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Grant awards for Jazz Studies Alums Stuart MacDonald, Levi Gillis

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on November 30, 2018 - 4:09pm
  • Stuart MacDonald performs with the UW Big Band
    Jazz alum Stuart MacDonald (far right) was recently awarded a major grant from Seattle's Raynier Institute. Photo: Steve Korn
  • Jazz alum Levi Gillis (Photo: Seth Gillis)
    Jazz alum Levi Gillis was recently awarded an Artist Trust grant. (Photo: Seth Gillis)

University of Washington Jazz Studies alumni Stuart MacDonald and Levi Gillis--both saxophonists--recently received some welcome and significant financial support for their creative endeavors with grant awards from the Raynier Foundation (MacDonald) and Seattle's Artist's Trust (Gillis). 

Jazz Studies Alum Stuart MacDonald awarded Raynier Foundation grant

Stuart MacDonald, graduate student in the Jazz and Improvised Music program, was recently awarded a $150,000, multi-year grant from the Seattle-based Raynier Institute and Foundation. The award supports “intergenerational collaborations and mentorship” that MacDonald plans to offer through workshops and performance opportunities for young musicians transitioning from formal jazz education programs to the professional realm. The saxophonist and educator completed a master’s degree in 2018 at the School of Music, where he served as graduate assistant to the program, working and performing with student musicians in the UW Big Band, Modern Band and small instrumental combos.

The Seattle-based Raynier Foundation was established in 2005 after the death of Seattle resident Jim Ray, who left his entire $78 million estate to the foundation to provide financial support to Seattle artists and arts and culture organizations.

Jazz Studies alumnus Levi Gillis an Artist Trust grant recipient

Levi Gillis, a saxophonist who earned an undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies from the UW, was recently named a 2018 Artist Trust Grant for Artist Projects (GAP) recipient. The $1,500 project-based award will enable Gillis to develop a set of new pieces for solo saxophone that he then plans to re-orchestrate for chamber ensemble. A member of Seattle groups Hunter Gather and The Dip, Gillis was one of 61 Washington state artists awarded project funding for 2018 through Artist Trust, which is wholly funded by gifts from private and corporate donors.

The awards were first reported by Seattle's Earshot Jazz organization. Read more in the December 2018 issue of Earshot Jazz magazine.