Pianist and composer Kurt Ellenberger of Grand State Valley University will speak on “Jazz Across the Atlantic: Contrasting American and European Models of Jazz Education” on October 5 at 3:30 in 150 CSM6. Ellenberger was the recipient of a Fulbright Award that allowed him to survey and interview jazz musicians and jazz educators in the United States and Europe. Along with different curricular approaches and pedagogies, his research has exposed some of the structural differences that exist.
Ellenberger is a faculty member in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University where he has been teaching since 1999. He has composed music for a wide-range of ensembles. His writings include a jazz theory text, other pedagogical writings, and many essays that appear in his arts blog “Also Sprach FraKathustra” which is published by The Huffington Post–Arts and Culture. As a performer, he has recorded on Innova Recordings, Ghostly International, Challenge-A Records (Netherlands) and others, and has been hailed as “a gifted pianist who combines the lyricism of Bill Evans with the energy of Keith Jarrett.” He is a member of the Grand Valley New Music Ensemble whose recent recordings of Terry Riley’s IN C: Remixed and Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians have been featured in the New York Times and The New Yorker. While a Fulbright Scholar Ellenberger lived and worked in Austria at the Kunstuniversität Graz (University of the Arts in Graz), and he currently serves as artistic advisor on the Board of Trustees for the city of Mannheim, Germany.