Composer, author and bandleader Andy Jaffe recently retired from teaching in the Williams College Department of Music, where he founded the jazz program and was its Director for 30 years, as well as having served from 1999-2009 as Artistic Director of The Williamstown Jazz Festival, which he also founded.
Andy has been a leader in jazz pedagogy for forty years, having taught at the Berklee College of Music (1977-81); The Institut Musical de formation Professionelle in Nimes, France (1984); The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Graduate program in Afro-American Music and Jazz (1994-98); Amherst College (1987-99); Tufts University (1991-93); Smith College (1997-99); The Tainan (Taiwan) National University of the Arts (2009 and 2014), as well as at Williams (since 1989), where, besides directing the Jazz ensembles until 2013, he taught courses jazz hear training, theory/improvisation, arranging/composition, on the music of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, and the music of Brazil. In addition, he is a founding faculty member at The Vermont College of Fine Arts low residency Masters program in Music Composition and the Impact Music Program at the Taipei (Taiwan) Arts University (國立臺北藝術大學)Impact Music Program.
His most recent CD, entitled “Chorinhoso”, is a compilation of his original Brazilian influenced compositions released in 2020 on the Playscape Label, about which its Downbeat review said: “Jaffe’s orchestrations are lush and impeccably voiced…their harmonic weightiness is balanced by the ethereal lucidity of a rhythm section that understands Brazilian Music.” His penultimate effort, “Arc”, featured his original compositions and has received positive reviews and extensive airplay since its release in April 2016. Musicians on both efforts include the late Wallace Roney (Trumpet), Jimmy Greene and Kris Allen (Saxophones), John Clark (French Horn), Bruce Williamson (Soprano Saxophone and Bass Clarinet), the composer’s son (and protégé of Ron Carter) Marty Jaffe on Bass, Jonathan Barber on Drums, and on “Arc” the Interestring Quartet from Taipei.