Success Stories

Explore Recent News and Success Stories about MSM Students, Alumni, and Faculty.

  • Jun 1, 2022Jazz

    MSM faculty member Damien Sneed is featured in the June issue of Opera News

    The feature article in Opera News by Karen Chilton with photography by Darío Acosta spotlights MSM faculty member Damien Sneed conducting The Ordering of Moses at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City on June 17, presented by the Harlem Chamber Players.

    Read the article here.

    Learn more about the production here.

  • May 12, 2022Jazz

    MSM Jazz Composition student Eliana Fishbeyn (MM ’22) is named a 2022 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer

    Recent MSM graduate, composer, and arranger Eliana Fishbeyn (MM ’22) is among 21 young composers named  a 2022 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer. She received the honor for her composition Unknown Knowns for big band, which had previously won the Sophie Desmarais International Composition Competition for Large Jazz Ensemble at the Université de Montréal in 2021.

    Eliana Fishbeyn is a composer and arranger of Russian-Jewish heritage from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who currently resides in New York City. She graduated with her Master’s degree in jazz composition at Manhattan School of Music in May 2022, having studied with Jim McNeely and Phil Markowitz.

    The ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award  is granted annually to encourage talented young jazz composers during the earliest stages of their careers. The recipients receive cash awards and are selected through a juried national competition.

    Learn more about the award here.


  • Apr 4, 2022Composition

    MSM alumni and faculty members win 2022 GRAMMY Awards

    Congratulations to MSM faculty and alumni who won 2022 GRAMMY Awards for classical, jazz, and composing/arranging!

    The awards were presented on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas. Winners include MSM alumni Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) (in photo on left) and J’Nai Bridges (BM ’09) soloists in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Philip Glass’ Ahknaten which won Best Opera Recording.

    View the full list of winners here.

    View all MSM faculty and alumni nominated for the 2022 awards here.

  • Mar 26, 2022Composition

    More than 30 MSM alumni and faculty members nominated for 2022 GRAMMY Awards

    The GRAMMY Awards take place on Sunday, April 1, with more than 30 MSM alumni and faculty members nominated, including MSM trustees Terence Blanchard (HonDMA ’19) and Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08), as well as J’nai Bridges (BM ’09), and faculty member, Miguel Zenón.

    Read the full list of MSM community nominees here.

  • Mar 4, 2022Jazz

    MSM faculty member Ron Carter (MM ’61, HonDMA ’98) to celebrate his 85th birthday at Carnegie Hall on May 10.

    GRAMMY-winning jazz musician Ron Carter, a MSM alumnus and faculty member, is one the most recorded jazz bassist of all time with over 2,200 individual recording credits, and has been named one of the “10 Greatest Bassists of All-Time” by Rolling Stone.

    At the Carnegie Hall concert, Ron Carter will play select material from his six-decade career, leading groups in three combinations: trio, quartet, and octet.

    Ron Carter has performed and collaborated with other legends of jazz and music including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Gil Scott-Heron, Wayne Shorter, Paul Simon, McCoy Tyner, Aretha Franklin, Stan Getz, Roberta Flack, Bill Evans, Chet Baker, and dozens more.

    Learn about the concert here.

  • Jan 10, 2022Jazz

    Ally Hany Albrecht (MM ’17) Named Musician First Class with United States Navy Band

    Ally Alchrecht (MM ’17) Jazz Trumpet is the newest trumpet instrumentalist with the Commodores Jazz Ensemble, part of the United States Navy Band.

    Previously she was a member of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West. Highlights with the USAFB  include performing as a soloist at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Phil, on ESPN live for Monday Night Football, and at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

    Ally graduated with her Master’s Degree in Jazz trumpet from Manhattan School of Music in 2017 where she studied with Tony Kadleck.

    Learn more about Ally here.

  • Nov 11, 2021Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts faculty member John Riley receives Lifetime Achievement in Education Award

    MSM Jazz Arts drum set faculty member John Riley received the Lifetime Achievement in Education Award at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention on November 11.

