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Berklee College of Music Names Jazz Trumpeter Sean Jones Chair of the Brass Department

By Louise Burton l.burton@classicalite.com on Aug 05, 2014 01:07 AM EDT
Berklee College of Music Names Jazz Trumpeter Sean Jones Chair of the Brass Department “I envision propelling [the department] into the future,” Sean Jones said of his new position as chair of the Brass Department of the Berklee College of Music. (Photo : Jimmy Katz)

Berklee College of Music has named noted trumpeter Sean Jones the next chair of the college's Brass Department. Jones, who played lead trumpet with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra for six years, is an internationally acclaimed trumpeter and composer who just released his seventh album, im•pro•vise = never before seen, on Mack Avenue Records.

Jones will succeed trombonist Tom Plsek, who served as chair of the Brass Department for 25 years. Berklee, a college for the study and practice of contemporary music, is located in Boston, Mass.

Berklee president Roger H. Brown said "Sean Jones brings an amazing portfolio to Berklee--performances at the highest level with the greatest musicians of his and prior generations, successful teaching experience, personal commitment and integrity as an artist, and a desire to help foster future great contemporary musicians. We are very excited to welcome Sean to our musical family."

"When I was looking for colleges, Berklee seemed to be this shiny beacon on a hill that a kid from Warren, Ohio couldn't quite get to," said Jones. "Fast forward 18 years, I never thought that I'd be in a leadership position at that shiny beacon. It's surreal to me and I'm honored to be given the opportunity."

Jones began his musical life as a drummer but discovered the trumpet at age 10 upon hearing Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and Amandla. He graduated from Youngstown State University in Ohio. Soon after earning his master's degree from Rutgers University, he was named lead trumpeter for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, a position he held until 2010.

Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter selected Jones for their "Tribute to Miles" tour in 2011. Jones has been featured in recordings and/or performances with other prominent artists, including Joe Lovano, Chico O'Farrill, Jimmy Heath, Nancy Wilson and Dianne Reeves. Jones also serves as Artistic Director of both the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Jazz Orchestras.

Education has also been a major element in Jones's ongoing activities. Shortly after joining the LCJO, he began teaching at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. In 2012, Jones also became a professor at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In addition, he conducts master classes and clinics around the world.

"I envision propelling [the department] into the future," said Jones of his new position. "I don't feel that my job is to rewrite what has been done, but to add a few new ideas that will stay true to the traditions of the Brass Department while making it the preeminent program for brass studies in the world."

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TagsBerklee College of Music, Jazz, trumpet, Sean Jones, Chair, brass department, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Miles Davis