A while back, I wrote about Manhattan School of Music, which I called one of New York's hidden gems.
A true gem within the school is my friend Justin DiCioccio, the Assistant Dean and head of the school's Jazz Division.
I met Justin more than 20 years ago, when I ran the McDonald's PR Team in the metro New York area, and Justin directed the McDonald's High School Jazz Competition, a program McDonald's sponsored. JD and I hit it off right away, and I saw how much the young people in the jazz program loved him as a teacher. He's been a visionary at Manhattan School of Music, expanding the range of music that's covered within the jazz program, and bringing in top jazz musicians as teachers and as workshop presenters. On staff, he has Bobby Sanabria, James Barron, Dave Leibman and others, and he brings in other world-class jazz masters to conduct workshops for the students.
Justin has been recognized for his excellence in teaching, named the Jazz Educator of the Year and inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame by the International Association of Jazz Educators. He just returned from Los Angeles, where he runs the Grammy's High School Jazz Program, which was featured on last week's Grammy's telecast.
I'm proud to have him as a friend. And I want to share this video I just found, of Justin talking about the school and teaching jazz.
Check it out... this is a real dedicated teacher.
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