John D'earth headshot
JD

John E Dearth

Senior Lecturer
Director of Performance Jazz
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Music
Office location and address
1605 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Biography

John D'earth is the Director of Jazz Performance at the University of Virginia  where he teaches improvisation, jazz trumpet, jazz composition, and directs the UVA Jazz Ensemble.

Jazz trumpeter and composer John D'earth was born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1950. He studied, as a teenager, with saxophonist Boots Mussulli, (Stan Kenton, Charlie Ventura, Teddy Wilson) with John Coffey, (principal trombonist in the Boston Symphony) and arranging with Thad Jones. He attended Harvard University and, later, moved to New York City where he studied with Carmine Caruso, Vince Penzarella and Richie Beirach.

D'earth has performed and recorded internationally and appeared on over one hundred recordings spanning the analog and digital eras on vinyl, CDs, film, and video. Working with Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Gunter Hampel’s Galaxie Dream Band, Miles Davis/Quincy Jones at Montreaux, Tito Puente, Bruce Hornsby, Emily Remler, Bennie Wallace, Eddie Gomez, The George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, Bob Moses, Pat Metheny, Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, John Scofield and John Abercrombie, among many others, has called upon his ability to feel at home, creatively, in many genres.  

D'earth has recorded as a leader for Vanguard Records, ENJA Records, DoubleTime Jazz and his own Cosmology label.  His recordings reveal an eclectic, searching nature, rooted in the entirety of the jazz and blues tradition and a hard bop trumpet sensibility that owes as much to Louis Armstrong as to Miles Davis.

D’earth is an avid composer and arranger with hundreds of compositions to his credit including full-length works for orchestra and/or other large ensembles.  He has written music for the Kronos String Quartet, the Kandinsky Trio, Bruce Hornsby, the Dave Matthews Band, the San Diego, Atlanta, Richmond and Roanoke Symphony Orchestras, the Charlottesville Chamber Festival, the University of Virginia Jazz Ensemble, the Great American Music Ensemble and the Charlottesville-Albemarle Youth Orchestra.

Relocating from Manhattan to Charlottesville in the mid-eighties, D’earth is a co-founder of the Free Bridge Quintet, was the music director for Cosmology (which became the Thompson D'earth Band) with his wife, vocalist/songwriter Dawn Thompson, leads the Charlottesville Swing Orchestra, the one blood jazz/poetry project, Thursday Night at Miller’s, and his own quartet/quintet.

As an educator D’earth has become interested in early musical development and in playing freely improvised music with young and even brand-new musicians in his “Precognitive Conservatory Orchestra” jam sessions and workshops.  As a jazz musician and composer he is interested in the nexus of composition and improvisation and in working with musicians, from any genre, who are committed to pushing their own boundaries in both of these areas.

John D'earth's career in music is documented in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, (Oxford Press) by Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler.

MUSI 150: Special Topics in Music
Special Topics in Music.
MUSI 2120: History of Jazz Music
Credits: 3–4
Survey of jazz music from before 1900 through the stylistic changes and trends of the twentieth century; important instrumental performers, composers, arrangers, and vocalists. No previous knowledge of music required.
MUPF 2120: Performance (Piano)
Credits: 1
Individual instruction in musical performance. Details available here: http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/music/performance/privatelessons/index.html. May be repeated as often as desired, but no more than 16 performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College, with an additional 4 available for Distinguished Majors. There is an additional fee for private lessons. Please contact the McIntire Department of Music for information.
MUPF 2121: Performance (Piano)
Credits: 1
Individual instruction in musical performance. Because the subject matter changes each semester, courses numbered MUPF 2110 -2181 may be repeated as often as desired, but no more than eight performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College. (S) There is an additional fee for private lessons. Please contact the McIntire Department of Music for information.
MUPF 2160: Performance (Brass)
Credits: 1
Individual instruction in musical performance. Details available here: http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/music/performance/privatelessons/index.html. May be repeated as often as desired, but no more than 16 performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College, with an additional 4 available for Distinguished Majors. There is an additional fee for private lessons. Please contact the McIntire Department of Music for information.
MUPF 2161: Performance (Brass)
Credits: 1
Individual instruction in musical performance. Because the subject matter changes each semester, courses numbered MUPF 2110 -2181 may be repeated as often as desired, but no more than eight performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College. (S) There is an additional fee for private lessons. Please contact the McIntire Department of Music for information.
MUSI 2600: Jazz Improvisation
Credits: 3
Jazz Improvisation
MUSI 3120: Jazz Studies
Credits: 3
Introduction to jazz as an advanced field of study, with equal attention given to historical and theoretical approaches. Prerequisite: MUSI 3310 or comparable fluency in music notation, and instructor permission.
MUPF 3120: Advanced Performance (Piano)
Credits: 2
Individual instruction in musical performance. Details available here, including prerequisites: http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/music/performance/privatelessons/index.html. May be repeated as often as desired, but no more than 16 performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College, with an additional 4 available for Distinguished Majors. There is an additional fee for private lessons. Please contact the McIntire Department of Music for information.
MUPF 3160: Advanced Performance (Brass)
Credits: 2
Individual instruction in musical performance. Details available here, including prerequisites: http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/music/performance/privatelessons/index.html. May be repeated as often as desired, but no more than 16 performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College, with an additional 4 available for Distinguished Majors. There is an additional fee for private lessons. Please contact the McIntire Department of Music for information.
MUSI 3559: New Course in Music
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in the subject of Music.
MUEN 3600: Jazz Ensemble
Credits: 2
Jazz Ensemble Prerequisite: Instructor permission by audition. Note: Because the subject matter changes each semester, courses numbered MUEN 3600-3690 may be repeated for credit, but no more than sixteen performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College.
MUPF 3960: Performance Concentration II
Credits: 2
Performance Instruction for students in the Music Performance Concentration. Prerequisite: MUPF 3950. Student must simultaneously register for MUSI 4950: Performance Concentration Seminar.
MUSI 3993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
MUPF 4930: Honors Performance
Credits: 2
Individual instruction for Distinguished Major recitalists who wish to spend a year preparing a full-length recital. Prerequisite: At least one semester of instruction at the 3000 level; successful written application to the Distinguished Major Program; successful audition, normally at the end of the semester preceding 4000-level study; and permission of instructor. There is an additional fee for private lessons. Please contact the McIntire Department of Music for information.
MUPF 4950: Performance Concentration III
Credits: 2
Performance Instruction for students in the Music Performance Concentration Prerequisite: MUPF 3960. Student must simultaneously register for MUSI 4950: Performance Concentration Seminar.
MUPF 4960: Performance Concentration IV
Credits: 2
Performance Instruction for students in the Music Performance Concentration Prerequisite: MUPF 4950. Student must simultaneously register for MUSI 4950: Performance Concentration Seminar.
MUSI 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.