Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute moves to UCLA campus

Thelonious Monk, Minton's Playhouse, New York City, circa September 1947.
Thelonious Monk, Minton's Playhouse, New York City, circa September 1947. Ky Olsen/Flickr (Creative-Commons licensed)

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is moving to the UCLA campus. It will partner with UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music to offer a new master’s degree program in jazz.

Pianist and composer Herbie Hancock helped launch the partnership. He says people will see a transformation in UCLA's music program with the addition of the jazz institute. The new partnership, he says, will expose young musicians to different forms of music.

"One thing I'm excited about is the opportunity to combine classical music and the ethnomusicology department and the musicology department so that a whole history of various music from various cultures can be explored," says Hancock.

He thinks there may be some new programs created, as well. For example, Hancock would like to form a collaboration between UCLA's music and medical programs to explore the relationship between jazz and the human psyche.

The new master’s program will also include classes in business. Hancock says it's important for musicians to possess business acumen.

“And this is a great opportunity for young people who have entrepreneurial skills and business skills to create new kinds of ventures for their music and for the exposure of their music that hadn’t been thought of in the last century," says Hancock.

As part of the program, students also will visit Los Angeles public schools and offer free music instruction.

The jazz institute plans to move to the UCLA campus a year from this summer.

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