23 year-old jazz violinist Nora Francesca Germain is the first ever violinist to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the renowned USC Thornton School of Music. An alumna of the prestigious Idyllwild Arts Academy High School in southern California, Germain was given the Inspirational Jazz Student Award at the age of 17 by her mentor and fellow collaborator Marshall Hawkins, former bassist for Miles Davis and Shirley Horn. She was also the first jazz violin graduate of Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her parents and grandmother were all strings players (two were violinists, one a cellist) in the Madison Symphony, her mother becoming a violin teacher and her father becoming a violin luthier. Introduced to the violin at age 2, Germain was raised in Madison, Wisconsin and studied classical violin. At age 10, she was already performing and improvising with bands and venturing outside of her classical training.
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