NEA Jazz Master Bill Holman will visit the Eastman School of Music to offer workshops and performances with students from February 9-11

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Legendary Jazz Composer and Arranger Bill Holman to Visit the Eastman School of Music


ROCHESTER, N.Y. – NEA Jazz Master Bill Holman will visit the Eastman School of Music to offer workshops and performances with students from February 9-11. Holman is renowned as a composer, arranger, and saxophonist, and received one of the highest honors in music in 2010 from the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master.  Additionally, he has won three Grammy Awards, numerous Grammy nominations, the ASCAP: Jazz Living Legend Award, JazzTimes Best Arranger award, and was chosen by DownBeat magazine in their Readers’ Poll  three times as Arranger of the Year.


A native of California, Holman was active in the Jazz movement of the 1950s  on the West Coast as a saxophonist and composer. During that period he worked with the Conte Candoli Quintet, the Shelly Manne Quintet, Shorty Rogers’ Giants, and Mel Lewis. Throughout his career he has produced recordings with his own ensembles, as well as having his works recorded by numerous other ensembles.


During the course of his long career, Holman has written arrangements and compositions for many of top jazz artists and ensembles, including Buddy Rich, Doc Severenson and the Tonight Show Orchestra, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, The Stan Kenton Orchestra, and so many others.  He also started his own band in the 1970s, which continues to this day.  His recording Brilliant Corners- The Music of Thelonious Monk won a Grammy in 1997, and  Holman’s complex arrangements have been noted for their “dense but hard-swinging charts that often have so much of value going on that they reward repeated listening.” (


Jeff Campbell, Chair, Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media said The Eastman School has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Bill Holman. We are very fortunate to have him as guest and are very excited to have commissioned a new piece to be premiered at the upcoming concert. He is one of the great writers in the idiom of big band music and we’re thrilled to have him here.” Holman will be working extensively with students at Eastman during his three-day visit, which will include workshop sessions on jazz composing and arranging, an informal talk about his life and career, and the performance with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble.    The schedule of events that are open to the public include:




Tuesday, February 9


3:35 – 5:25 p.m.: workshop session on jazz composing and arranging (A708)



Wednesday, February 10


11:30 – 12:30 p.m.: informal talk about his life and career, including responses to questions (Ray Wright Room)



Thursday, February 11


8:00 p.m.: concert in Kilbourn Hall


All are welcome to attend all Eastman School of Music events!




Eastman School of Music

University of Rochester

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