UArts' 'Z' Big Band Named Top Collegiate Jazz Ensemble by 'DownBeat' Magazine

July 27, 2017

For the second consecutive year, the University of the Arts’ “Z” Big Band has been recognized as one of the best in the nation.

Under the leadership of Assistant Professor Matt Gallagher MM '01 (Jazz Studies), the School of Music band was named the nation’s top college large jazz ensemble in the 2016 DownBeat magazine Student Music Awards. Winners are selected by a panel of distinguished jazz musicians and educators and are announced in the June issue of the magazine. In its 2015 awards, Downbeat named the “Z” Big Band one of only three winners in the Undergraduate Large Jazz Ensembles category.

“Over the past several years, we have had so many exceptionally talented students come through the ‘Z’ band,” said Gallagher. “We have been able to continually recruit amazing students and grow the program each year. This is my 10th year as director of the band and I am humbled and grateful to lead this amazing group of students.”

DownBeat magazine, one of the world's leading jazz and contemporary music publications, presents its Student Music Awards annually. More than 1,000 entries were submitted across all categories this year. The awards are considered the most prestigious awards in jazz education.