNT Studio Orchestra premiered his eight-movement work titled Life in Poetry and Music which featured Kurt Elling. Since 2001, Mr. DeRosa has arranged and conducted music for Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Recent concert programs include Bernstein at 100 and Joey Alexander with Strings
Since 2012 Mr. DeRosa has conducted and arranged music for the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany. CD recordings include My Personal Songbook (2015) featuring legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter, Rediscovered Ellington (2017) featuring Garry Dial and Dick Oatts and Crossing Borders featuring Richie Beirach and Gregor Huebner. Other concert projects featured Patti Austin, Kurt Elling, Stefon Harris, the New York Voices, Ola Onabulé, Joshua Redman, Marvin Stamm and Bill Mays and Warren Vaché.
Other arrangements have been recorded by the Mel Lewis, Gerry Mulligan, and Glenn Miller big bands, vocalist Susannah McCorkle, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, and violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. Commissioned arrangements for orchestra include the Kansas City Symphony, Houston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Pops, Portland Maine Pops, Czech National Symphony, Metropole Orchestra and the Swedish Television and Radio Orchestra.
Mr. DeRosa’s publications for jazz ensembles are available through Sierra Music, Alfred Music, Barnhouse Music and e-Jazz Lines. He remains active as an adjudicator and clinician. More information can be found at www.richderosa.com.
PROFESSOR OF JAZZ COMPOSITION & ARRANGING DIRECTOR OF THE THREE O’CLOCK LAB BANDUniversity of North Texas College of Music
JAZZ STUDIES FACULTY
Philip Dizack is one of the most important and versatile jazz trumpeters of his generation, fulfilling DownBeat magazine’s 2007 proclamation “[one of twenty-five] Trumpet Players for the Future.”
In 2019, Dizack joined Israeli-born pianist Shai Maestro’s newly expanded quartet. The band’s subsequent album, Human, was released on the ECM label in January of 2021 to critical acclaim.
Philip was also a featured soloist on the 2021 recording Assembly of Shadows by Remy Le Boeuf which received two Grammy© nominations for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Instrumental Arrangement.
In his late teens and early twenties, Dizack was mentored in the tradition through his time performing, touring and recording with Jazz Messenger Bobby Watson and eight-time Grammy© winner and Latin Jazz legend Eddie Palmieri. He has since performed and recorded alongside an extremely wide array of musicians unencumbered by generation or genre - in clubs, concert halls, arenas, stadiums and on television and films in over 25 countries. A truncated list of artists includes Wycliffe Gordon, Thundercat, Nicholas Payton, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Immanuel Wilkins, Kamasi Washington, Aaron Parks, Ben Wendel, Melissa Aldana, Greg Tardy, Myron Walden, Jon Batiste, Morrissey, Foreigner, Robert Redford and many more.
In 2019, alongside touring and performing, Philip was appointed assistant professor of jazz trumpet at the University of North Texas. Philip Dizack has released three solo albums and has been featured on over 35 albums as a supporting member.
With an international presence in several facets of the music industry, Rosana Eckert wears many hats as a versatile live and studio vocalist, dynamic improviser, creative songwriter and arranger and a lauded educator of jazz and voice. She has performed and recorded with many jazz luminaries, including Christian McBride, Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Wheeler and the New York Voices. Recently she was one of the three vocalists on the 2021 Grammy Award-winning composition Eberhard by legendary jazz pianist Lyle Mays. Rosana’s latest solo album, Sailing Home, was praised as “bright and innovative” (AllAboutJazz) and “alluring” (Jazz Weekly), and in 2021, her Brazilian jazz fusion band, Brasuka, released their debut album of original songs titled A Vida Com Paixão. Celebrated as “addictively joyful” (Exclusive Magazine) and “positively infectious” (The Big Takeaway), the album received 4 stars in DownBeat magazine, was featured in Jazz Times magazine and made several “Best of 2021” lists.
