BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has appointed Sean Dobbins as associate professor of music in jazz studies, effective Aug. 1.
Dobbins has most recently served as director of jazz studies at Oakland University and jazz program director at Community Music School-Detroit. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.
“Sean Dobbins is the ultimate educator: committed to all ages and all stages of development, and passionate about providing access to musical instruction and opportunity for everyone,” said Gwyn Richards, David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean of the Jacobs School. “As artist, teacher and entrepreneur, he motivates and inspires those around him to grow – grow talent, potential, organizations, themselves and jazz. Our students will be changed by his presence at IU.”
“We are excited to have Sean Dobbins join the jazz faculty,” said Tom Walsh, chair of the Jacobs Jazz Studies Department. “Sean is a veteran of the legendary Detroit jazz scene and has many years of experience teaching students of all ages. He is an inspiring person who brings positive energy to everything he does.”
A sought-after Detroit-area jazz sideman, Dobbins got his start at a young age, regularly playing with Blue Note artist Louis Smith. Dobbins has since performed with many more great musicians, among them Mose Allison, David Baker, Johnny Basset, Benny Golson, Frank Morgan and Lonnie Smith.
Dobbins’ sound can best be described as hard-driving, solid rhythm with refreshing melodic sensibility. Some of his influences include Art Blakey, Jeff Hamilton, Ed Thigpen, and Detroit-area greats Gerald Cleaver and Elvin Jones.
Dobbins has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including a Woody Herman Jazz Award for outstanding musicianship and a Louis Armstrong Scholarship.
“The time has finally come; I’m so excited to be joining the Jacobs School of Music family,” Dobbins said. “I’m very honored to be part of such a storied tradition and am looking forward to working with our faculty, students and community. Go IU!”