Today, University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck announced the appointment of Simon B. Rowe, DMA, as the next director of the Brubeck Institute. An established jazz pianist, Rowe is currently associate professor of music at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he leads the Music Industry Program, teaches on the jazz studies faculty, and leads the Simon Rowe Trio. He will begin at the Brubeck Institute on September 20.
“Dr. Rowe is the ideal person to continue the Brubeck Institute’s record of excellence and build on Dave Brubeck’s artistic and cultural legacy,” said Eibeck. “He has built a reputation for actively engaging community partners in jazz outreach and education. He is a passionate jazz ambassador with a proven ability to excite people—especially young people—about jazz.”
“I was impressed by Dr. Rowe’s record as an educator and by his ideas on how to integrate entrepreneurship into the curriculum of music students,” said Dean Giulio Ongaro of the Conservatory of Music. “I know he is deeply interested in collaborating with Conservatory faculty, with the University at large, and also with our community to find new ways to realize the ideals of Dave and Iola Brubeck. I am looking forward to working closely with him to change lives through music and education.”
As director of the Brubeck Institute, Rowe will manage its five core programs: the Brubeck Fellowship program, the annual Brubeck Festival, the Summer Jazz Colony for high school musicians, an outreach program, and the Brubeck Collection. The Institute was founded in 2000 to build on Dave Brubeck’s legacy and his lifelong dedication to music, creativity, education and the advancement of important social issues including civil rights, environmental concerns, international relations and social justice.
Rowe’s appointment is the result of a six-month search to replace Steve Anderson, who has led the Institute since 2005 and retired in June 2011. Dean of the University Library Brigid Welch chaired the search committee, which included the Chair of the Brubeck Institute Advisory Board, Richard S. Jeweler, as well as faculty and staff from the University.
A native of Australia who now holds dual citizenship, Rowe holds a doctorate of musical arts in performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master of music in jazz performance from Southern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s of music in jazz performance from Eastern Illinois University. He has taught jazz at Minnesota State University Moorhead since 2004. He taught previously at Eastern Illinois University.
A well-known jazz pianist, Rowe has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Leibman, Tim Hagens, John Fedchock, Mulgrew Miller, Jimmy Heath, Stephanie Nakasian, Lucia Newell, Debbie Duncan, Willie Akins, Jeanne Trevor, Bob Mintzer, Luqman Hamza, Marvin Stamm, Dianne Schurr and Claudio Roditi. In 1997, Rowe founded Catalyst Productions, a record label dedicated to documenting and championing the work of some of the Midwest’s most outstanding jazz artists. He has played on and produced four national releases for Catalyst, featuring Willie Akins and Jeanne Trevor and Luqman Hamza. Rowe’s CD “Flamingo” features the work of his Indianapolis-based trio, and his 2007 release “Live at The Hodo” features his current group.
For more information on the Brubeck Institute, see www.BrubeckInstitute.org.