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WSU Jazz Big Band wins DownBeat magazine award for virtual recordings

The Washington State University Jazz Big Band is the winner of the Graduate College Large Jazz Ensemble (asynchronous) Award from DownBeat magazine on the basis of virtual recordings made by the band while WSU was online only.

DownBeat is the most important journal in jazz, often called the “Jazz Bible.” DownBeat Student Music Awards are national in scope, awarded to top jazz programs from around the country. The WSU recordings submitted to DownBeat are included on the Jazz Big Band’s latest CD, “Jazz During Lockdown,” which is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and other online sites.

Greg Yasinitsky.

As WSU Regents Professor and Coordinator of Jazz Studies, Greg Yasinitsky, said “WSU has won a number of DB awards over the years, but this one is particularly sweet since I am retiring this spring. This award is a great tribute to our outstanding students and faculty in the School of Music.”

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WSU Insider

Ten seniors recognized for excellence

Each year, 10 graduating seniors from Washington State University are recognized for excellence in several areas: academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and visual and performing arts. Six students in CAS are among WSU’s top 10 of 2022.

The WSU Alumni Association and Student Alumni Ambassadors coordinate the 80-year tradition of honoring these outstanding students, who are nominated from across WSU’s six campuses.

A selection committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students chose the winners based on criteria that fit each category.

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WSU Features

Talking Jazz with: Greg Yasinitsky

Greg Yasinitsky.

Talking Jazz features conversations, stories, insights, and guided listening with today’s jazz creators hosted by pianist, composer, author, and educator Monika Herzig. Our guest today is composer/ saxophonist/ educator Greg Yasinitsky, sharing about his music created before and during isolation and his award-winning work.

Yasinitsky’s interview, during which he discussed producing, composing, arranging and performing on his recent CD, YAZZ Band: New Normal, was broadcast on radio on WICR and WETF.

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Talking Jazz on YouTube


MLK Spirit Awards celebrate service and social justice work

Nine Washington State University faculty, staff, and students as well as two student organizations are being honored for their distinguished service and commitment to community, equity, and social justice at WSU and beyond.

Aaron Agulay.

The MLK Program recently honored WSU music professor Aaron Agulay with the Bayard Rustin Excellence Award and will announce the winners of the Elson and Carmento Floyd and William and Felicia Gaskins Social Justice Advocate of the Year Award soon.

Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award have demonstrated a commitment to human rights and social justice in one or all the following areas: altruism and community service; advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice; and inclusive and equitable practices in education.

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WSU Insider

Distinguished Faculty Address: The power of live music post‑COVID

Keri McCarthy.

Discover music from the past and present with Professor Keri McCarthy, Core Fulbright Scholar and internationally recognized chamber musician, soloist, teacher, and clinician.

The COVID‑19 pandemic made live musical performances less accessible to many people. Professor McCarthy will discuss how live music creates a sense of shared experience, uniting diverse and even divergent populations, during the Showcase Distinguished Faculty Address at 4 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the Kimbrough Concert Hall. The event will be livestreamed via

As people emerge from their COVID silos, live music can play a powerful role in strengthening communities worldwide. With the help of all-star faculty ensembles, Professor McCarthy will take you on a toe-tapping exploration of the role of music in local and global communities. She and her colleagues will present music that spans two centuries, four continents, and a multitude of genres. Her address will not only discuss, but demonstrate, the immeasurable value of musical performance.

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WSU Insider