The ability to develop and grow a world-class jazz education program on any level requires a skill set that few musicians possess. Justin DiCioccio is one of those rare individuals who has done it not once, twice, but multiple times. Under his stewardship, the jazz program at the Manhattan School of Music has become one of the most elite programs anywhere in the world. It was a pleasure to sit down with Justin and hear his thoughts on music, jazz education and life in general.
Justin DiCioccio is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. In January 2001, he was inducted into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame and is currently the Associate Dean and Chair of the Jazz Arts program at the Manhattan School of Music. Under his leadership, the program has been completely restructured and become one of the preeminent programs anywhere in the world. He is the creator and former director of the award winning LaGuardia High School of the Arts jazz program and is the creator/director of the esteemed Grammy Band. He has performed with the likes of Duke Ellington, Phil Woods, Dave Brubeck, Clark Terry and Stan Getz. A former member of the Rochester Philharmonic, Justin was a member of the “President’s Own” Marine Band and served as the official White House drummer for five years.