Academics: Faculty

Joseph Jennings 

M.Mus.Ed, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.M., Southern University, Baton Rouge
Senior Professor, Spelman College Jazz Ensemble Director/Jazz Studies Coordinator
Phone: 404-270-5478
Office: Fine Arts Building, Office 116  

Joseph Jennings, Spelman FacultyCoordinator of the Jazz Studies Track at Spelman College, Joe Jennings successfully launched the largest and most acclaimed all-female college jazz band in the United States. Mr. Jennings' thirty year teaching career includes experiences at Clark College, Mississippi Valley State College, Morehouse and Spelman College. His performing experience includes tours and performances with Johnny Taylor, Duke Pearson, Clifford Jordan, Richard Abrams, Freddie Waits, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Ruben Phillips and Nancy Wilson.

Mr. Jennings has been director of music at the Atlanta Center for Black Art, and artist-in residence at the Neighborhood Arts Center, also in Atlanta. He was the founder and director of the Neighborhood Arts Ensemble (a 22-piece big Band in Atlanta), leader of “The Joe Jennings Sextet,” founder and Director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Ensemble--a jazz workshop for metropolitan youth and is the co-founder and director of the recording group, Life Force.

Life Force was featured at the “North Sea Jazz Festival”, in 1991. Joe directed the Atlanta All Stars--the cultural ambassador music group to the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Mr. Jennings has written many compositions and arrangements and performed on and produced several recordings. His most recent release is Life Force Speaks on the Nu-Mu label. His first recording “Fearless Warriors” was re-released on Sonorama Records, Düsseldorf, Germany, October 2007.

Jennings has just completed his 19th national tour with the Spelman College Jazz Ensemble, which included performances at the Kennedy Center, NJPAC (The New Jersey Performing Arts Center), the Schomburg center for Social Research in New York City, the annual African-American Music Awards ceremony sponsored by the Northern New Jersey chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, Colleges, Universities and Cultural Centers throughout the United States.

Founder of Kenyetta: A Festival of Women in Jazz
Currently teaching: Jazz History, Clarinet, Saxophone, Jazz Improvisation I and Jazz Theory
2001-2007 Revived The Neighborhood Arts Ensemble (Big Band)
Founder and Director of the Spelman Jazz Ensemble (1983)
Founder, Kenyetta Music, Inc. 1993 (Spelman College Recording Label)
1978-81 Music Faculty Morehouse College: Jazz History, General Music, Clarinet, Saxophone
1976-1978 Artist In Residence at The Neighborhood Arts Center, Atlanta, Ga.
1976-1997 Founder and Director of The Neighborhood Arts Ensemble
1970-1976 Music Faculty Clark College: Jazz Theory, Woodwind Lit. Clarinet, Saxophone, Founder /Director of Thee Clark College Jazz Ensemble

Courses Developed:

Clark College: Jazz Improvisation, Woodwind Lit. Jazz Ensemble
Morehouse College: Jazz History, Jazz Improvisation
Spelman College: Jazz History, Jazz History and Analysis, Jazz Composition and Arranging, Jazz Theory, Jazz Improvisation I - IV and Jazz Ensemble

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