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Renowned Trumpeter Ralph Alessi And Saxophonist Brian Levy Join New England Conservatory Jazz Studies Faculty

Jazzed Magazine • News • October 25, 2013

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New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies Department has hired two renowned musicians to join the faculty: jazz trumpeter/composer Ralph Alessi who will teach trumpet and improvisation and jazz saxophonist Brian Levy who will teach both saxophone and music history and musicology.

Jazz trumpeter Ralph Alessi was born in San Francisco, the son of classical trumpeter Joe Alessi and opera singer Maria Leone. After earning degrees in jazz trumpet and bass and studying under the legendary Charlie Haden at CalArts, he went to New York, where he swiftly became a ubiquitous presence on the downtown scene. He has been a frequent collaborator with such notable musicians as Steve Coleman, Jason Moran, Don Byron, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch, Uri Caine, and Dafnis Prieto.

Jazz saxophonist Brian Levy received his Ph.D. in musicology from Brandeis University in 2012 with a dissertation that examines harmonic and rhythmic interaction in John Coltrane’s Classic Quartet. Previously, he earned a D.M.A. and M.M. in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music, respectively.

Levy has taught undergraduate and graduate history, theory, and performance courses in such institutions as Brandeis University, Harvard University, and NEC. In addition to a performance and research focus on jazz, he has studied music theory and analysis, 18th and 19th century philosophy, and aesthetics. Levy is featured on and helped advise the production of four instructional jazz DVDs by Jerry Bergonzi.

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