    Critically acclaimed performer, author, and teacher, John Riley has worked with the world’s leading jazz musicians for over 30 years. A multiple Grammy award winner, John has played on hundreds of recordings and at major venues with jazz icons such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Lovano, and many others.

    Learn more about John Riley here.


  • Oct 25, 2021Jazz

    MSM faculty member Miguel Zenón nominated for a Latin GRAMMY Award

    Congratulations to MSM Jazz Arts faculty member and saxophonist Miguel Zenón, originally from Puerto Rico, who is nominated for the jazz recording El Arte del Bolero (Miel Music), a duet he recorded with Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo.

    The 22nd Latin GRAMMY Awards will take place on NOV 18 at the MSM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, airing live on Univision at 8 PM ET.

    A review of the album can be found here.

    More about the Latin GRAMMY Awards here.

  • Oct 13, 2021Jazz

    Jazz Vocalist and MSM alum Julia Keefe (MM ’19) named a 2021 Native Launchpad Awardee

    As part of this Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP) initiative, Julia and three other artists will each receive over the next three years direct financial and travel support, mentoring and coaching, professional development opportunities, and promotional benefits valued at $40,000.

    AIP was established in 2018 by the Western Arts Alliance with generous lead support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Awardees are selected by a panel of Indigenous performing arts professionals from across the country.

    Learn more here.

  • Oct 10, 2021Jazz

    Six MSM Alum awarded Jazz Road grants of up to $40,000 each

    Jazz Road, South Arts‘ national initiative supporting jazz artists, has announced its largest investment in the field to date: Jazz Road Creative Residencies. Fifty-two artists are receiving grants of up to $40,000 each, allowing them the opportunity to further explore their art form. Among the grant recipients are six MSM alumni:  pianist John Escreet (MM ’08), saxophonist and composer Felipe Salles (DMA ’05), trumpeter Adam O’Farrill (BM ’16), pianist Fabian Almazan (BM ’06, MM ’09), pianist and composer Jason Moran (BM ’97), and vocalist Julia Keefe (MM ’19).

    Projects supported through Jazz Road Creative Residencies range from the creation of new works to community-driven collaborative events.

    Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, South Arts is a nonprofit regional arts organization empowering artists, organizations, and communities, and increasing access to arts and culture.

    Learn more about the grants here.
    Learn more about South Arts here.



  • Sep 28, 2021Jazz

    MSM Jazz Faculty Damien Sneed featured at the March on Washington Film Festival (Sept 30 to Oct 4)

    MSM Jazz Faculty Damien Sneed (second on left in photo) is featured this Saturday, Oct 2, at the March on Washington Film Festival (Sept 30 to Oct 4) in a special performance at the event, “The Importance of Pauli Murray.”

    Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray was a 20th-century pioneer in many senses of the word: human rights activist, social justice strategist, legal scholar, poet, first African American woman Episcopalian priest, a founder of the National Organization for Women, and transmasculine member of the LGBTQ community.

    The special original performance features actor Regina Victor, composer/pianist Damien Sneed with Amyr Joyner, violin, and Johnny Walker, cello.

    More information here.

  • Jul 29, 2021Jazz

    Contemporary chamber trio 9 Horses featuring MSM alum and faculty member Sara Caswell (MM ’06) releases its second album “Omegah”

    9 Horses is an improvising chamber ensemble featuring MSM alum, faculty member, and 2018 GRAMMY nominee Sara Caswell (MM ’06) (Esperanza Spalding) on violin, Joe Brent (formerly of Regina Spektor’s band) on acoustic and electric mandolin, and Andrew Ryan (Kaia Kater) on bass.

    Their latest recording Omegah will be released on August 7 on Adhyâropa Records, a double album that Sara Caswell describes as reflecting 9 Horses’s natural progression. “This record is the culmination of years of experimenting with band members, musical timbres, colors and styles. In a way, it portrays our group’s entire odyssey.”

    Purchase the album on Basecamp here.
    Watch a song from the the new album by 9 Horses here.

