The Eastman New Jazz Ensemble under Dave Rivello and Eastman School of Music students Theresa Chen, George Darrah, Jonathan Fagan and Jon Rarick (students of Bill Dobbins, Harold Danko, and Dave Rivello) have received DownBeat honors in the magazine’s 41st annual Student Music Awards.
“Eastman’s Jazz and Contemporary Media department has a sustained history of excellence over many decades and having this recognized by the world’s leading jazz publication is always a tremendous honor. All of us at Eastman are very proud of the achievements of this year’s DownBeat honorees,” shares Jamal Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger Dean at Eastman School of Music.
The Eastman New Jazz Ensemble was recognized in the Outstanding College Performance Large Jazz Ensemble category. The ensemble performs repertoire primarily from the last 20 years, including music not often heard or yet recorded, and frequently premieres new works, including those of student writers. The group, which numbers approximately 20 musicians, previously won a DownBeat award in 2017 for Graduate College Outstanding Performance.
Chen won the award for Outstanding Arrangements for Small Ensemble for her work, “Lonely Moments”. Chen is currently a third-year DMA student in jazz piano performance. She previously won last year for Outstanding Original Composition for Small Ensemble.
Darrah, who graduated with his MM last spring, won Outstanding Arrangements Big Band for “New Autumn”. Darrah is from Beverly, Mass. He won in 2017 for Outstanding Arrangement as well.
Fagan was recognized for Outstanding Composition for “Legacy (For the Late Fred Strum)” in the Graduate Division. He graduated with his MM last spring.
Rarick was the Graduate College Winner Studio Orchestra for “Embers. Rarick, who graduated with his MM last spring in jazz writing, is from Grayslake, Ill. He previously won in 2017 for Outstanding Arrangement.
“Having this many students as well as one of our largest ensemble is a great honor for us,” shares Jeff Campbell, Chair of the Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media Department. “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our students work and help them be heard by a wider audience.”
The Student Music Awards were announced in the June issue of DownBeat, one of the country’s most respected jazz magazines and often called “the bible of jazz.” The issue was mailed April 25 and will be on newsstands on May 15.
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About Eastman School of Music:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.
About 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division—about 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 20 percent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Six alumni and three faculty members have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, as have numerous GRAMMYÒ Awards. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 700 concerts to the Rochester community.