Juilliard Jazz Department Overview

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(pleasant jazz music)

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Wynton Marsalis: The mission of Juilliard Jazz is

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to train exceptional musicians

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and empower them to reach their

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highest goals and aspirations,

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and ground them in the

American vernacular music,

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and then all of the

historic periods of jazz.

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Aaron Flagg: We're trying to take

students who are excited

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about this music, really make

sure that they understand

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the entire history of the

music and their place in it,

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which then enables them

to create their own

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future artistic visions

and their own directions.

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Ulysses Owens Jr.: Juilliard Jazz very much

is about the tradition,

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keeping the tradition of this

music, jazz music, alive.

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You know, rooted in

swing, rooted in blues.

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Aaron Flagg: We are really about the

entire history of jazz.

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So that type of depth across

the entire continuum is unique.

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Ulysses Owens Jr.: Another thing that's

really important here

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is our student original compositions.

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Every year, the small

ensemble and big band students

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have an opportunity to

develop their voice,

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which is really important.

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(energetic saxophone solo)

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Jacob Melsha: We rehearse, I guess, six hours a week

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for sometimes four or five,

six weeks for a concert.

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You don't get that as

much in the outside world.

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We know so much about the composer,

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know so much about each style,

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or in small ensembles where

we do our own arrangements.

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We get to rehearse our

arrangements, edit our arrangements,

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see how they evolve, bring

in original compositions

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to rehearse with a band on a high level,

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we're coached by some world class faculty.

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So I feel like the rehearsals that we

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have here at Juilliard have,

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in a sense, made me feel

like I'm ready for anything.

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Olivia Chindamo: I'm Australian, so everything

I learn about jazz history

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is second-hand, third-hand, fourth-hand.

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But you come to a place like this,

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and your teachers have

played with the people

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that you grew up trying

to study from afar.

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Roxy Coss: Students here are

getting hands-on access

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to the best jazz musicians in the world,

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and they're learning really in the way

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that I think all of our idols learned.

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This is a lineage passed

along from mentorship.

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It's cross generational.

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Jazz is this way.

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We are always going to be learning

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and we're always gonna

be teaching each other.

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Olivia Chindamo: One of the first things that happened

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when I got here was I

made so many friends.

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It was like an instant network of people.

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Aaron Flagg: The quality and passion of the students

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are key to make that

community gathering so rich.

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And what that includes

is our alumni as well.

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We have alumni who've come

back to teach in the program.

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That helps the students

while they're in school

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see themselves down the line.

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Ulysses Owens Jr.: Ultimately,

when you're a jazz musician,

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your goal was to be at

a club or on the road.

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Olivia Chindamo: Something that

changed immediately for me

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in my career here was that

I was out and I was playing.

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And that was just such a thrill.

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Roxy Coss: Being on Lincoln Center Campus

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and also being in New York City,

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you can hop on the subway

and be at Smalls or you know,

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be at Smoke in 10 minutes,

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and I think that that's

invaluable at this stage

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to be able to attend jam sessions,

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and you know, go hear your

heroes at the Vanguard play.

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Aaron Flagg: One of the great things

about Juilliard Jazz

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is the rich opportunities

that are available

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within the Juilliard School itself.

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The fact that you're in an

environment where excellence

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permeates every hall and

is a part of all the other

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performing arts in the

building, dance, drama,

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and all the different musics,

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really adds to an exciting environment.

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Esteban Castro: You know, when you get to play

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with actors and dancers

in different capacities,

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sometimes an actor or a dancer

will just do some movement,

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or say something in a specific way

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that'll invoke something that

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gives me a completely fresh new idea.

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I really like the amount of creativity

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and inspiration it brings.

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Aaron Flagg: We're looking for jazz musicians,

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be they instrumentalists, vocalists,

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all jazz musicians who are

interested in embracing

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this great music and its

history, and its legacy,

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and wanting to extend it further.

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Roxy Coss: If you're considering

applying to Juilliard,

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I really strongly

encourage you to just apply

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and reach out to your, you

know, potential professors.

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Jacob Melsha: Do it.

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Audition, take the risk.

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I didn't think I was gonna get in.

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You never know until you try.

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Wynton Marsalis: We believe that the tools

we give you can help you

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in whatever you decide to go in,

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but our ultimate goal is to create artists

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that are able to impact the society,

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and to impact our times.

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You are the present and the future.

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(audience applauding)

(audience cheering)