  • Jul 6, 2021Jazz

    MSM jazz arts alumna Alison Crockett (MM ’97) to headline Chesapeake Music concert in Maryland on August 7

    The respected arts organization Chesapeake Music has announced its Summer Jazz Concert with vocalist and pianist Alison Crockett on Aug. 7 at 8 PM at its new home and recently renovated Ebenezer Theatre at 17 South Washington Street in Easton, Maryland.

    Alison will be performing her Echoes of an Era show highlighting music from Chaka Khan, Chick Corea and the American Songbook.

    “I consider myself a musician who comes out of the jazz tradition, the Black music tradition where jazz people take established forms and reimagine them in new and different ways,” she tells the Cecil Whig, the oldest newspaper on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

    Read about the event here.

    Learn more about Alison here.


  • Jun 30, 2021Jazz

    Bassist and Composer Ali Meyerson (MM ’20, Jazz Double Bass) is featured in Bass Magazine

    The respected Bass Magazine announces the release on August 6 of Ali’s latest CD I Want To Sing My Heart Out In Praise of Life . The compositions on the album are inspired by the work of legendary avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama.

    At MSM, Ali studied with renowned jazz bassist Ron Carter. She will be celebrating the album release at Minton’s in New York City on August 6 at 7 PM and 9 PM.

    The recording project is generously funded by a grant from the New York Foundation Arts 2020 Women’s Fund.

    Read the Bass Magazine article here.

  • Jun 27, 2021Jazz

    New CD “Echos” released by pianist Dahveed Behroozi (BM ’02, Jazz Piano)

    Taking its name from Greek mythology, Dahveed Behroozi‘s new album Echos released this month on the indie label Sunnyside was recorded with his NYC-based trio featuring bassist Thomas Morgan and veteran drummer Billy Mintz.

    The trio performs original compositions by Behroozi that draw on his love of Bach, Brahms, and Irving Berlin.

    “Spacious, austere and quietly conversational until it suddenly surges with tidal force, the music makes for edge-of-the-seat listening,” writes the San Francisco-based Mercury News.

    Read more and watch a promo video of the album here.

  • Jun 20, 2021Jazz

    MSM Jazz Arts alumna pianist Dabin Ryu (MM ’20) releases debut album “Wall”

    Classically-trained Dabin Ryu (MM ’20) is an award-winning pianist from Seoul, South Korea, who has been playing piano since the age of 3. She wrote, produced, and arranged all of the 10 songs on her debut album “Wall” released on June 1, 2021.

    “The entire album is marked by Ryu’s passionate and thoughtful approach to music-making,” writes Dodie Miller-Gould in Lemonwire in a review of the album which can be found here.

    Dabin’s website describes the compositions as “(they) settle within the jazz tradition, yet refuse the conventional instrumentations of a traditional jazz album. In this album, she captures the traces her life-long practice of music have left on her.”

    Listen to and purchase “Wall” here.

  • Jun 18, 2021Jazz

    MSM students Teagan Faran (MM ’22) and Zoe Molelekwa (BM ’24) named OneBeat Fellows

    MSM student Tegan Faran, who studies contemporary violin at MSM as part of the Contemporary Performance Program, and Zoe Molelekwa, a jazz composer and pianist from South Africa who is a Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholar, are among 35 Fellows from around the world taking part in OneBeat from July to September 2021.

    OneBeat is a residency and tour program that brings early-career musicians together from around the globe to collaboratively write, produce and perform original music, and develop strategies for arts-based civic and social engagement. It is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, & produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation.

    Learn more here.

  • Jun 12, 2021Jazz

    Jazz pianist and doctoral student David Zheng (MM ’20) featured as “Rising Star” in Voyage LA magazine

    MSM alumnus David Zhen (MM’20, Jazz Piano) gives an extensive interview to the influential online publication Voyage LA, where he speaks about his decision to take a two-year break from medical school to attend his “childhood dream school” of Manhattan School of Music where he studied with McArthur Genius Miguel Zenon, Damien Sneed, and Kendrick Scott.

