January 11, 2010

Peabody Jazz students, alumni to perform in Kawasaki, Japan

A sextet of Peabody Conservatory jazz students and alumni will depart for Japan tomorrow, Jan. 12, with Gary Thomas, director of Jazz Studies and the Richard and Elizabeth Case Endowed Professor in Jazz. The city of Kawasaki invited the group, billed as the Baltimore City Peabody Jazz Ensemble, for a week and a half of performing and sightseeing. Baltimore and Kawasaki have been sister cities for more than 30 years. The participants are alto saxophonists Daniel Cherouny, a senior, and Russell Kirk, a 2005 alumnus; double bassist Blake Meister, a 2008 graduate; guitarist Kevin Clark, a sophomore; pianist Jacob Silver, a 2009 alumnus and a Graduate Professional Diploma candidate; and drummer Daniel Marcellus, a 2006 graduate. They will appear with ensembles of Japanese jazz students and professionals in concerts at Senzoku Gakuen University, Kawasaki International Center and Showa University of Music.

“The reputation of Peabody’s jazz program continues to grow as our alumni embark on their careers as performers,” said Conservatory Dean Mellasenah Morris. “We’re thrilled that this group will be serving as jazz ambassadors across the Pacific.”

In November, Morris welcomed a delegation from Kawasaki that included the wife of Mayor Takao Abe and Kyosuke Shimoyakawa, chairman of the Tosei Gakuen Educational Foundation, the parent of Showa University of Music. Kawasaki is known as Japan’s “City of Music.”