The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has announced the appointment of Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter as UCLA professors. The two veteran musicians will mentor students as part of the school’s Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.
The appointments, according to a press release from UCLA, “mark the first time these two artists have made such a major commitment to an educational institution, and the current class of students will be the first to learn from them on a regular basis.”
The press release states: “The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA is a two-year graduate-level program that accepts one ensemble of musicians for each class; the current class includes seven students. The students, known as Thelonious Monk Fellows, will be taught each month by Hancock and Shorter throughout the academic year.”
Additionally, Hancock and Shorter will lead master classes open to all UCLA students. Shorter already taught for eight days last fall and participated in a public performance with the Monk Fellows, and Hancock has taught for three days. They also conducted one master class together. In April, the Monk Fellows will accompany Hancock and Shorter to Istanbul to participate in a global, televised performance marking International Jazz Day.
The Monk Institute program at UCLA has been expanded to include composer Billy Childs. Also instructing the Monk Fellows are Hal Crook, Jerry Bergonzi and Dick Oatts.
According to the UCLA release, “All Fellows receive full scholarships, as well as stipends to cover their monthly living expenses. The students study individually and as a small group. They also are encouraged to experiment in expanding jazz in new directions through their compositions and performances. The current class will be the first to graduate with a master’s degree in jazz performance from UCLA.”