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Press Release

Legendary jazz musician and composer Don Byron joins MSU Denver music faculty

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: June 16, 2015

DENVER— Legendary jazz musician and composer Don Byron joins Metropolitan State University of Denver in the fall of 2015 as the Department of Music’s newest full-time tenure-track faculty member.Don Byron headshot

“In addition to his status as one of the most celebrated jazz musicians active today, he’s a great teacher and scholar of the art form,” said Peter Schimpf, associate professor and chair of the Department of Music. “He also draws on a wide variety of music in his playing and composing—from the blues and classic jazz to klezmer to classical-- which fits with the kind of program we're building here."

Bryon is a highly regarded multi-instrumentalist known for his ability to redefine multiple genres of music, no matter the style. A Pulitzer Prize music composition finalist in 2009, he has earned multiple awards and recognition including the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, U.S. Artist Prudential Fellowship and Rome Prize fellowship.

He is a welcome addition to the Jazz and American Improvised Music degree program and joins world-renowned musician and faculty member Ron Miles, director of the jazz program. The program, accredited by The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), takes a progressive view of jazz education, and explores the connecting thread of improvisation through many forms of American music.

Byron has been consistently voted best clarinetist by critics and readers alike in leading international music journals since being named “Jazz Artist of the Year” by Down Beat in 1992, and featured in TIME Magazine, London’s The Times, Spin Magazine and National Public Radio. Classes Byron is scheduled to teach in the fall include Jazz Improvisation I, Private Jazz Saxophone, Jazz Styles – America’s Music, and Jazz Combos.

Visit the Department of Music website for a full listing of upcoming events and program information.


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is a leader in educating Coloradans in university programs particularly relevant to the state’s economy and the demands of today’s employers. With the highest number of ethnically diverse students among the state’s four-year colleges, MSU Denver offers 58 majors plus master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. More than 21,000 students are currently enrolled at MSU Denver, and 75 percent of the University’s 80,000 graduates have remained in Colorado as valuable members of the state’s workforce. 

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