Professional musicians earn graduate degrees; jazz concert ensemble
After a decade of working with county music star Blake Shelton, the ever-changing music industry has spurred guitarist Beau Tackett back to the classroom.
Last spring, Tackett began a master’s program at Middle Tennessee State University’s School of Music with a major in jazz studies.
“I heard the jazz program was a legit program,” said Tackett, a Kentucky native who in October wrapped up playing on Shelton’s Friends and Heroes tour.
“(More) I had taken a lesson from Chip Henderson who is the jazz guitar instructor. … I was impressed with his knowledge of the genre and his playing.”
The Master of Music program includes seven different specializations. This includes emphasis on jazz studies – collaborative piano, conducting, composition, musicology, performance and education, which has a fully online option.
“The pandemic (along with the shutdown of touring and performing) has given many of these professional musicians an opportunity to consider continuing their education while on shutdown,” Henderson explained.
The program further reinforced Tackett’s passion for teaching at the university level, a passion he wanted to pursue.
“I know that having a master’s degree can only benefit me in all areas of higher education, and I’m also thinking about the future when it’s time for an old man like me to get off the bus from tour,” Tackett said. . “I want to have something for the future.”
Like Tackett, Adam Davis, another music graduate student in the jazz program, decided to return to school after years of a successful and continuing music career – with aspirations to teach.
“I’m the father of three young children, so I’m hoping to increase the number of different environments I can teach in,” Davis said. “A graduate degree can only help with all of this. And of course, I always try to improve myself as a musician.”
Davis moved to Nashville in 2009 to explore the music scene and eventually became the guitarist for Sturgill Simpson.
“For what I want to do, it’s by far the best choice in the Nashville area,” Davis said. better.”
Jazz concert series
Faculty members, students and jazz musicians from the MTSU School of Music will pay tribute to the late jazz drummer Duffy Jackson. This is the second event in this season’s three-concert MTSU Jazz Artist Series. The tribute concert will feature faculty jazz artists Don Aliquo (saxophone), Matt Endahl (piano), Chip Henderson (guitar), David Loucky (trombone) and Jonathan Wires (bass).
When: February 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wright Music Building (1439 Faulkinberry Drive)
Tickets: $10 each; free for MTSU students, faculty, and staff with current ID. Discounts are available for students and educators of area music groups. Reserve tickets by contacting Jamey Simmons at 615-898-2724 or [email protected]
Miscellaneous: Guests are encouraged to wear masks and follow social distancing measures inside the venue.