College Program Alumnus Davy Mooney brings worldwide experience to the classroom

Jazz guitarist and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance graduate Davy Mooney is off to a solid start with his engagement as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas. Mooney recently was profiled in the North Texas Daily, which highlighted his uniquely international background as a musician and educator, noting, “Between international guitar competitions, tours in South America and a Japanese record label, Davy Mooney has had quite the worldly experience in music.”

Mooney, who was a finalist in the 2005 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Guitar Competition and a member of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2009, appears to be applying this experience admirably in his new position. “Davy has been a fantastic addition to the jazz program,” said one student. “He has a very deep understanding and appreciation for the tradition of jazz. His depth of knowledge is so inspiring.” Another student shared, “He is an amazing player with a special ability to notice what aspects students should work on in order to advance to the next level…He’s also very enthusiastic about everything that is happening in school and with his students.”

The Jazz Studies Department at the University of North Texas is widely acknowledged as one of the top programs of its kind in the world, and was the first university in the United States to offer a jazz studies degree. Its renowned One O’Clock Lab Band has served as an early proving ground for Bob Belden, Herb Ellis, Jimmy Giuffre, Conrad Herwig, Ari Hoenig, and many others who have gone on to become leading jazz musicians. With the addition of Mooney – who is himself a graduate of the UNT program – to the faculty, we are certain this number will continue to grow.

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UNESCO Announces 2018 & 2019 Global Hosts for International Jazz Day

UNESCO is pleased to announce that the International Jazz Day Global Host Cities for the next two years will be Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, in 2018 and Sydney, Australia, in 2019.

International Jazz Day is celebrated annually on 30 April in more than 190 countries. The day pays tribute to the art form of jazz and its power to promote dialogue among cultures, embrace diversity, and deepen respect for human rights and all forms of expression. The cities of Saint Petersburg and Sydney were chosen for their unique contributions to the development of jazz. The jazz scene in Russia was born in 1927 in Saint Petersburg with the appearance of the “First Concert Jazz Band” in the concert hall of the St. Petersburg State Capella, followed by the creation of the first jazz collective in 1929. Saint Petersburg is the only city in Russia to have a Jazz Philharmonic Hall, founded in 1989.

Festivities are set to take place in some of Saint Petersburg’s most significant venues, such as the Mariinsky Theatre. Saint Petersburg’s bid to become a host city was supported by renowned Russian saxophonist Igor Butman.

In Australia, jazz is a flourishing art form, which in recent years has seen an increasing number of players and growing audiences. Australia is host to the world’s largest youth jazz festival, “Generations in Jazz,” which is held in the city of Mount Gambier.

Sydney plans to hold the flagship All Star-Global Concert in the iconic Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the streets of the city will come alive with jazz through a daylong programme of “Jazz in Squares,” featuring school bands and jazz combos. Other cities across Australia expected to join in the multi-day celebration include Adelaide, which is a UNESCO Creative City for Music. Australia’s celebrated jazz musician James Morrison was instrumental in the effort to secure Sydney’s bid to host International Jazz Day 2019.

Each year, the All Star-Global Concert, which features UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and iconic jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and dozens of other internationally acclaimed musicians from around the world, is the culminating event of International Jazz Day.

In addition to the main events in Saint Petersburg and Sydney, UNESCO will continue to encourage the participation of schools, universities and non-governmental organizations, as well as public radio and public television around the world. Various performing arts venues, community centres, artists, arts organizations, libraries and educational institutes will also organize activities around jazz.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing the annual celebration of International Jazz Day.

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