    During his studies at MSM he was signed by Ropeadope Records in 2020 to release his debut album as a producer and keyboardist, called Loading… 

    He has been featured recently on NPR’s Livesessions, as well as in a feature article in the online news site Newstrails.

    David is currently continuing his medical training as both a neurologist and psychiatrist.

    Read the “Rising Star” profile in Voyage LA magazine here.
    Hear and buy Loading… here.

  • May 21, 2021Jazz

    Jazz students win DownBeat Student Music Awards

    Congratulations to our winners of DownBeat’s 44th Annual Student Music Awards!

    Jazz Soloist (Undergraduate College Outstanding Performances)
    Varun Das (BM ’22), drums
    Vittorio Stropoli (BM ’23), piano

    Jazz Soloist (Graduate College Winner)
    Rico Jones (BM ’20, MM ’22), tenor saxophone

    Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist (High School Honors Winner)
    Meghna Das (Precollege), vocalist

    Small Jazz Combo (Undergraduate College Winners)
    • The Ritual directed by Marc Cary
    Philippe Clément (BM ’22), songwriter/guitarist
    Stéphane Clément (BM ’23), trumpet
    Nolan Nwachukwu (BM ’23), bass
    Miguel Russell (BM ’24), drums
    Vittorio Stropoli (BM ’23), piano/keyboard/synth

    Original Composition—Small Ensemble (Undergraduate College Outstanding Compositions)
    Matanda Keyes (BM ’21), “Contra”

    Jazz Arrangement (Graduate College Outstanding—Small Ensemble)
    Rico Jones (BM ’20, MM ’22), “Central Park West”

  • Apr 12, 2021Jazz

    MSM faculty member Elio Villafranca named a recipient of John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship

    Jazz composer Elio Villafranca is among the recipients of the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship awarded this year to 184 artists, scholars, writers, and scientists. The grants of approximately $40,000 are given to those “who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”

    “I am thrilled to announce this new group of Guggenheim Fellows,” said Edward Hirsch, President of the Foundation, “especially since this has been a devastating year in so many ways… The work supported by the Fellowship will help us understand more deeply what we are enduring individually and collectively.”

    More about Elio here.

  • Apr 2, 2021Jazz

    Jazz bassist Noah Jackson (MM ’12) named Music Director and Artist in Residence of Influential Detroit Jazz Club Cliff Bells

    “I want to bring Detroit back into its prominence that most musicians around the world know it to be,” says Noah Jackson. “But many people outside the music don’t.”

    “I’ve always felt that Detroit was going to be a major factor in my life one way or the other, and that it was a major component towards my personal artistic identity,” says Jackson, who has been a highly sought-after bassist in NYC where he plays with Brandford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Christian Sands, and others.

    Cliff Bell’s reopens to the public on Friday, April 2, and will feature Sean Dobbins and the Modern Jazz Messengers April 2-3.

    Learn more about his appointment here.

  • Mar 11, 2021Jazz

    David Zheng interviewed by JAZZIZ Magazine

    Alumnus David Zheng (MM ’20, Jazz Piano) talks about his time at Manhattan School of Music in a new interview from JAZZIZ Magazine’s Spring 2021 issue, “When Jazz met Hip-Hop”. JAZZIZ subscribers can read the full interview here.

    “Merging jazz, R&B and hip-hop sensibilities, and featuring collaborations with and performances by top talents from a multitude of genres in the NYC music community, Loading… finds Zheng floating his jazzy sensibilities atop a sophisticated blend of hard-hitting dance-floor grooves, intricately textured electronics and dreamy atmospheres,” writes Jonathan Widran.

    Zheng signed with Ropeadope Records shortly after graduating, and released his first album Loading… in December 2020. Follow David Zheng on Instagram for the latest news and updates.

  • Feb 13, 2021Jazz

    Alumnus wins prestigious jazz composition award

    Last month, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC) announced the 2021 winner of the prestigious ISJAC/USF Owen Prize in Jazz Composition: recent MSM graduate Robert Buonaspina (MM ’20, Jazz Composition). During his time at MSM, Robert studied with esteemed faculty member Jim McNeely.

