Manhattan School of Music Honors Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen
Thursday, May 9, as Honorees of First-Ever Jazz Gala
• Funds Raised Established the Grusin/Rosen Endowed Jazz Scholarship at MSM
• 30th Anniversary of Manhattan School of Music’s Jazz Arts Program Celebrated
Friday, May 10, as Recipients of the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts,
New York, NY – (May 11, 2013) – Manhattan School of Music honored Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen, on Thursday, May 9, as honorees of the School’s first-ever Jazz Gala, followed on Friday, May 10, as recipients of the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, honoris causa.
Messrs. Grusin and Rosen are hailed as two of the most prominent jazz producers as co-founders of GRP Records, one of the music industry’s most successful “musician run” labels. Dave Grusin, a 10-time GRAMMY and Academy Awardee, is one of the most highly sought composers for film; and Larry Rosen produces numerous television and multimedia programs and is the creator of “JAZZ ROOTS,” a concert and educational program for performing arts centers across America. Their work has furthered jazz education in countless ways, and both have been mentors to scores of younger musicians, producers and presenters.
The Jazz Gala held on May 9th raised more than $200,000 to establish the Grusin/Rosen Endowed Jazz Scholarship at Manhattan School of Music. This scholarship will enable future jazz musicians to aspire to the level of virtuosity, artistry, and the values of “Musical Citizenship” that MSM aspires to give all its students.
Messrs. Grusin and Rosen join a host of MSM gala honorees who in the past have included Conductor Kurt Masur; Soprano Barbara Cook; Violinist Pinchas Zukerman; Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Pianists Eugene Istomin and Evgeny Kissin.
The evening also celebrated the culmination of the School’s celebratory year topping off the Jazz Arts Program’s 30th anniversary. Under the helm of Associate Dean and Chair, Justin DiCioccio, who is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time, the Jazz Arts Program outdid itself this year with magnificent concerts throughout New York City --including a week-long Anniversary Festival held at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, on WBGO, in the School’s Borden Hall, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at other prestigious jazz clubs including Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem.
Music included the MSM Jazz Orchestra conducted by Justin DiCioccio accompanied by Dave Grusin playing his own jazz arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. Swing dancing to music by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and others followed. In addition, Nelson Riddle arrangements were featured showcasing MSM jazz student, Bennie Benack, Jr., singing the tunes of Frank Sinatra.
On May 10th, MSM’s newly appointed president, Dr. James Gandre, granted Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, honoris causa, at Manhattan School of Music’s 87th commencement ceremony. Also receiving doctoral degrees were the distinguished conductor Leonard Slatkin and esteemed pianist Menahem Pressler. They join a list of distinguished past honorees such as Alec Baldwin, Dave Brubeck, Billy Joel, Lang Lang, John Lewis, Jessye Norman, Hal Prince, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pete Seeger, and Clark Terry.
Seventeen jazz majors received the Bachelor of Music degree; 34 jazz majors graduated with a Master of Music degree; and two jazz musicians were granted the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts. They come from all over the United States—from Chico, California; Cleveland, Ohio; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and in New York State – from Buffalo, Brooklyn, and New York City. They also hail from abroad—Shizuoka, Japan; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Toronto, Canada.
Commencement music included a performance of Dave Grusin’s Mountain Dance, performed by Angelo Di Loreto, piano, Jeffrey Koch, bass and Jake Goldbass, drums. Grusin’s Mountain Dance was produced by Larry Rosen and was the first digitally recorded nonclassical album.
For more than 45 years, Dave Grusin has been an innovative force in jazz and popular music, as pianist, bandleader, arranger, producer, and a multi-awarded composer of music for film and television.
Dave moved to New York in 1959 to pursue his Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music, but soon took a job as pianist for the popular singer Andy Williams. Williams also hired fellow student, drummer Larry Rosen, who became his lifelong friend and business partner. In 1962, when Williams became the host of a TV variety show, Dave Grusin moved to Los Angeles to be Williams’ music director. His stellar career as a film composer began with a commission to write the score for the comedy Divorce American Style. Following has been eight Oscar nominations, the Oscar award in 1988 for The Milagro Beanfield War, and four Golden Globe nominations. His film-scores include some of Hollywood’s best-loved movies including for The Graduate, On Golden Pond, Tootsie, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Havana, The Firm, and many others.
