The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will offer a new major called global jazz studies to undergraduate students in fall.
Global jazz studies will be one of four majors in the school of music’s undergraduate program. Although a jazz studies concentration founded in 1996 by jazz icon Kenny Burrell already exists, the new major places an emphasis on the cultural importance of jazz by requiring students to enroll in multidisciplinary classes in the African-American studies department, such as Global Jazz Studies 101: “Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Jazz,” according to the upper division course list.
Students will also be required to participate in ensembles and take classes in music arrangement, composition and improvisation to prepare them for a careers in jazz performance, production or education.
Steve Loza, a professor of ethnomusicology and expert in Latin jazz, will be the chair of the new major. He said he thinks students will have a more comprehensive understanding of jazz if they learn about it through a historical lens as well as a musical lens.
The major will be open to students that apply to and schedule an audition with the department of ethnomusicology for the global jazz studies major.