Rosana is also a member of the Mike Steinel Quintet, utilizing her instrumental background to vocally function like an alto saxophone. The group’s second album of original music Saving Charlie Parker was released in September 2022. An alumna of UNT, Rosana was the first woman and first minority added to its esteemed jazz faculty in 1999, helping build its renowned vocal jazz program. Her many published arrangements, original songs, and educational resources, including her method book Singing with Expression, are used by singers worldwide. In addition to her live performing, writing and teaching, Rosana works regularly as a studio vocalist, producer and voice-over actor.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF JAZZ TRUMPETIMPROVISATION EMPHASIS COORDINATOR OF JAZZ CHAMBER MUSICPRINCIPAL LECTURER OF VOCAL JAZZ
JAZZ STUDIES FACULTY
Nick Finzer is one of the most dynamic musicians of the millennial generation. An award-winning trombonist, composer, producer, entrepreneur, and educator, Finzer is bringing the joy and power of Jazz to traditional fans and the most modern 21st century audiences. He’s on a mission to be a passionate voice defining the sound of Jazz in this age.
Never satisfied with just one singular path Finzer can be found on stages all over the world with the likes of the Grammy nominated Anat Cohen Tentet, leading his own band Hear & Now through their most recent critically acclaimed album Cast of Characters (Outside in Music, 2020), topping DownBeat magazine’s 2020 “Rising Star Trombone” Category of their Critics Poll, producing albums and videos for his record label Outside in Music , educating the next generation of musicians as the inaugural assistant professor of jazz trombone at the renowned University of North Texas and maintaining a robust presence on his YouTube channel/social media sharing resources on trombone, jazz education and music marketing.
With a unique style and sound, which echoes the influences of his past, Brad Leali is one of the most notable saxophonists of current times. Leali has toured and recorded with numerous jazz greats, including several years with the Harry Connick Jr. Orchestra and with the Count Basie Orchestra. Leali was a standing member of the Kennedy Center Honors Band and performed for President Obama’s inaugural celebration.
Brad has had a long-time endorsement with Keilwerth Saxophones and D’Addario Reeds. Currently the Professor of Jazz Saxophone at UNT, Brad continues to perform domestically and abroad, including touring with Lyle Lovett & His Large Band. See www.bradleali.com/press-kit/ for videos and more information.
“His solos are sparkling and Cannonball Adderley influenced.” - Evening Standard (London, England).
“Saxophonist Brad Leali was among the most soulful and exciting I’ve heard recently.” - New York Times
JAZZ STUDIES FACULTY
Federico Llach is a Latino creative musician whose music has been described as “a thought-provoking demonstration of multidimensionality” and “a piece of art that proves that life is profoundly beautiful and disturbing at the same time”. Credits in experimental and commercial music have found outlets in internationally recognized orchestras and ensembles, international jazz festivals, AR apps, award-winning films and commercial pieces for global brands such as Coca-Cola and Yonex.
Llach has performed or presented music in dozens of countries at venues of such geographical and aesthetic diversity as Festival Internacional de Jazz Buenos Aires, Bang on a Can Summer Festival and Darmstadt Ferienkurse. He has received awards and scholarships from Styria Artist in Residency, Paul Sacher Stiftung, Los Angeles County, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional Argentina, Fondo Nacional de las Artes, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, Borchard Foundation and UCSB Humanities and Social Sciences.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF COMMERCIAL MUSIC
Musically raised in Buenos Aires as a double bass jazz performer, music for media producer and classical composer, his music combines the energy of popular music studio production with the intimacy of acoustic instruments and innovative sound design. His sound draws from a wide range of experiences with jazz music, songwriting bands, Argentine rock, tango, orchestras, modular synthesizers, samplers and electronics of all kinds. Llach holds degrees from Escuela de Música Contemporánea/Berklee Global Partner (2003), Universidad Nacional del Arte (BM, 2009), University of California, Santa Barbara (MA 2013; PhD 2017) and has produced research published by Cambridge University journal Tempo
Pianist, composer, and educator Dave Meder is one of the prominent artists of his generation, known for a broad musical palette and interdisciplinary approach recognized in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, the American Pianists Awards, and the Chamber Music America New Jazz Works commissioning program. Beyond the accolades, his defining aesthetic is a strikingly postmodern sense of stylistic adventure, incorporating what All About Jazz describes as “a vibrant hybrid of the whole American spectrum.”