In the midst of Grusin’s active career as a film composer, he and Larry Rosen formed a production company that evolved into the GRP label in 1976. The label was an incubator for emerging artists such as Lee Ritenour, Patti Austin, Angela Bofill, and Dave Benoit, and an outlet for groups such as Chick Corea’s Electric Band. His work as a recording artist and producer has resulted in over 10 Grammy awards and many more nominations, including those for two classical projects with guitarist Lee Ritenour, which feature performances by Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and others. He has collaborated with countless world-class musicians, including: Antônio Carlos Jobim, Quincy Jones, Billy Joel, Bobby McFerrin, Earl Klugh, Diana Krall, Peggy Lee, Bobby McFerrin, Gerry Mulligan, Paul Simon, and Clark Terry.
Just as significantly, Dave Grusin is a dedicated advocate for jazz education, and a mentor to many aspiring composers. With Larry Rosen, he co-founded the National Foundation for Jazz Education, a philanthropic group dedicated to helping young jazz musicians.
Larry Rosen has sustained a decades-long career as one the music industry’s most prominent producers and entrepreneurs. A Bronx native, as a teenager in the 1950s he was a drummer with the Newport Youth Band, a selective New York City student jazz band that performed at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Larry enrolled at Manhattan School of Music to further his musical training, but was soon hired to tour with popular singer Andy Williams, where he met Dave Grusin. In 1967, he encouraged Grusin to make his first albums as a jazz pianist. His instincts as a producer led him and Grusin to form Grusin/Rosen Productions, which advanced the careers of many emerging jazz artists. Their success at this led to the founding of GRP Records in 1976. Two years later, Larry produced the Dave Grusin album Mountain Dance, the first digitally recorded nonclassical album. Moving ahead of the large major labels, GRP launched the CD format in America, making the label a digital pioneer in the industry.
Larry Rosen was the producer/executive producer of over 350 albums; 33 of which received Grammy Awards, and many more were nominated. He created several TV specials, notably the Legends of Jazz series with Ramsey Lewis for PBS. He is currently producing RECORDING: The History of Recorded Music, a television series and a multi-media educational performance program. In 2008 Mr. Rosen launched JAZZ ROOTS, which combines world-class jazz concerts at performing arts centers across the country with jazz education and mentoring-style outreach programs to over 10,000 students. Quincy Jones said, “JAZZ ROOTS is the most important jazz and educational program in America”. The JAZZ ROOTS Series and education program has been presented in Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center, the Cobb Centre in Atlanta, the Smith Center in Las
Vegas, and NJPAC in Newark, NJ. Last summer, Mr. Rosen launched the annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition – the SASSY Awards—in a similar spirit.
For more see: www.jazzroots.com
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Manhattan School of Music was one of the nation’s earliest conservatories to honor jazz as an art form; since the program’s founding in 1982, it has become one of the most prestigious and respected jazz training curricula worldwide.
In the years before MSM had a formal jazz program, great jazz musicians were drawn to the school. During the 1940s and ‘50s, jazz innovators such as Max Roach, drummer, and John Lewis, pianist/composer, were already creative forces in jazz when they enrolled at MSM to advance their education. Even then, MSM had the resources, faculty and atmosphere conducive to educating “the complete musician.” Other jazz musicians who attended MSM early on were the preeminent bassist Ron Carter, trumpet players Joe Wilder and Donald Byrd (who passed away earlier this spring), the great saxophonist and world music pioneer Yusef Lateef, as well as Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen.
In the fall of 1982, Manhattan School of Music became one of the first conservatories in the United States to acknowledge the prime importance of jazz as an art form by creating a jazz department. When Justin DiCioccio became the department’s Chair in the fall of 1999 he developed what is now an internationally renowned jazz arts program. Under his leadership, the jazz curriculum was completely restructured and a new jazz DMA program was created. He initiated the addition of a jazz component to the Precollege Division, making Manhattan School of Music one of the few institutions in the country to offer jazz programs at all levels.
Manhattan School of Music is one of the world’s leading music conservatories and provides its students with the highest musical training available in classical music, orchestral studies, opera, and jazz. Founded in 1918, MSM’s unique strengths today are: 850 superbly talented students; a world-renowned faculty; and an innovative curricula. The school presents more than 500 concerts and recitals annually that are recognized as among the finest musical events in New York City. MSM alumni include the world’s most acclaimed musicians: Opera stars Susan Graham and Dolora Zajick; composer John Corigliano; Harry Connick, Jr.; and jazz artists Stefon Harris, Jason Moran, and Jane Monheit to name just a few.