Jason Palmer

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Career Highlights
  • Leader of the Jason Palmer Collective
  • Member of the Grace Kelly 5tet
  • Former member of the Greg Osby Five
  • Performances with Common, Michael Janisch, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
  • Album, Take a Little Trip, awarded four stars from Downbeat magazine
In Their Own Words

"I'm really into serial composition, improvisation based on numbers. We play songs based on sudoku games, just to get students to be able to recognize a chord structure. If they see a seven, then that means it's a seven in the scale. So it kind of connects their minds. The rules are, you can play one note, let's say the nine, as many times as you want, but you can't go to any other note except for, say, the six. So then they have to figure out what kind of rhythm they can add to the notes in order to make them sound like music instead of a robot. I did a commission about four or five years ago in New York, and I wrote a suite—two hours' worth of music-based on a sudoku game. It was great! So there are some possibilities. We did phone numbers last week. It's fun. It's another way of thinking about music."

"I was selected to be a fellow in composition by the Massachusetts Cultural Council last year. A lot of students just don't know about the competitions and commissions that are available to them, so I say, 'You need to send in a demo to the Betty Carter Institute or to the Caruso Competition.' It's all career-building, and I feel like it's one of my duties to let them know."