His first album Passage was counted among the top five jazz debuts in the Ottawa Citizen and was included in the annual “Favorite Jazz Albums” list from All Music Guide , noted for its skillful balancing of “post-bop harmonies with soulful gospel warmth and contemporary classical sophistication.” His recent release Unamuno Songs and Stories uses the works of Spanish Civil War-era philosopher Miguel de Unamuno to respond to sociopolitical turmoil in the United States. Meder has headlined stages or conducted educational residencies at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, as well as internationally in Beijing, Tokyo, São Paulo and most recently Egypt as a United States Fulbright Scholar. Dave is a Yamaha Artist and a professor at University of North Texas.
JAZZ STUDIES FACULTY
Davy Mooney is a jazz guitarist from New Orleans who records for Sunnyside Records and is Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and head of the jazz guitar program at the University of North Texas, where he teaches private lessons and advanced jazz improvisation.
He has recorded seven CDs as a leader. His latest Sunnyside CD, Davy Mooney and the Hope of Home Band Live at National Sawdust , was recorded live in Brooklyn, NY in January 2020 with Brian Blade, Jon Cowherd, John Ellis, and Matt Clohesy. His other Sunnyside releases are 2018’s Benign Strangers , 2017’s Hope of Home , and 2012’s Perrier St . In promotion of these CDs, Mooney has toured the United States, as well as Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Myanmar.
Mooney has two books published by Mel Bay: Personalizing Jazz Vocabulary (2019) and Into the Labyrinth: An Anatomy of Position Playing for Jazz Guitar (2022). Mooney has a PhD in jazz performance from New York University, and wrote a dissertation on the early 1960s work of Joe Pass entitled “Joe Pass’s Catch Me!, For Django, and Joy Spring : Transcription and Analysis.” He competed in the 2005 Thelonious Monk International Guitar Competition, placing third, and studied at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance from 2007 to 2009, under artistic director Terence Blanchard.
Mooney received his master’s degree from the University of New Orleans in 2005. In 2006 he recorded a duo guitar CD with John Pizzarelli entitled Last Train Home. The following year he recorded Astoriano, released on the Japanese label LateSet Records.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MUSIC BUSINESS
Born in Miami, FL Jessica Muñiz-Collado is a music consultant, composer/producer, percussionist, and an Assistant Professor of Music Business at the University of North Texas. She is also the founder/owner of NIZCO MUSIC – a music career consulting service that helps musicians compose their careers to their own B.E.A.T. Her company offers services in music career planning, music curriculum development, music technology training and artist development.
Jessica has presented multiple times at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)/ GenNext Conference, the Association of Popular Music Education (APME) Conference, the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Performing Arts Fair and presented at the international music conference LeRock & L’Amour held at the Université Paul-Valery in Montpellier, France. In addition to speaking on music income opportunities at various colleges/universities and multimedia conferences, Jessica serves on The Recording Academy’s education committee (TX Chapter) and is an Academy voting member. She is NAMM/College Music Society Fellow grant recipient, and also serves as a music technology judge for the Hit Like A Girl-Beats By Girlz International Beatmaking Contest where she once was an award-winner in 2019.
As a composer/producer, she has created music for numerous production companies and music libraries including MundoFOX, Univision, PBS, IMAX and Universal Production Music to name a few. She is also a published and commissioned composer with both national and international performances of her work and works as a sound designer for theater and dance mediums. As a percussionist, Jessica has had the privilege to perform and/or record with numerous Grammy-nominated musicians and world-renowned artists. She has been featured in Music Connection magazine, Digital Drummer magazine and the Percussive Arts Society’s Percussive Notes magazine. To learn more about Jessica, please visit www. nizcomusic.com.
