Joseph Jefferson ’10 (Master of Music in Pedagogy) was selected as the recipient of the Jazz Education Network’s 2022 Ellis Marsalis, Jr., Jazz Educator of the Year Award. Named after the legendary jazz educator, the award recognizes an outstanding elementary, middle, high school or collegiate educator with a focus on jazz education, who represents the highest standards of teaching and whose results in the classroom have brought distinction to their institution and their students.
“I am incredibly thankful to be recognized on this huge platform,” said Jefferson. “As an educator/artist, I am forever indebted to those who poured and continue to pour into me as I develop and grow as an educator and musician. Knowledge gained over the years has shaped how I approach directing/building ensembles and preparing students how to approach this rich art form. Thank you, Stephanie K. Sanders, Tim Zachery, Bryan Kidd, Paul I. Adams, Dr. Keith Jackson, Andre Hayward, Craig Fraedrich, Julius McCullough, Dr. Emmett Goods for all of the tough love and knowledge you gave me. There are many others who have provided tons of nuggets over the years. Thank you!”
Jefferson currently serves as the assistant professor of trombone/euphonium and director of jazz studies at Southeast Missouri State University, as well as adjunct music professor at Tidewater Community College. Over the past five years, he has brought international artists, clinicians and adjudicators to Southeast Missouri.
“I have been very intentional about programming to ensure concerts are diverse and inclusive, which will help our students have a comprehensive understanding of jazz and its evolution. How remarkable it is to see the change in culture with students who are involved in jazz at Southeast! You all inspire me. Many thanks to my students who trusted my vision even though you couldn’t see it. The success and growth of jazz at Southeast could not have happened without your hard work and dedication and the support of faculty and staff.”