Josh Johnson is first Jacobs School student selected for Thelonious Monk Institute

Josh Johnson performing with the Jazz Ensemble in the MAC last year

Congratulations to Josh Johnson, BM ’11 Jazz Studies/Saxophone, who was recently selected from an international pool of applicants for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Josh is the first Jacobs School student or alumnus to be selected for this elite group. Benny Reid, BM ’03 Jazz Studies, was a finalist for the group several years ago.

Here’s a picture, with Josh in the red tie, standing next to Herbie Hancock.

Pictured from left to right: James Newton (UCLA professor), Mike Cottone, Miro Sprague, Kenny Burrell (UCLA Director of Jazz Studies), Eric Miller, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Dave Robaire, Jimmy Heath, Joshua Johnson, Diego Urbano and Jonathan Pinson.

From the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz newsletter:

On Saturday, February 25, thirty young jazz musicians from around the world converged in Los Angeles for an intense, day-long audition process for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. Judges Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, James Newton and Kenny Burrell accepted the challenge of selecting just seven talented musicians for this two-year, full-scholarship jazz performance program. Judge and acclaimed saxophonist Jimmy Heath acknowledged the tremendous talents who auditioned. “I think that the musicians entering the [Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance] program are the future of music, and after two years at the Monk Institute they will be ready to take on the world.”

The seven students accepted into the Institute of Jazz Performance are Mike Cottone (trumpet), Joshua Johnson (alto saxophone), Eric Miller (trombone), Jonathan Pinson (drums), Dave Robaire (bass), Miro Sprague (piano) and Diego Urbano (vibes). As previously announced, the Institute begins its collaboration with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in Fall 2012, and UCLA will offer its first graduate degrees in jazz.

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