Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor
Chuck Owen is Distinguished University Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of South Florida where he also serves as the founding Director of the USF Center for Jazz Composition. A nationally respected jazz educator; he is recognized widely for his unique compositional voice.
Owen’s primary creative outlet is the Jazz Surge. Founding the ensemble in 1995, Owen has conducted, composed, or arranged all of the music on their first three CDs, (with guest stints from John Abercrombie, Nat Adderley, Benny Golson, and Ingrid Jensen amongst others). He has also led them in numerous concert and festival performances with noted guests such as: Bob Brookmeyer, John Clayton, Chick Corea, Slide Hampton, Bill Holman, Jim McNeely, Bob Mintzer, and Gerald Wilson. In their 4th recording, The Comet’s Tail (slated for an August ’09 debut on Summit Records), the Surge pays tribute to jazz icon, Michael Brecker. Owen is joined by Gil Goldstein and Vince Mendoza amongst others in re-envisioning Brecker’s works. Special guests include: Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Mike Mainieri, Adam Nussbaum, & Mike Stern.
The recipient of a prestigious 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, Owen has written for: the Netherlands’ Metropole Orchestra, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orch., the Tonight Show Orch., the Cincinnati Symphony Pops Orch., Confluences, and others. He is the recipient of the 2000 IAJE/ASCAP Commission as well as two Florida DCA Artist Fellowships. Owen has served as President of IAJE as well as a NARAS “governor”. He is the author of several articles on jazz composition and has been honored with several awards for teaching including a “President’s Award for Faculty Excellence” in 2003.