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 Dan Mar-Molinero 

Head of Jazz and Pop Performance and Senior Teaching Fellow

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Dan Mar-Molinero is Head of Jazz and Pop Performance and a Senior Teaching Fellow in Music at the University of Southampton.

As Head of Jazz and Pop performance, I help students to develop real-world performance skills – anything from working as an ensemble to developing your own artistic ‘voice’ to understanding how to soundcheck effectively. I sincerely believe that all students should be allowed to follow and master any music they want to perform, all genres and styles are welcomed and encouraged.

I think it is fundamental that students interact with the professional world whilst studying to allow them an insight into the vocational world should they choose to follow that path. I use my own professional contacts to facilitate masterclasses, talks and performances alongside internationally famed artists. In the last year our guests have included; pianist Bill Laurance from Snarky Puppy; drummer Will Champion from Coldplay; jazz saxophonist and radio presenter, Soweto Kinch; and the rock group, Band of Skulls. We have also had visits from leading music managers,  BBC Introducing and professional songwriters.

I also teach the Jazz Theory module which explores jazz harmony and improvisation from ‘The Great American Songbook’ to modern jazz composers such as Wayne Shorter and Jacob Collier. Students have found that this helps develop their understanding of modern popular and jazz music in both performance and composition.

Away from my University role, I work as a professional performer and composer within the music industry in both the jazz and pop worlds. I have performed as a saxophonist and conductor/ musical director in bands with leading jazz and pop artists. As a songwriter, I have had top twenty singles (including hit records) and albums both in the UK and abroad, and I have written and produced for a number of major artists. As a composer, I have written for TV and Film and regularly write for large jazz ensembles. I am heavily involved with developing and supporting local music scene and have recently started a large ensemble within Southampton which performs alongside well-known artists from the world of jazz and pop – The Space Between Collective.

I have been involved in education for over twenty years and have taught in many different settings. I am recognised as one of the leading jazz educators in the country and am a lead tutor for the National Youth Jazz Collective. In 2017, I was the first individual to receive a ‘Will Michael Diploma’ for ‘Services to Jazz Education’ by Jazz Services and the Music Education Council, an award normally reserved for civic authorities and music services.

 I studied for my undergraduate degree in Contemporary Classical Music at the University of Sussex and then completed my postgraduate studies in Jazz at the Guildhall School Of Music, studying saxophone with Jean Toussaint and composition with Scott Stroman and Pete Churchill.

Dan Mar-Molinero
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