Society of Peabody Alumni
Citation for the Johns Hopkins University Outstanding Recent Graduate Award
May 2, 2012
Jacob Yoffee, since arriving at Peabody to study classical composition and jazz saxophone, you have come a long way into what is now a vibrant, varied musical career.
Not only have you fulfilled your goal to become a concert and film score composer, but you also enjoy a performance career as a jazz saxophonist. With creative initiative you lead your quintet, The Murray Avenue Jazz Initiative, and your four-piece electric group, Metaphor. You also share your skills as a member of Darin Atwater’s Soulful Symphony as well as the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra. In 2007, you were signed with Inner Circle Records, and your debut recording, “Dead Reckoning” was received with great praise and enthusiasm, with an article in the New York Times and a cover article of Saxophone Journal Magazine.
Beginning your studies of piano at age 8 and the saxophone at age 13, it was when you arrived at Peabody and heard director of Jazz studies, Gary Thomas, play saxophone that you became one of the first students to be a part of the Jazz Department.
From Peabody, you received your Bachelor of Music degree in Composition, studying with Morris Moshe Cotel and Christopher Theofanidis, and two years later the Graduate Performance Diploma in Jazz Saxophone, studying with Gary Thomas. You received your Master of Music degree from New York University, where you studied with Ira Newborn, Sonny Kompanek, and Deniz Hughes.
As a saxophonist, you have been applauded in such media as the New York Times and the Washington Post. As a composer, your concert works have been performed in the US and abroad. You have scored 11 independent films, including the African film Sinking Sands, which was nominated for Best Score at the 2010 Ghana Movie Awards. You also wear the hat of resident composer for the American Studio Orchestra.
Your dedication and passion are apparent, and it is difficult at times to balance these various aspects of your musical career. Sometimes composing twelve to sixteen hours a day, the other feats you have accomplished as a performer and collaborator are truly astounding. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed.
We are proud to claim you as part of our Peabody community and legacy. We celebrate with you in your accomplishments and your fresh, unique contributions to music. The Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association is honored to confer upon you the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award.