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Alain Barker
IU Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas
IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Thursday, May 1, 2008

Indiana jazz leader Brent Wallarab appointed to IU Jacobs School of Music faculty

May 1, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music announced today (May 1) that Brent Wallarab -- a jazz performer, teacher, researcher, Jacobs School alumnus and artistic director of the Buselli Wallarab Jazz Orchestra -- has been appointed to the jazz faculty.

Following a number of years as visiting lecturer in the Jacobs School, Wallarab will take up his full-time appointment in the fall of 2008.

Brent Wallarab

Brent Wallarab

Print-Quality Photo

"Widely recognized within the jazz field as a multi-talented and increasingly accomplished musician and teacher, Brent brings a wealth of ability and potential to our school that will only flourish in the presence of our distinguished faculty," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the IU Jacobs School of Music.

"It is with pleasure that we welcome Brent, someone with great energy and drive who enjoys a stellar career as arranger, composer, trombonist and teacher," said David N. Baker, distinguished professor and chair of the Jacobs School Jazz Department. "With his expertise and experience in the world of jazz, he will further expand the jazz department's ability to provide the very best education to the many talented students who study at IU."

"It's an exciting time to be on the faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music," said Wallarab, "and I am thrilled to be part of such a prestigious institution where the inspiration from students and faculty alike is limitless."

Since 1991, Wallarab has been lead trombonist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the jazz orchestra in residence at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. As lead trombonist, he specializes in recreating the entire spectrum of jazz brass styles. Former Kenton composer Bill Russo has called upon Wallarab to rehearse, guest conduct and solo with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Wynton Marsalis has called upon Wallarab to transcribe and arrange for The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and for the "Essentially Ellington" educational program.

Considered one of the leading authorities on historical composition for jazz orchestras, such as Duke Ellington, Sy Oliver, Fletcher Henderson and Gil Evans, Wallarab was appointed specialist in jazz for the Smithsonian Institution in 1992, and he serves as transcriber, researcher, editor and adviser for the Smithsonian's extensive jazz program. Since then, he has transcribed and edited more than 300 masterworks for jazz orchestra and has been instrumental in cataloguing and identifying many pieces from the Ellington archives housed at the Smithsonian Institution.

Wallarab is in demand for his ability as a composer and arranger in many styles. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by the New York Pops Orchestra and the Miami Symphony Orchestra. His jazz arrangements have been performed and recorded by Bobby Short, J.J. Johnson, Illinois Jacquet, Benny Carter, Jon Hendricks, Wynton Marsalis, James Moody and others. Wallarab has also written music for the Count Basie Orchestra.

In addition to teaching at the Jacobs School, Wallarab has been a featured clinician and soloist at many jazz festivals around the country and is a performing artist for King trombones, a division of Conn-Selmer. Recent activity includes guest conducting for the Indiana and Wisconsin All-State Honors Jazz Ensembles; artist-in-residence at the Gauteng Arts Center, Johannesberg, South Africa; and artist-in-residence at the Abbytown Jazz orchestra in Sesto-di-Regina, Italy.

His original compositions and arrangements are available through Really Good Music LLC.