Basketball, Grad School, and Jazz — California, Here I Come!

If you’ve been wondering what’s kept me quiet here at the blog for the past couple of months, it has been the extremely stressful and nerve-wracking process that is graduate school admissions. US News’ Education page and Online Graduate Programs both have more information on what goes into the strenuous application process.

After I was mercilessly rejected by five schools, UCLA, Wesleyan and Brown University all came through with excellent offers to attend their programs in the fall. In the end, I decided to return to California to study at UCLA — where I will begin coursework in September.

It’s a huge relief to be done with all this, and I can’t even begin to express how exciting the prospect of studying ethnomusicology at one of the most happening programs in the country actually is! I plan to do my dissertation research on the jazz scene in Chile and Argentina, working with ethnomusicologist and latin music scholar Steven Loza.

In a very fortuitous coincidence, I also learned that the Thelonious Monk Institute will be moving its headquarters to UCLA next year, so I look forward to getting to know some of the talented young jazz musicians with whom I will be sharing the campus. UCLA has an excellent undergraduate jazz studies program — with faculty like Kenny Burrell and James Newton, you really can’t go wrong. Have a listen to their big band to see what I mean.

And in terms of my ancillary interest in basketball, UCLA is the obvious pick (although I’ll admit, I am more into the NBA than college hoops. Maybe the Bruins can change that, with or without Malcolm Lee). Just don’t expect me to be caught dead in a Kobe jersey.

In other exciting news, I have just submitted my MA thesis on Jack Teagarden for final evaluation by the faculty at Rutgers. Once it’s finished, I plan to publish it here in small parts over the summer.

To everyone who has read this blog, submitted comments, linked to it, e-mailed me privately, and encouraged me to write and think critically about jazz: I am infinitely grateful. Without your support and engagement, I would not be celebrating this week’s excellent news.

I do hope to get back into a regular blogging routine soon, so don’t take Lubricity off your bookmarks! In the meantime, I highly recommend the series that I am producing for the WBGO Blog, You Don’t Know Jazz! w/ Dr. Lewis Porter. The latest installment, The Origins of the Word Jazz, is well worth a read.

Thanks again to all who have read and supported my work over the past two years. Go Bruins!

UPDATE: The two links to US News and Online Graduate Programs were added, sponsored by their respective site owners.

About Alex Rodríguez

Writer, Organizer, Trombonist
This entry was posted in Education, Jazz and Basketball, Links and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Basketball, Grad School, and Jazz — California, Here I Come!

  1. John Nastos says:

    Congrats, Alex. Good seeing you in Portland this winter. Good luck on your studies.

    • arodjazz says:

      Thanks, John — good to see you too! Hit me up if you decide to escape the rain and head south for a tour or anything.

  2. Jon says:

    As a Bruin alum, SoCal jazz listener, sometime jazz writer, and fan of your writing, I welcome you back to California, and I hope that you’ll be writing about the jazz goings-on in the greater LA area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s