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California's University of the Pacific seeks student Jazz Ambassadors

University of the Pacific alum vibraphonist Joel Ross performing in Tokyo
Takuo Sato
courtesy of the artist
University of the Pacific alum vibraphonist Joel Ross performing in Tokyo

Full-tuition scholarships are available for student musicians to attend the Accelerated Bachelor of Music Honors Degree in Jazz Studies in the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific, and become part of the Jazz Ambassadors combo.

University of the Pacific is California's oldest university, founded July 10, 1851, and affiliated with the Methodist church. Originally named College of the Pacific, the school claims jazz piano icon Dave Brubeck as one of its most distinguished alumni.

Both Brubeck and his wife Iola attended the college; Brubeck graduated in 1942, Iola in 1945.

Brubeck returned to the school in 1953 to play a concert with an early version of his quartet, and the recording of that concert became part of the Brubeck Quartet's "Jazz Goes to College" series.

A more recent Pacific alum gaining recognition is vibraphonist Joel Ross, who attended the university from 2013 through 2015 on a Brubeck Fellowship. Ross is performing a concert for Earshot Jazz on June 30 at Seattle's Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

The Pacific Jazz Ambassadors is a jazz combo comprised of students pursuing a three-year accelerated bachelor's degree in jazz studies at Pacific's Conservatory of Music.

Ambassadors study with Pacific's jazz studies faculty, visiting jazz educators, artists, clinicians, and other music professionals, while obtaining their undergraduate degree.

They perform extensively throughout California, as well as the U.S. and abroad.
Regular international performances are a primary component of the Ambassadors' education, and collaboration with visiting professional artists and clinicians is a high priority.

Ambassadors also work in the on-campus recording studio, producing at least one recording project each year.

This opportunity is open to five high school graduates who are exceptionally talented and motivated jazz musicians. The scholarship includes full tuition.

Application and recorded audition submission deadline is Thursday, June 30. Learn more here.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.