Ed Sarath is Professor of Music in the Department in Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation, of which he was the founding faculty member and chair (1987-2007), at The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. As a leading innovator in the fields of improvised music, creativity and consciousness studies, and corresponding educational reform, he divides his time between performing, composing, teaching, and writing about these areas. Among his innovations include:
- Designed Michigan’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz and Contemplative Studies curriculum, the first program at a mainstream institution to significantly integrate meditation practice and related studies into an academic curriculum. (See mention of this curriculum on PBS website; also see video).
- Founder and Director of UM’s Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies, an interdisciplinary network of colleagues interested in the inner workings of creativity and its foundations in consciousness.
- Founder and President of the International Society for Improvised Music an organization devoted to promoting awareness of the importance of improvisational studies in musical training and improvised music in today’s diverse world.
- Launched the Diversity in Musical Academe initiative—the purpose of which is to expand the horizons of musical study in response to the multi-stylistic and multi-ethnic nature of today’s musical world—under the auspices of ISIM and also the National Center for Institutional Diversity.
- His Integral Basic Musicianship class is among the very first improvisation-based approaches to core level music theory and aural skills training, the basis for his book Music Theory Through Improvisation: A New Approach to Musicianship Training, published by Routledge.
- His newest book, Improvisation,Creativity, and Consciousness: Jazz as an Integral Template for Music, Education, and Society, is the first to apply principles of an emergent worldview called Integral Theory to music and is published by SUNY/Albany Press as part of their Integral Studies series.
“. . . magnificently designed compositions balancing innovation with strong melodic and rhythmic content” Hebdoscope
In addition to the above books, his writings appear in Integral Education (SUNY), Innovative Higher Education, Journal of Music Theory, Handbook for Research on Music Education, International Journal for Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Jazz Research Papers, Jazz Educators Journal, Jazz Changes, Harvard Law School’s Negotiation Journal, Columbia Teachers College’s Educational Record, UCLA’s HERI online journal, Newsday, and Ultimate Reality and Meaning journal.
“an intriguing flugelhorn voice. . .” Four (out of five) stars. Buffalo News
As flugelhornist and composer, Ed Sarath has released several CDs, the most recent of which is New Beginnings, featuring the London Jazz Orchestra performing his large-ensemble compositions. Prior recordings include Timescape, Last Day in May, and Voice of the Wind and feature a host of internationally-renowned artists as side-personnel, including Karl Berger, Joanne Brackeen, Mick Goodrich, David Liebman, Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, Harvey Swartz, and Marvin Smitty Smith. He has presented master classes in improvisation at music schools and conservatories around the world, including the Eastman School of Music, New School University, Northwestern University, Paris Conservatory, Tatui (Brazil) Conservatory, UNICAMP (Brazil), Manaus Conservatory, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, University of Tours (France). He has given talks to cross-disciplinary audiences on the topic of creativity and consciousness at Amherst College, Bryn Mawr College, California Institute of Integral Studies, Capital University, Elon University, Hillsdale College, Harvard Business School, Northwestern University, the University of Iowa Business School, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and at interdisciplinary conferences of the Transpersonal Psychology Association, Program on Negotiation, Society for Scientific Exploration, and Scientific and Medical Network.
Ed Sarath is a fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts (three-time NEA fellow), the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, and the National Center for Institutional Diversity.
“. . . a pure tone, finely wrought solos, odd-metered, harmonically intricate compositions that sing and swing . . .Ed Sarath is a find.”