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Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance selects Class of 2011

May 1, 2009

Internationally renowned jazz artists Terence Blanchard, Gary Burton and Jimmy Heath have selected six outstanding young jazz musicians for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Class of 2011.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, led by artistic director Terence Blanchard, is the world’s most intensive graduate-level college jazz education program. The program attracts top young jazz musicians from around the globe to study at the Monk Institute, hosted by Loyola University New Orleans. Musicians are accepted to comprise a complete jazz ensemble for each class in the full-scholarship, two-year program. The students study both individually and as a small group, receiving personal mentoring, ensemble coaching and lectures on the jazz tradition.

The six students, who will begin the program in August 2009, are: trumpeter Billy Buss of Berkeley, Calif.; drummer Nicholas Falk of Cape Elizabeth, Maine; pianist Victor Gould of Los Angeles; bassist Hogyu Hwang of South Korea; alto saxophonist Godwin Louis of Bridgeport, Conn.; and tenor saxophonist Matt Marantz of Cedar Hill, Texas.

In April 2007, the Institute announced its “Commitment to New Orleans Initiative,” the largest program in the Institute’s 23-year history, which included the relocation of the institute to the campus of Loyola University New Orleans. The seven-member Class of 2009 will be the first to graduate from New Orleans during Loyola’s commencement ceremony on May 9.

The program embodies the institute’s mission of fostering the next generation of jazz greats, educating young people about jazz and helping to expand and perpetuate jazz. The institute’s “Commitment to New Orleans Initiative” also includes ongoing school and community jazz education programs to help strengthen the school system, provide employment for New Orleans musicians, attract displaced musicians living in other areas of the country back to their hometown and unite the city’s jazz, arts and cultural communities.

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