Internationally acclaimed Cuban musician, composer, saxophonist, percussionist, bandleader, and educator Yosvany Terry has been appointed director of Jazz Ensembles and visiting senior lecturer on music at Harvard University for the 2015-16 academic year. In this new joint position of the Department of Music and the Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA), Terry will oversee the OFA’s Jazz Program, consisting of two student big bands, and teach one foundational course in theory and improvisation (or a related topic) per semester in the Department of Music.
Mark Olson, the OFA’s interim director of bands and an associate of the Department of Music who has served with distinction overseeing the Harvard Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Bands since 2013, has been promoted to director of Harvard University Band and Wind Ensemble.
Terry was born into a musical family in Camaguey, Cuba, and worked with major figures in every realm of Cuban music including pianists Chucho Valdes, Frank Emilio, and the celebrated nueva trova singer/guitarist Silvio Rodriguez. From his earliest days in New York, he has been welcomed by the jazz and contemporary music community, playing with Branford Marsalis, Rufus Reid, Dave Douglas and other notable artists.
Terry’s latest release, the Grammy Award-nominated “New Throned King” (5Passion, 2014), features music based on Arará cantos and rhythms. This year Terry was named a recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award, and received a grant from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and New York State Music Fund to create “Afro-Cuban Roots: Yedégbé,” a suite of Arará music.