JAZZ STUDIES FACULTY
Rob Parton is Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet and Chair of the Jazz Studies Division at the University of North Texas where he also directs the Two O’Clock Lab Band. Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, he held positions at Capital University, Roosevelt University, and Chicago State University. A dedicated jazz educator, he has directed All-State Jazz Ensembles in twelve states as well as serving as a clinician at universities and high schools throughout the United States.
A versatile and in-demand trumpet player, Parton has been called on to perform or record the music of diverse composers from Karel Husa to Leonard Bernstein to Duke Ellington. He has performed with many of America’s major orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. He has also performed as lead trumpet on numerous Broadway shows in the Midwest and with Grammy, Tony, and Academy Awardwinning artists from Faith Hill to Natalie Cole to Tony Bennett. As a recording artist, he has performed on hundreds of recordings for national commercials and with various artists on Concord, Verity, Mark Records, Sea Breeze and Sony record labels.
While comfortable in various musical settings, be it jazz trio or brass quintet or as a soloist with larger ensembles, leading a professional big band is the area in which he has enjoyed the most acclaim. Founded in 1984, the Rob Parton Big Band has released eleven recordings, performed at the Midwest Clinic three times, at the International Trumpet Guild Conference and at numerous jazz festivals featuring guest artists such as Lew Soloff, Conte Candoli and Joe Williams. Dozens of the band’s recordings and live videos can be found on YouTube.
Regents Professor Lynn Seaton has an active career in performing and recording that co-exists with teaching young professionals. His work at the University of North Texas began in 1998 following thirteen years of a professional career based in New York City. Professor Seaton has performed with worldrenowned jazz musicians including Woody Herman, the Count Basie Orchestra led by Thad Jones then Frank Foster, Tony Bennett, George Shearing, Diane Schuur, Tim Hagans, Maria Schneider, Jeff Hamilton, John Fedchock, Kenny Drew Jr., Bobby Shew, Joe Williams and Monty Alexander. Seaton has performed in thirty-five countries and forty-nine states. Recording credits include over one-hundred-twenty-five albums or CDs including one Grammy and two Grammy nominations. Recordings under his leadership, Solo Flights, Bassman’s Basement, Live!!!, Puttin’ on the Ritz and Zoom Blewz received notable recognition. Forty-six recordings have been released since Seaton’s arrival at the University of North Texas. The significance of his career is recognized in magazine reviews and history books including: The Grove Dictionary of Music, The Penguin Guide to Jazz, The Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz, Leonard Feather’s Encyclopedia of Jazz and several references in The All Music Guide
Seaton’s honors and awards include teaching and performing in Riga, Latvia as a Fulbright Scholar, induction into the Cincinnati, Ohio and Oklahoma Jazz Halls of Fame, and nominations as Sammons Artist of the Year and Sigma Alpha Iota National Arts Associate. Alumni of Professor Seaton’s are university professors, bandleaders, Broadway performers, military band members, touring Jazz, Hip Hop & Pop artists and Grammy awardees.
ROB PARTON REGENTS PROFESSOR OF JAZZ BASS
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF JAZZ TRUMPET –LEAD TRUMPET EMPHASIS DIRECTOR OF THE TWO O’CLOCK LAB BAND CHAIR OF THE DIVISION OF JAZZ STUDIES
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF JAZZ VIOLIN COORDINATOR OF JAZZ PERFORMANCE FUNDAMENTALS FOR STRINGS I & II DIRECTOR OF THE JAZZ STRINGS LAB
Kimberly Hannon Teal joined the faculty at UNT in August of 2021 as assistant professor of jazz history and research. Her work addresses contemporary jazz, and she is interested in how live performance contexts contribute to musical experiences and meaning. Her book J azz Places: How Performance Spaces Shape Jazz History was published by the University of California Press in 2021.
She holds a PhD in historical musicology from the Eastman School of Music, where she also taught music history and served as the Director of Graduate Advising. Her writing can be found in American Music, Jazz Perspectives, The Journal of the Society for American Music, Jazz Education in Research and Practice and Jazz Research Journal
Prior to working at UNT, she was an assistant professor of musicology at the University of Arkansas.
