CCM Jazz student shares talents in new music and arts advocacy
Watch Jazz Orchestra students perform Myles Twitty's arrangement of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit"
The local artists of Cincinnati make the city special and unique, offering residents and visitors alike plenty of opportunities to enjoy live music, museums and arts. Although restrictions brought on by the pandemic took a toll on the music community, many musicians are creating new works and sharing them in new ways. Cincinnati Magazine recently spotlighted five "up-and-coming" artists who are sharing new works, including UC College-Conservatory of Music Jazz Studies student Myles Twitty.
Twitty performs frequently at Over-the-Rhine's Nostalgia Wine and Jazz Lounge with his Myles Ellington Twitty (MET) Quartet. The third-year CCM student plays the trumpet in this ensemble, and often makes arrangements for the group — including a jazzy version of "Jingle Bells."
Twitty is also known to arrange pieces for the CCM Jazz Orchestra. His arrangement of Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit,” a signature song of Billie Holiday's, was performed by the CCM Jazz Orchestra and recently featured in CCM's Moveable Feast: From Coast to Coast virtual fundraiser. The performance features student artists Maya Threat, vocals; Ricky Roshell, tenor saxophone; Myles Twitty, trumpet; Anthony Bryson, trombone; Chris Caporale, piano; Mason Daugherty, bass; and Derek Johnson, drums.
“Being a performer, so often you’re playing other people’s music, which is fine, and I love it, but it’s really exciting when you can see your vision come together with such a talented cast of musicians,” Twitty says.
In addition to the accomplishment of releasing music this year, Twitty was crowned Mr. Kuamka (Swahili for “in the beginning”) by UC's African American Cultural Resource Center (AACRC), and was appointed Vice President of the CCM Black Student Association. In both of those roles he works to introduce Black youth to the arts, with the hope of increasing cultural richness, spiritual and mental health in their lives — a platform he named “Melanin in Music."
While performances were less frequent in the past year, Twitty was able to focus on his other passion — education. He works with many organizations including the Greater Cincinnati Youth Jazz Orchestra, Cincinnati Public Schools Jazz Academy, Jersey’s Jazz House Kids Summer Workshop, and Cincinnati Public Schools, where he teaches at an after-school jazz program.
Aside from the instruction and training that he received form CCM, Twitty is grateful for the community that he has found at the school.
“My experience at CCM was really defined through my experience with the CCM Black Student Association. Through that organization, I’ve been able to develop a strong sense of community as well as helping me feel more welcome in the University. I’ve made some life-long friends through this group.”
Featured image at the top: Myles Twitty performing his arrangement of "Strange Fruit" with the CCM Jazz Orchestra at Moveable Feast on Jan. 22, 2021.
CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications
Kelly Barefield is pursuing her degree in Arts Administration at CCM. She currently interns at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and hopes to continue to work at influential arts organizations in the future, where she can apply her passion for music.
Christian Science Monitor: Pulling punchlines: Comedy can be...
November 29, 2021
What is, and isn't, funny? UC's Omotayo Banjo speaks to the Dave Chappelle backlash.
Cincinnati Enquirer: A look inside UC's nationally-ranked co-op...
November 29, 2021
The University of Cincinnati’s co-op program rose to No. 4 in U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings, released in mid-September this year. The local program has historically placed in the top 5 co-op programs in the country. Its reputation is enough to attract students from all over the world, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Cincinnati.com: COVID-19 in Ohio: What we know so far about the...
November 29, 2021
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the World Health Organization gave the name omicron to the newest identified version of SARS-CoV-2 and called it a variant of concern. There is still much to be learned about this latest variant and how potentially dangerous it is. In a story on the variant, Cincinnati.com interview Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine.