Ray Briggs portrait
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saxophone, jazz ensemble

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Theory, History, and Composition

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Adult Studies

Ray Briggs

Jazz Studies Department Chair

Ray Briggs is an Associate Professor of Music and Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at California State University, Long Beach, where he coordinates the jazz combo program and teaches courses in jazz history and ethnomusicology. Dr. Briggs holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a M.M. in Music Performance (Woodwind Doubling) from the University of Redlands, and a B.M. in Music Education from the University of Memphis. He has performed with John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Rufus Reid, and Benny Green and is currently completing a book-length manuscript on the history of jazz in Memphis, Tennessee (forthcoming via University of Michigan Press). With a passionate interest in the relationship between the triumvirate disciplines of jazz studies – performance, pedagogy, and research, Dr. Briggs seeks to utilize the synergy of a unique and combinative approach to understanding the music.

Music is an excellent medium to discover what it means to be human. Through music we may become more aware of ourselves, the wonderful diversity of cultural expression and thought around the world, and the underlying unity of the human spirit found throughout that diversity
Ray Briggs