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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences jazz

Overcoming pandemic challenges

Greg Yasinistky.Award-winning WSU saxophonist Greg Yasinitsky takes a little time each year to sit down at his computer and digitally mix a birthday song for his daughter.

His nearly 20 years of experience integrating self-recoded vocal and instrument tracks into an ever more seamless rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to You’ paid off big last March when the coronavirus pandemic hit. » More …

Studio of notes

David Bjur at the recording studio desk.The first thing you might notice about the Washington State University recording studio is the silence. It starts when Dave Bjur, studio manager and chief engineer, closes the hallway door, sealing off the random din of the Kimbrough Music Building’s top floor. Then he closes a second door and a weird sensation settles into the ears that, when you think about it, is rare in the modern world.

It’s an anti-sound, the audio version of true black, » More …

A new tune: combining jazz and classical piano

musician in rehearsal roomCuban-born master’s student Raul Blanco has long been interested in combining Cuban music with other types of music, such as Scottish bagpipes. But combining Cuban music and jazz piano is special because it bridges his years of learning classic piano in his homeland with his personal interest in jazz.

“Raul has written music for several ensembles and has led both our Latin Jazz ensemble and Jazz Wires, our top jazz combo. He is an excellent teacher and mentor to undergraduate students in » More …

WSM review: new vocal jazz CD

Album cover of Eyes Wide Open.Jamie Shew’s Eyes Wide Open holds something for every vocal jazz enthusiast. With two stellar compositions and eleven superb arrangements of her own, the listener has many delights from which to choose. Although Jamie (’98 music) has had all the skills, passion, intellect, and talent to make this album a reality for many years (hence the wealth of tracks), it was only after her husband lost his fight with cancer that she came to see herself as more of a professional performer—and one who could explore human emotions in the uplifting context of joy and healing. » More …

Music professor wins American Prize for jazz composition

Greg YasinitskyGreg Yasinitsky, Regents professor and director of the WSU School of Music is the winner of the 2017-18 The American Prize in Composition in the pops/light music division.

Yasinitsky’s composition “Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” was selected over applications from across the United States. It is a “third stream work which blends classical music and jazz,” he said. » More …

WSU music director, Greg Yasinitsky, nominated for Pulitzer Prize

Greg YasinitskyGreg Yasinitsky, Regents professor and director of the WSU School of Music, has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

“There is almost no way to describe it,” Yasinitsky said of his nomination by two independent musicians. “For me, it’s the biggest, most important musical award in the country.” » More …