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Music studies in the birthplace of jazz

September 14, 2016 9:45 AM
 | 
Mary Sparacello msparace@tulane.edu
  

New Orleans native and nationally celebrated pianist and composer Courtney Bryan joins the Tulane School of Liberal Arts this fall as an assistant professor of music. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)

 

New Orleans native and nationally celebrated pianist and composer Courtney Bryan joined the School of Liberal Arts this fall as an assistant professor of music.

Bryan brings her exceptional talent to the renowned Jazz Studies program at Tulane University. Bryan, whom The New York Times called “a pianist and composer of panoramic interests,” will teach jazz performance, jazz history and jazz theory. She comes to Tulane from Princeton University where she was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of African American Studies. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory, a master’s in jazz performance from Rutgers University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in music composition from Columbia University.

Tulane music students will be fortunate to learn from a master of the craft, and Bryan is excited to share from her range of experience. “When working with students, you find out what is most important to you to impart to others,” she said.

“I’m best in situations that are collaborative, especially across the arts, and I’m looking forward to the opportunities for collaboration at Tulane.”

Courtney Bryan

Bryan’s own music draws primarily from jazz, but also incorporates musical genres such as experimental, classical and R&B.

A multitalented performer, Bryan’s work has been presented at a wide range of venues including the Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, The Stone, Roulette Intermedium, National Gallery of Art, Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Gallery, and Bethany and Abyssinian Baptist Churches.

This summer she created a composition for The Dream Unfinished, an activist orchestra that supports New York City–based civil rights and community organizations.

“I’m happy to be back home,” said Bryan, who attended Ben Franklin High School and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA).

She looks forward to working with her colleagues at Tulane and to collaborating with other local New Orleans musicians, such as Brian Quezerque and Troi Bechet, as well as her sisters, Amy Bryan and Alma Bryan Powell, both visual artists. “I’m best in situations that are collaborative, especially across the arts, and I’m looking forward to the opportunities for collaboration at Tulane,” Bryan said.