[Photo: Courtesy of Arizona State University]

Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., announced on its ASU Now website that Lewis Nash will join the faculty of the ASU School of Music in January 2017 as the Bob and Gretchen Ravenscroft Professor of Practice in Jazz.

Nash will teach applied lessons, a rhythm section class, jazz combos, and a jazz repertoire class, and will contribute to community engagement and recruiting for the ASU School of Music jazz studies program. Nash will continue his active schedule of performances around the world as part of his faculty role.

Nash is a highly sought after jazz educator and is sponsored by Sakae drums, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, and Vic Firth drumsticks. In a career that spans more than 30 years, Nash has appeared on 10 Grammy Award–winning albums among more than 400 recordings with artists such as Betty Carter, Tommy Flanagan, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner, Hank Jones, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Clark Terry, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, Joe Lovano, and Roy Hargrove.

“We are thrilled that Lewis Nash has agreed to join our School of Music community and return to his home,” says Heather Landes, director of the Arizona State University School of Music. “Mr. Nash not only brings his international reputation and knowledge as one of today’s most distinguished jazz artists to our program, but our students will benefit greatly from his outstanding teaching and mentorship.”


“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students and faculty,” says Michael Kocour, associate professor and director of jazz studies. “While I as a longtime jazz educator may hypothesize with our students about the performance practices and compositional thinking that have gone into the making of some of the most significant jazz recordings of our time, Lewis Nash can speak to our students directly about what it was like to actually make those recordings. There’s a big difference.”

As stated on ASU Now, this position was made possible by a sizeable gift from Bob and Gretchen Ravenscroft, longtime supporters of the ASU jazz program. Bob Ravenscroft is an accomplished pianist-keyboardist, jazz musician, composer, recording artist, teacher, and entrepreneur whose creative work represents the flexible and interdisciplinary thinking that all music students in the ASU School of Music aspire to develop.

“The Ravenscrofts have been wonderful contributors to our jazz program for many years,” Landes said. “Their support of the arts and jazz, in particular, in the Phoenix metropolitan area, has been unwavering. We are grateful to the Ravenscrofts for their incredible generosity and for this sustainable gift supporting musical innovation in the ASU School of Music.”

“I am truly honored to accept the Bob and Gretchen Ravenscroft Professor of Practice role in the ASU School of Music,” Nash says. “The school’s mission of preparing creative leaders who will transform our society through music inspires me, and I look forward to the opportunity to play a role in the nurturing of the next generation of jazz artists.”

In this video, Nash describes the role of the drummer in a jazz group, excerpted from his Master Class at the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival.

Visit the ASU Now website at asunow.asu.edu.