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Rufus Reid Masterclass – November 2023


There is a strong tradition of high-caliber jazz performance at UNC in Chapel Hill. The Jazz Studies area provides opportunities for students to perform in the UNC Jazz Band, UNC jazz combos, and Charanga Carolina. Course offerings include private lessons, jazz theory, jazz improvisation I and II, jazz history, jazz arranging, and the UNC Summer Jazz Workshop. The Jazz Band and the jazz combos provide concerts on campus at least twice each semester, often together with guest artists who are in residency for a period of days while giving masterclasses and performing with the students.  In recent years, clinicians have included Andre Hayward, Sara Caswell, Alphonso Horne, Patrick Bartley, Jr., Carl Allen, the Marcus Roberts Trio, Wycliffe Gordon, Jamey Aebersold, Etienne Charles, Rodney Whitaker, Walter Smith III, Mark Whitfield, and many others. Carolina Performing Arts has hosted many legendary jazz artists over the years, including The Chick Corea Trio (featuring Christian McBride and Brian Blade), Sonny Rollins, the McCoy Tyner Quartet, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Kenny Garrett Quartet, Nicholas Payton Quartet, Joshua Redman and Brad Meldau, The San Francisco Jazz Collective, The Mariah Schneider Jazz Orchestra, The Village Vangaurd Jazz Orchestra, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, and many others.

Information regarding jazz courses, jazz ensembles, and how to prepare for jazz auditions, as well as jazz faculty contact information is posted at the tabs to the left. For further assistance with any inquiries that may not be answered by reading this page, please Dr. Stephen Anderson, Director of Jazz Studies.


The 360ᵒ Jazz Initiative is in an interactive ensemble comprising faculty and talented students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who collaborate with guest performers and composers through live performances, composer “call for scores” competitions, and through publishing recordings together. The aim of 360ᵒ Jazz Initiative is to promote compositional activity and performances that exhibit a deep awareness of the rich history of jazz while at the same time producing creative new works that demonstrate jazz as a living art form which looks towards the future of the music.



Ramunė Marcinkevičiūtė – voice (disc 1, track 3)
Emma Gonzalez – voice (disc 2, track 4)
Rachel Therrien – trumpet
Alex Upton – alto sax (disc 1, tracks 1 and 3 | disc 2 tracks 1 and 5)
Rahsaan Barber – alto, tenor, baritone
Roland Barber – trombone (disc 1, track 4 | disc 2, track 2)
Juan Álamo – marimba, percussion
Baron Tymas – guitar
Stephen Anderson – piano
Jason Foureman – bass
Christopher Law – bass (disc 1, track 4)
Dan Davis – drums
Michael Shekwoaga Ode – drums (disc 1, tracks 2 and 4)


JC MartinJC Martin, Jazz Guitar

JC Martin (Lecturer) was born in Fort Liberty, N.C. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from North Carolina Central University in 2009. There he studied with Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo and many other notable musicians. While completing his undergraduate degree, Martin performed internationally with the awardwinning NCCU Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Ira Wiggins. In addition, he was twice awarded the guitar chair in the National HBCU All-Star Jazz Big Band in which he performed nationally and internationally. After graduating, he was awarded a teaching assistantship from his Alma Mater and returned for his Masters degree in Jazz Studies. As a professional, Martin is a versatile guitarist who has toured internationally with many notable artist of varying genres such as Branford Marsalis, Burning Spear, The Hamiltones, Tamela Hairston and others. Martin has also made a name for himself as a first call guitarist for many musicians around the state.


Our faculty is celebrating the good news that Dr. Rahsaan Barber completed his doctoral studies at the University of Memphis this spring!  We congratulate Dr. Barber on this significant achievement.






Saxophonist, Alex Upton, was winner of the 2022 North American Saxophone Alliance competition.  Winning this international saxophone competition (that is open to masters and doctoral students) as a junior at UNC was a significant accomplishment for Alex, and we celebrate this good news with him.


Stephen Anderson and Guillo Carias stand outside together holding Anderson's certificate from the Minister of Culture between them.
Distinction from the Ministra de Cultura L-R Stephen Anderson, Guillo Carias (Photo courtesy of Stephen Anderson)

Dr. Stephen Anderson was formally distinguished (May 2022) by the Minister of Culture, Señora Milagros Germán, of the Government of the Dominican Republic for his work as composer, pianist, and musical director of the Dominican Jazz Project (
The distinction states, “his research and contributions to the national musical heritage [have] generated pieces and compositions whose contents are based on the roots of native Dominican music that have traveled with our seal of identity.”



The Dominican Jazz Project won Best Jazz Album (Desde Lejos, CD) and Best Jazz Song (“Fuera de la Oscuridad,” composed by Anderson) in the 2023 national Premios Indie Dominicano 3ra edición awards, so my colleagues and I in the group were celebrating that positive news.


Rahsaan Barber Quintet: Mosaic CD Release Party
Including UNC Faculty Jazz, featuring Nathan Warner (Durham Jazz Workshop)