Scott Tixier is a five-time GRAMMY affiliated award-winning violinist and 2018 DownBeat Critic Poll Winner. He has performed in major venues across the world including The Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, The Paris Philharmonie, Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note in New York, The Apollo Theater, The Hollywood Bowl, Shanghai Conservatory Of Music and United States Capitol.
He has performed, recorded and toured with jazz legends and music icons such as Stevie Wonder, Kenny Barron, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Ed Sheeran, Cassandra Wilson, Coldplay, Chris Potter, John Legend, Christina Aguilera, Natalie Cole, Anthony Braxton, Ariana Grande and many others.
In addition to performing in and out of the jazz world, Tixier is known for his work on motion picture scores such as The Lion King, John Wick, Charlie’s Angels and TV shows including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on NBC, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as well as the previous format with David Letterman, Late Night with Seth Meyers, America’s Got Talent and most recently with Netflix for Spike Lee’s new film in collaboration with composer Terence Blanchard as well as Warner Bros for Father of the Bride
University of North Texas College of Music
Reflecting on a Career at North TexasBy Craig Marshall
The jazz studies program at UNT is unlike any other. One of the many ways it differs from the rest is its sheer size—in number of jazz majors, jazz faculty, formal ensembles, and schedule of performances on and off campus. To meet the organizational challenges of such a large jazz division, North Texas has both a lab band manager and an admin istrative coordinator. These two staff positions cover a wide range of duties, each in concert with the other to keep things running smoothly in the jazz division. This is both a necessity and a luxury that smaller jazz programs, where the director would typically handle most or all of this them selves, don’t enjoy.
My responsibilities broadly include assisting with auditions, the scheduling and production of concerts on and off cam pus, managing tours and festival appearances, producing albums and facilitating digital distribution for the North Texas Jazz label, and overseeing the jazz chart library and jazz division instruments and gear.
At this writing I am in my 27th year in this role. It’s an inter esting moment for me as I come to the realization that my mentor Neil Slater served 27 years as director of the One O’Clock Lab Band® and jazz division chair (1981—2008); it’s been 27 years since I last performed with the One O’Clock Lab Band in the trombone section, and that year’s album, Lab ’94, is precisely halfway between today and the very first studio lab album, Lab ’67. I’m now the same age that Neil Slater was when I first met him. He led the jazz program for another 20 years after that! The passage of time cer tainly brings with it perspective.
I’ve learned a lot from my peers and colleagues since arriv ing in Denton as an undergraduate transfer student in 1987. Across three decades I’ve served as a thread of continuity working alongside three division chairs, four One O’Clock
directors, five jazz division administrative assistants/coordi nators, and over thirty jazz faculty. As the unofficial histori an and keeper of institutional knowledge, I apply this expe rience to inform our stewardship and provide perspective on decisions that impact the future of the program.
The One O’Clock Lab Band is truly one of a kind, at once a professional ensemble performing at the height of jazz artistry and yet still a group of college students attending classes. The flagship of the jazz program, it represents UNT in a capacity unparalleled by its peers, because in a way it truly has none. No other college jazz band enjoys the status of regularly headlining jazz festivals, music con ferences and jazz clubs around the world, commanding performance fees rather than applying for participation or competing with other schools. With seven Grammy nomi nations and counting, we treat the band as a professional organization. The expectation of excellence permeates everything—the way rehearsals are held, concerts are pre sented, tours are organized, and albums are recorded.
Having been in the band provides me the insight to man age it in a way that best honors the level of commitment and artistry that elevated these students’ musicianship to the degree required to make the cut. Students who earn a spot in the One enjoy special opportunities, but also experience the pressure and responsibility to honor and respect the legacy of those who have graced those chairs before them—to perform at the level of excellence that is in the tradition. Just as coal under intense pressure forms a diamond, the mutual bond and lifelong friendships formed along the journey shape the facets of each band member.
