Saxophonist/composer Kenny Garrett has been appointed director of the Jazz Studies Program at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. Garrett, who will join the faculty on Sept. 1, will becomes the fifth musician to lead the program, according to a press release. The program, founded in 1973, has previously been directed by composer/arranger Thad Jones, Rufus Reid, James Williams and, most recently, Mulgrew Miller, who died in May 2013.
At William Paterson, Garrett will direct six of the program’s 24 small jazz groups on a weekly basis. According to the press release, he “will host the program’s dialogue days that feature peer and faculty critiques of student performances, and he will regularly participate in numerous other activities and concerts.”
The William Paterson University Jazz Studies Program, the release says, “is unique among higher education programs. Among the most respected programs in the country, it is one of the few with an emphasis on small-group playing, improvisation and a genuine commitment to the jazz tradition. It is also one of the five oldest jazz studies degree programs in the U.S., having celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013.”
The program offers bachelor’s degrees in jazz studies and performance, with hybrid degree options in audio recording, music education, music management and classical performance; the master’s degree offers tracks in performance and arranging.