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Reed Gratz

Reed Gratz

Main: (909) 448-4915
Founders Hall / La Verne 8

Reed Gratz is a Professor of Music and department chair at the University of La Verne. He has taught at Washington State University, University of Miami, University of Innsbruck, Utrecht Conservatory and Leiden University in the Netherlands, and Claremont McKenna College.

He has been on the Advisory Board of the American Jazz Institute along with Mort Sahl, Lee Konitz, and Mark Masters. Gratz has been awarded a jazz composition grant from the NEA; a research grant in African-American music by the NEH; two Senior Fulbright Lectureships, one at the University of Innsbruck, the other, the Walt Whitman Distinguished Chair of American Culture Studies at the Leiden University; and the Excellence in Teaching Award for undergraduate faculty, and the Ellsworth Johnson Service Award at the University of La Verne. He is a member of the University of La Verne Academy. Professor Gratz has received three Who’s Who Among American Teachers awards since 2002. Reed has worked with George Russell, Herb Alpert, Bruce Hornsby, John Patitucci, Barbara Morrison, Alex Acuna, Konstantin Ruchadze, and many others. He has composed music for a dozen plays and released seven albums of his music.

Educational Background

  • B.A. (Music Theory) Manchester University
  • M.M. (Jazz Composition) New England Conservatory
  • D.M.A. (Composition) University of Miami School of Music


  • Tempodulu Music – ninety jazz pieces (small groups and big band); three choral works; four arrangements for men’s vocal quartet, five compositions for solo piano; double concerto for guitar, oboe, and orchestra; since 1977.
  • Avon-on-the-Lake, recorded on the album, Pangea, 1984
  • Ears, Heart, & Hands, an album of nine pieces recorded in 1990
  • Reed Gratz Band, an album of eight pieces recorded in 1991
  • Travelogue, CD of eleven original pieces, jazz quartet, 1992.
  • Approaching Simone, fifteen songs for the play, Approaching Simone, Megan Terry 1996.
  • Below Sealevel, CD of twelve original pieces, jazz quintet, released in 1999. BMI
  • Reed Gratz Piano, CD of piano improvisations on original and traditional songs, 2000. BMI
  • Full Moon, CD of seven jazz quartet songs, in a live performance, 2001.
  • Historical Perspective, The Lydian Chromatic Concept, vol II, by George Russell, 2001
  • View From the South, CD of nine jazz trio songs, in a live performance, 2002. BMI
  • Reed Gratz Band Featuring Michael O’Neill, CD of nine original compositions, 2003. BMI
  • Reed Gratz Piano Two, CD of piano improvisations on original and traditional songs, 2004. BMI
  • Music History & Appreciation, a college textbook in use for 16 years, in publication development
  • Reed Gratz Band ~ Quaadrille, CD of eight original pieces, quartet, released 2008.
  • New Music for Quartet – nine composition for jazz quartet, 2010.
  • Music History & Appreciation – Textbook Music History and Appreciation, 1999-2014; rev. 2016
  • American Music – Book of 45 compositions, 2013, amended to 65 compositions, 2019
  • Long Way to You – CD of ten original pieces, quintet, released 2016
  • Piano Two Too To 2 – CD of ten ‘Standards’ and original pieces, solo piano, 2017
  • Travelogue – CD of 11 original compositions, band, studio and live, remastered, 2017

Awards / Honors

  • National Endowment for Humanities Summer Research Grant, 1982.
  • National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Composition Grant, 1984.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, University of La Verne, 1991.
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar, University of Innsbruck, 1991-2.
  • James Irvine Foundation, Diversity in Education Grant, 1997.
  • Walt Whitman Distinguished Chair of American Culture Studies, Fulbright Senior Scholar,
    Leiden University, The Netherlands, 2001.
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012.
  • University of La Verne Faculty Research Grant, 2007, 2010
  • La Verne Academy, University of La Verne, since 2009
  • Grammy for Educators, nomination, 2014, 2016
  • 125 Influential Individuals, in celebration of the University of La Verne’s 125 year anniversary, 2017
  • Ellsworth Johnson Service Award, University of La Verne, 2020