. The concerts are spectacular with themes intelligently constructed featuring areas of jazz (musicians, composers, arrangers, styles) appealing to serious listeners. I've written about the orchestra's programs in previous columns, but it is time to focus on the school itself because recent developments there are truly noteworthy.
The school was founded almost 100 years ago, and long ago established itself as an important New York conservatory for classical music studies for students from pre-college age to the doctoral level. The jazz program also has a long history but, in the last couple of years, has gained a stature that rivals that of any school on the scene.
The principal factor in the school's new prominence centers around the recognition that the student musicians (who face stiff competition for admission) have such a high level of prescience are more than ready for active professional careers. Although this is not a new development in such schools, MSM has launched ambitious professional programming for the students on a unique scale. Not only do the best of these students get to perform in top jazz venues like Dizzy's, they record with jazz luminaries such as Dave Liebman
In the past, the performances at Dizzy's were the highlights of the Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra's professional exposure. But this April, 2011, the school has set up an impressive concert series that rivals just about any such jazz activity happening in Gotham during the month. On April 1, the MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Bobby Sanabria
will star in a show dubbed Celebrating Sinatra, with arrangements by Manny Album. These charts will be played by the MSM Chamber Jazz Ensemble, another of the school's amazing number of jazz groups, under the direction of Justin DiCioccio