UNT College of Music jazz students win five 'DownBeat' Student Music Awards

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 13:00

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Jazz students, faculty and ensembles from the University of North Texas College of Music have been honored by the national jazz and blues magazine “DownBeat”with a total of five student music and outstanding performance awards. The awards, considered the most prestigious in jazz education, will be announced in the June issue of the magazine.

"These awards recognize examples of one aspect of research and creative activity in our college: collaboration among students to do creative work under the guidance of a faculty mentor," said John Murphy, chair of the Division of Jazz Studies. "They show the diversity of our program by recognizing an instrumental soloist, a small group led by a vocalist who plays the harp, two Latin jazz groups and an arrangement by an accomplished jazz pianist who also studies classical organ."

The full list of awards is below.


Two winners:

  • Latin Group Graduate College Winner: Christian Valdes Sextet; faculty mentor: José Aponte
  • Latin Group Graduate College Winner: Pepe Valdez Quintet; faculty mentor: Fred Hamilton


Three outstanding honors:

  • Jazz Soloist Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance: Howard Dietz, alto saxophone; faculty mentor: Brad Leali
  • Small Vocal Jazz Group Graduate College Outstanding Performance: Anna Jalkéus Group; faculty mentor: Rosana Eckert
  • Jazz Arrangement Undergraduate College Outstanding Arrangement: Gregory Santa Croce, “Dance of the Infidels”; faculty mentor: Richard DeRosa


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