About Time Music
Photo: Mara Battiste
Judd Danby (b. 1966) is a concert music composer, a jazz pianist and composer/arranger, and a music teacher at Jefferson High School in Lafayette, IN, where he works with students in the areas of music theory, composition, and as director of the school's jazz combo. He helped design the Theory-Composition and Piano Labs for the school's Rohrman Performing Arts Center, and developed the curricula for and teaches the two-year music theory sequence and three-semester Composing with Digital Tools sequence.
He has served as a member of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) writing subcommittee for the 2014 revision of the grades 9–12 standards for music theory and composition, and as the Chair of the Indiana Music Education Association (IMEA) annual Composition Competition. He is the Artistic Director of The Jazz Club, a member-supported jazz concert series in Lafayette, IN, which presents four concerts per season and offers jazz workshops, jam sessions, and the Tony Zamora Scholarship to high-school musicians.
Danby has been a frequent guest on WBAA-920 AM Purdue's "Inside Jazz" with host Don Seybold, presenting shows on his own music, and the music of Dave Douglas, Brad Mehldau, Thelonious Monk, Chris Potter, the San Francisco Jazz Collective, and the history of the jazz piano trio. He has also presented pre-show talks for Purdue Convocations on the music of the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Vijay Iyer and Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Cécile McLorin Salvant, the San Francisco Jazz Collective, and the Piano Etudes of composer Philip Glass.
His works have been performed at venues throughout the U.S., including the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Ball State University, Connecticut College, Indiana University, Kansas State University, Merkin Hall, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Iowa, Wabash College, and the Tippecanoe Chamber Music Society. His The Piano's Stuck, premiered by Marilyn Nonken, was published by the cutting-edge (and now defunct) Soundout Digital Press, an early online publisher of new music. His Mirrors for percussion quartet is published by Media Press, and his electronic work Twelve Can Play That Game appears on the recording Sound Speculations (University of Illinois CD EMS 9300). His jazz works appear on the Los Blancos Latin Jazz Band CD Receta Original (Red Pepper Records CD374). His compositions have been featured on the radio by WILL-FM (Urbana, IL), Inside Jazz on WBAA-Purdue, and WICR in Indianapolis.
Danby's primary instrument was trumpet from 1975 until 2001, when he switched to performing exclusively as a jazz pianist. He performs with his own ensembles, the Los Blancos Latin Jazz Band, saxophonist Randy Salman, and other jazz ensembles throughout central Indiana. As an improvising performer in the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble he has performed with Roscoe Mitchell and recorded Anthony Braxton's Composition 165 under the composer's direction (New Albion 050).
Danby holds degrees from Rutgers University (B. Mus. in Jazz Performance) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (M. Mus. and A.Mus.D. in composition-theory). He studied jazz performance with Kenny Barron, Ted Dunbar, William Fielder, John Garvey, Ranny Reeve, and Sahib Shihab, jazz arranging with Mark Kirk, and composition and electroacoustic music with Thomas Fredrickson, John Melby, Scott Wyatt, and Paul Martin Zonn. At the Atlantic Center for the Arts he studied with Milton Babbitt and Donald Martino. His doctoral dissertation comprised a large work for orchestra (Regions) and a monograph on array and superarray structure and projection in Milton Babbitt's orchestral music.
Danby's research and teaching interests include post-tonal pitch-class set theory, Schenkerian analysis, metaphor and cognition, and jazz theory.