All That Jazz

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For most Columbia students and alumni, when you hear the words "jazz at Columbia" it's almost impossible not to think of Christopher Washburne '92GSAS, '94GSAS, '99GSAS. Washburne is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance program at Columbia. In addition to being a jazz scholar, he's a jazz musician in his own right. He has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Tito Puente, Justin Timberlake, Marc Anthony, Celine Dion, and the list goes on. His most common instrument of choice is the trombone, though he also plays the tube, the didjeridu, and percussion.

In this episode, we play you a mashup of two talks that Washburne gave at Columbia. One he gave as part of the School of Professional Studies (SPS) T@lks Columbia series. The other was delivered to Columbia staff members. In both talks, Washburne explores the creative process of jazz, paying particular attention to the role that collaboration and improvisation plays. And in this exploration, he delves into how this process can inform your everyday decisions in the workplace, from leadership and adaptability to innovation and risk management.

Who knew jazz was so useful? Well...Washburne did.


Musicians heard in this episode: Christopher Washburne (trombone), Ole Mathisen (saxophone), Bruce Barth (piano), Ugonna Okegwo (bass), and Vince Cherico (drums). All the musicians are on faculty for the Columbia Music Performance Program.

Excerpts for this episode come from the SPS T@lks Columbia series. You can watch Washburne’s full presentation on "Why Jazz Matters" below.

To hear more great talks from Columbia’s diverse faculty, visit talks.sps.columbia.edu.


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