Courtney Bryan – Alpert Award Winner

Courtney Bryan – Alpert Award Winner

Event DateEvent Date

See individual times in event details.

Event LocationLocation

CalArts Campus

School of Music Visiting Artist

Mon. Feb. 25, 2-4:00pm - Grad Comp Forum B318

Tue. Feb. 26 - Thur. Feb. 28 - Private Lessons

Fri. Mar. 1 - REDCAT Performance 8:30pm


Courtney Bryan is a native of New Orleans, La, is “a pianist and composer of panoramic interests” (New York Times). Her music ranges from solo works to large ensembles in the new music and jazz idioms, film scores, and collaborations with dancers, visual artists, writers, and actors, and is in conversation with various musical genres, including jazz and other types of experimental music, as well as traditional gospel, spirituals, and hymns. Focusing on bridging the sacred and the secular, Bryan's compositions explore human emotions through sound, confronting the challenge of notating the feeling of improvisation. Bryan has academic degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BM), Rutgers University (MM), and a DMA in music composition from Columbia University of New York, with advisor George Lewis. She has been an instructor at Columbia University and Oberlin Conservatory, and a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department for African American Studies at Princeton University. Bryan is currently an Assistant Professor of Music in the Newcomb Department of Music at Tulane University, and the composer-in-residence with the Jacksonville Symphony. She has two independent recordings, “Quest for Freedom” (2007) and "This Little Light of Mine" (2010).

Recent performances include solo performances at Fromm Players at Harvard University, Tulane University, and WWOZ Piano Night; collaborations with Brandee Younger featuring the music of Alice Coltrane and originals at the MET Breuer, Drexel University, CUNY IRADAX, The Graduate Center, the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture, and The Cell Theatre; performances with Ravi Coltrane, Wycliffe Gordon, and Herlin Riley; HER (in honor of): a performance and discussion at Princeton University, the premiere of Spooky Interaction (2014) by George Lewis, a telematic collective improvisation between two human pianists and two computer pianists performing on Disklaviers along with Paul Grabowsky in Melbourne, Australia, and Mary Lou Williams Tribute: The Next Generation at Harlem Stage. 

Bryan was recently featured as a speaker at the Tulane University Newcomb College Institute, the National Jazz Museum of Harlem, and The Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies of New Orleans, and has curated performances and discussions on women in jazz at Princeton University and Drexel University, and on music and spirituality at Bethany Baptist Church of Newark and the Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life. She has given talks at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS) Conversation Series and the Jazz Studies Center at Columbia University, at the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, and was featured in the Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life radio documentary "The Harlem Renaissance: Music, Religion, and the Politics of Race." She was the featured composer at the Callaloo Conference 2014 at Emory University, and traveled with the Horns to Havana program as an instructor with the New Orleans Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Jazz Camp to Havana, Cuba, and is a subject in a documentary by Geoffrey Poister, entitled “Jazz Dreams II,” which documents fourteen years in the lives of musicians, Courtney Bryan, Jason Marsalis, and Irvin Mayfield. Bryan serves as a board member of the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans (MASNO), Composers Now, and New Music USA.