    Mr. Buonaspina’s winning composition, “Smile Pretty”, will be performed virtually by an acclaimed professional jazz orchestra at ISJAC’s Un[chart]ed Territory (March 18-20). Learn more about the event here.

  • Nov 20, 2020Jazz

    Jazz students featured in NYTimes article

    Three freshman jazz students are captured performing in Central Park in a new story from The New York Times, “A Bright Spot in the Pandemic Gloom: Jazz Is Everywhere in New York”. The article features a short video clip of students Kellin Hanas (Jazz Trumpet), Zoe Harrison (Jazz Double Bass), and Adam Lamoureux (Jazz Tenor Saxophone) busking in the park.

    Kellin Hanas, an 18-year-old from Wheaton, Ill., can’t quite believe her new venue: “Central Park, holy cow! I saw this on the Disney Channel.”

    Read the story and watch their performance here.

  • Nov 12, 2020Jazz

    Alumnus inducted into Long Island Music Hall of Fame

    Saxophonist Pat DeRosa (BM ’54, MM ’56), who turned 98 this year, was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. DeRosa, who grew up in Huntington, performed with the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, bandleaders Lionel Hampton and Tommy Tucker and jazz legend John Coltrane, with whom he played for three years until Coltrane’s death in 1967.

    DeRosa’s induction video can be seen at

  • Oct 26, 2020Jazz

    Terri Lyne Carrington receives NEA Jazz Masters award

    Drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington (HonDMA ’20), a member of MSM’s newly announced Artist Scholars program, last week received the nation’s highest honor in jazz: a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.

    “I’m so proud to join the distinctive list of jazz masters, many of whom are mentors of mine,” said Carrington. “Apprenticeship is so powerful in this music, which is why I have focused my efforts in the area of jazz activism.” Read the full press release here.

    Terri Lyne is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.

  • Sep 17, 2020Jazz

    Leon Lee Dorsey reimagines The Beatles on new album

    Alumnus Leon Lee Dorsey (MM ’86) has reimagined the iconic Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released as “Wolff Clark Dorsey Play Sgt. Pepper” on the Jazzavenue 1 label. Dorsey states, “it was absolutely a magical experience recording with two such extraordinary musicians like Michael Wolff and Mike Clark on such an iconic piece of music history from a legendary band like the Beatles.” Read the full press release from All About Jazz here.

    Dorsey is currently Assistant Professor of Jazz Composition & Arranging at Berklee College of Music.

  • Sep 9, 2020Jazz

    Damien Sneed named MSU artist-in-residence

    Faculty member and alumnus Damien Sneed (’06) has been appointed an artist-in-residence at Michigan State University. According to a press release, Sneed will work with Wharton Center and MSU’s College of Music, helping to bring social impact programming to both institutions.

    “I’m excited about returning to Michigan State University and the Wharton Center,” said Sneed. “We will be able to touch the lives of so many different people through the lyrics and messages in the music.”

  • Sep 3, 2020Jazz

    Former MSM student to co-host new Food Network series

    Jazz trombonist Ezra Potash (’16) and his twin brother Adeev host the new original series, “Takeout Twins”, on the Food Network Kitchen app. In the series, the twin brothers show viewers how to make budget-friendly versions of classic take-out dishes at home.

    “Food is fun, but food with friends is better,” said Ezra and Adeev Potash. “It’s been a blast spending our quarantine teaching our friends how to build their skills in the Food Network Kitchen and help them thrive in this unsettling time.”

    Download the Food Network Kitchen app here to stream “Takeout Twins”.

  • Aug 24, 2020Jazz

    Jazz alum Andrew Rathbun releases two new albums

    Andrew Rathbun (DMA ’11, Jazz Saxophone) has recently released two CD projects: Impressions of Debussy and Northern Noir. The first CD, released on the Centaur Records label, is a collection of improvisations that reimagine Debussy’s Preludes for piano. The second project, released by SteepleChase, is a duo project with Ran Blake that delves into his universe of film noir, plus versions of standards and Thelonious Monk.