Such friendships and countless memorable shared experi ences, both on stage and off, are what I treasure the most from my decades-long career performing with and manag ing the One O’Clock Lab Band and being part of the North Texas Jazz community. It’s been an honor to serve.
JAZZ STUDIES STAFF
Craig Marshall has served as manager of the Jazz Studies Division at UNT since 1995. Marshall earned degrees in jazz studies from UNT, where he is now manager of the lab bands and producer for the North Texas Jazz record label. As former trombonist in the UNT One O’Clock Lab Band, Marshall appeared on six CDs, including the Grammynominated composition “Values” by Neil Slater on Lab ‘91, and the commemorative box set North Texas Jazz: Fifty Years that he also co-produced. Three additional Grammy nominations were awarded for Lab 2009 and Lab 2015 , where Craig was producer. His production of the landmark tribute CD collections honoring Neil Slater, Jim Riggs, Jay Saunders, and Rich DeRosa (to commemorate 70 years of jazz at North Texas) are unique milestones in the history of this storied jazz program. As a performer and record producer, Craig Marshall’s credits include more than half of the entire North Texas Jazz catalog, with nearly 50 albums on his discography.
PROGRAM MANAGER FOR JAZZ LAB BAND ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR - JAZZ STUDIES
Marshall served as festival manager/director/co-founder of the North Texas Jazz Festival in Addison from 2001–2009, and has solidified a presence in Dallas and Fort Worth for the One O’Clock Lab Band through his establishment of ongoing concert series now in their second or third decade. His duties include managing the One O’Clock Lab Band, including domestic and international tours, CD & DVD recording projects, on-campus and off-campus concerts and concert series production, and assisting with publicity, marketing, and media relations. Craig continues to be a crucial link to our numerous jazz studies alumni over the past 30 years.
OF JAZZ STUDIES
Texan musician Madison Russell explores introspection and perception of others through performance and composition with a blend of styles. Utilizing a crystalclear, unique, and versatile vocal tone, Madison is able to convey a wide range of emotion. She explores the subtleties and intricacies of the human condition through sounds that craftily mix folk, rock, and jazz influences.
With roots in classical and jazz music, Madison has been performing and writing music of various genres since childhood. She studied classical voice, jazz voice, opera, and percussion while studying at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In 2015, she was named a Winner in Jazz Voice with the National YoungArts Foundation. Madison then attended the University of North Texas, where she was named Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Jazz Studies after earning a bachelor’s degree in 2019. She went on to earn a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2020 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in library science.
Madison performs as a live and session vocalist professionally across the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She performs as a soloist and ensemble member in choirs, small groups such as Lydian Blue, and alternative rock bands such as Modern Modem. She is currently writing for her first official release as a solo artist.
As any student who has ever been in the jazz studies office will attest, the jazz studies staff is their primary point of contact, the face of the jazz program, and the people who have a major impact on how they experience being a student in the jazz program at North Texas.
Every jazz division chair has recognized that the work of the jazz studies staff has been essential to achieving the goals of the division and keeping the program running. We acknowledge and thank those who have held these roles, and whose dedicated work has made such a positive impact on thousands of alumni of the North Texas Jazz Studies program over these many decades.
JAZZ DIVISION SECRETARIES, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS & COORDINATORS
CINDY KAMENITSA 1974 – 1978
CARLA KRUGER 1978 – 1981
LORI THIESSE 1981 – 1982
LISA FISCHER 1982 – 1985
BRYANT COLEMAN 1985 – 1988
JANET NELSON 1988 – 1989
DARLA MAYES 1990 – 2011
JULIE BICE 2011 – 2013
KATY KINARD 2013 2016 CHRISTOPHER WALKER 2016 – 2021 MADISON RUSSELL 2021 – Present
LAB BAND STAFF ASSISTANTS & MANAGERS
JOEL SEARS 1964 – 1967
CHARLES HACKETT 1967 – 1976
KENNETH ELLIOTT 1971 – 1975
J. FRANK LIVELY 1975 – 1977
RON BERGAN 1977 – 1978
BOBBY KNIGHT 1978 – 1983
PHILIP BROWN 1983 – 1990
MIKE BOGLE 1991 – 1995
CRAIG MARSHALL 1995 – Present
CURRENT JAZZ LIBRARIAN STUDENTS
Ariel Glassman, Thomas Reilly, Natalie Suvarnasuddhi & Zachary Williamson
We graciously recognize the countless jazz librarians over the decades who contributed greatly to the success of the lab band program, both in keeping the bands in playable charts and assisting with hundreds of concerts, special events and tours along the way. Carting gear, setting up and running sound systems, serving as stage crew, helping with merchandice sales... you name it. Thank you all for your hard work!
