Kenny Garrett Appointed Director of Jazz Studies Program at William Paterson University, Succeeds Mulgrew Miller

By Ian Holubiak on Aug 08, 2014 12:39 PM EDT

Kenny Garrett, the internationally recognized jazz saxophonist, may be hitting the ceiling as he jumps for joy after being named William Paterson University's director of the Jazz Studies Program.

Garrett will begin with faculty on September 1 and take the ranks of those who preceded him: legendary trumpeter Thad Jones, renowned bassist Rufus Reid and the acclaimed pianist James Williams.

It's most recent appointee, preeminent pianist Mulgrew Miller and lifelong friend to Garrett, died in May 2013 leaving room for his buddy to step in.

In 1974, Garrett had begun his career at the age of 18, becoming a member of the Mercer Ellington Orchestra (just four years after Duke's death). Here, he met Mulgrew Miller, spawned an uncanny friendship and ultimately became a regular player in bands led by the Duke, Dizzy, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Art Blakey and Joe Henderson.

Per a release via Media Alert, Garrett is quoted:

I have mentored the young members of my band throughout my career. I now look forward to working with the next generation of musicians at William Paterson as if they are my band members," says Garrett. "I am very excited to have this opportunity to continue the great legacy at William Paterson, where my dearest friend and mentor, the late great pianist Mulgrew Miller, taught.

Garrett continues his prolificacy as a jazz musician, most recently receiving a Grammy nomination for Pushing the World Away (Mack Avenue) in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category.

Just shy of a win, regardless, we salute you, Kenny, and wish you the best of luck as the newest appointee. Thus as a treat, here's Garrett in New York.

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TagsDuke Ellington, William Paterson University, Kenny Garrett, Mercer Ellington Orchestra, Rufus Reid, Thad Jones, James Williams

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