When the Jazz Program first began back in 1974, it was an exciting experiment in the vanguard of public higher education. Over the years the program has grown and developed thanks to the unique contributions of our distinguished former faculty including.

Mike Holober, Ron Carter, Dan Carillo and Scott Reeves, circa 2000
John Patitucci and the CCNY Graduate Jazz Ensemble

Ed Summerlin (Founder/Director of the Jazz Program, 1971–1989)
Don Heckman (1971)
Jaki Byard (early–mid 70s)
John Lewis (1976–1981)
Sheila Jordan (1978–2006)
Jimmy Heath (1981–1982)
Dan Carillo (Director of the Jazz Program, 1980–2018)
Ron Carter (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, 1982–2002)
Joe Chambers (mid 80s–early 90s)
John Patitucci (Professor, 2002–2012)

Interviews & Writings

SHEILA JORDAN on Teaching at City College for 27 Years
RON CARTER: Finding the Right Notes, By Dan Ouellette (Excerpt)

Some Musical Highlights

  • Dizzy Gillespie, Hank Jones & John Hammond each visited the jazz history class taught by John Lewis and offered Q & A.
  • Ornette Coleman, Gil Evans and Freddie Hubbard each rehearsed and performed a concert with the CCNY student big band at the Aaron Davis Hall.
  • Charles Mingus, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Hank Jones/John Lewis, and Jim Hall/Pat Metheny each performed concerts with their bands for the students.
  • Ella Fitzgerald performed at the opening of the Aaron Davis Hall in 1979. The Aaron Davis Hall is on the CCNY campus (134th and Convent), was originally used for school concerts, and is still used for the CUNY Jazz Festival each May.

More Recent Highlights

  • Since 2001, master classes have been conducted by the following artists: Maria Schneider, Dave Liebman, Jim McNeely, The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Dick Oatts, Norma Winstone, Dave Gilmore, Tim Ries, Jon Gordon, Charles Pillow, Pete McGuinness, Scott Wendholt, John Stowell, Sheila Jordan, Kate McGarry, Miles Griffith, JD Walter, and Madeline Eastman.
  • Gifted teacher and renowned pianist Fred Hersch has conducted a master class each semester since 2001.
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