JAZZ 75TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION
Jennifer Barnes, Alan Baylock, Rosana Eckert, Craig Marshall, Rob Parton, Madison Russell
Madison Russell , Administrative Coordinator for Jazz Studies
Derek Miller , Audio Technical Director, Front of House Engineer
Michael Vazquez , Monitor Engineer
Julie Hohman , Lighting Technical Director
Austin Martinez , Director of Recording Services, Recording & Live Stream
Jake Chaffee , Music Performance Technician, Recording & Live Stream
Jordan Batson , MPAC Building Operations
Destiny Andrews , Assistant Director for Event Management, Box Office
Matt Hellman , Graphic Design Specialist, Program Design & Photography
Linda Strube , College of Music Programs, Copy Proofreading
Matt Hardman , Director of Communications, Marketing & Public Relations
Maristella Feustle , Music Special Collections Librarian, Archival Photo Curator
Kimberly Hannon Teal , Assistant Professor of Jazz History & Research, Historical Essay Editor
Michael Clements , Photography
Vickie Napier , Budget & Purchasing Officer
Joel Wiley , Director of Admissions, College of Music Ambassadors
Amanda Miller , Concert & Event Scheduling Coordinator
Bailey Garrison , Catering Coordinator, Verde Dining Services
Courtney Burke , Assistant Director of Events, Gateway Center
Daniel Suda , Director of Affinity Programming, Alumni Relations
Mike Steinel , Event Planning Guidance
Ian Calhoun , Jazz Archival Organization
Jeff Bowerman , Groggy Dog, Merchandise
Jayna Whitehead , General Manager, UNT Bookstore
Steve Severance , Proprietor, Steve’s Wine Bar, Receptions
Darla Mayes, Carla Kruger, Philip Brown, Mike Bogle, Charles Hackett , Historical References
MICHAEL R. WILLIAMS Chancellor
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS NEAL SMATRESK President
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
COLLEGE OF MUSIC
JOHN W. RICHMOND
Professor and Dean
WARREN HENRY Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
FELIX OLSCHOFKA Associate Dean for Operations
EMILITA MARIN Assistant Dean for Business and Finance
RAYMOND ROWELL Assistant Dean for Scholarships and External Affairs
KIRSTEN BROBERG Director of Undergraduate Studies
JAYMEE HAEFNER Director of Graduate Studies
BENJAMIN BRAND Chair, Division of Music History, Theory and Ethnomusicology
MOLLY FILLMORE Chair, Division of Vocal Studies
STEVEN HARLOS Chair, Division of Keyboard Studies
JOSEPH KLEIN Chair, Division of Composition Studies
KIMBERLY COLE LUEVANO Chair, Division of Instrumental Studies
ROB PARTON Chair, Division of Jazz Studies
SEAN POWELL Chair, Division of Music Education
ANDREW TRACHSEL Chair, Division of Conducting and Ensembles
CYRIEL AERTS Director, Piano Services
MATT HARDMAN Director, Communications, Marketing and Public Relations
AUSTIN MARTINEZ Director, Recording Services
CAROL POLLARD Director, Undergraduate Advising
JOEL WILEY Director, Admissions
MARIA BAYLOCK Executive Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the College of Music
MATT HELLMAN Program Design, Graphic Design Specialist