Monterey Jazz Festival Partners With Texas Southern University in Houston

The partnership includes education exchanges, a music symposium, and the creation of a new high-school all-star ensemble

Texas Southern University students perform at the 2019 Monterey Jazz @ TSU symposium
Texas Southern University students perform at the 2019 Monterey Jazz @ TSU symposium

The Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) and Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston have announced a new partnership. Launched in September during this year’s festival, when music business students from TSU went to Monterey to work as production and marketing interns, the partnership—a part of MJF’s continuing efforts to spread jazz to younger audiences—will allow for a wide range of education exchanges.

Between October 24 and 26, the TSU music department offered an intensive symposium called Monterey Jazz @ TSU for all greater Houston-based middle- and high-school music programs, and for the community in general. Led by TSU faculty from the music, communications, and music industry degree programs and featuring 2019 MJF artist-in-residence Derrick Hodge, the symposium included master classes, panel discussions, recording sessions, workshops, and more.

“Monterey Jazz Festival is excited to build on the spirit of inclusiveness inherent in jazz as it begins this new partnership with Texas Southern University,” Colleen Bailey, the festival’s executive director, said in a press release. “TSU has a deep history of producing jazz artists, some of whom have played on the stages of our festival, an incredible jazz program, and they have the #1 community radio station. They are the perfect partner for this new initiative that we envision will be a model that we will test and perhaps expand more broadly in the future.”

The partnership also makes room for the creation of a new group called the Houston All-Star Ensemble, made up of students from local Houston high schools. The group will have the opportunity to perform at MJF’s 50th Next Generation Jazz Festival, which takes place April 3-5 in Monterey, and at the 63rd Monterey Jazz Festival next September.

“Texas Southern University has a long history of educating, training, and employing legendary jazz artists,” TSU President Austin Lane said in the release. “Our award-winning public radio station, KTSU, has been a launching pad for some incredible jazz talent. By partnering with the Monterey Jazz Festival, we are joining with a national brand—one that adds to our already rich legacy, and one that can help propel more young artists into this dynamic music genre.”