School of Visual & Performing Arts

Department of Music : Faculty

Deborah Weisz

Adjunct Instructor of MusicDeborah Weisz
Jazz Theory, Jazz Arranging, Applied Jazz Trombone, Combos

From playing in the Sahara Desert with Roswell Rudd’s Trombone Shout Band, to creating music in a grain silo, to touring all over the world with Frank Sinatra; trombonist, and award-winning composer, Deborah Weisz’s life in music has been filled with diversity.

Originally from Chicago, IL, Deborah’s life-long love of the trombone began at the age of 10 (in Phoenix, AZ, where her family relocated), and has taken her on a musical journey that has included stops in Las Vegas, NV (where she began working for Sinatra) and New York City, where she has lived since 1993; performing a wide variety of music work, including:  Broadway shows, chamber and orchestral groups, studio recording work for TV/Film, and the big bands of Jimmy Heath, DIVA, and Jamie Begian. She has performed in small jazz ensembles with artists such as Freddie Hubbard, Roswell Rudd, and has been a featured guest jazz artist at festivals all over the world.

Her debut CD, with her quintet, Breaking Up, Breaking Out, released December 1997, had critics writing… “that rare debut that goes beyond showing promise to actually delivering the musical goods” (Cadence), “a debut to cheer,” (JazzTimes), and the legendary jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath wrote, “This is Post Bop Modernism at its best.”

Regarding her quintet’s second CD, Grace, released September 2005, jazz pianist/composer Jim McNeely wrote, “Deborah Weisz has developed a personal voice as both trombonist and composer/arranger… she makes a powerful statement on the potential of modern small-group jazz.”

Of her most recent CD, TRIO, released June 2007, jazz bassist & composer Rufus Reid wrote…”The Deborah Weisz Trio is an exceptional musical unit. The new CD, TRIO, is a perfect example of this. The chemistry generated by these musicians comes through this new outing. The original compositions are well-placed in the programming, holding their own with the established classics by Monk and Dameron. BRAVO!”

As a composer, she has received grants/commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Afrikan Amerikan Jazz Orchestra, Middle School Jazz Academy (JALC), Julius Hemphill Jazz Composition Award competition, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)/Meet the Composer, and was a Prize/Finalist for the BMI Foundation/Charlie Parker Composition Award

Along with her career as a trombonist/composer, Deborah has taught at Rutgers University
(2002 – 04) subjects:  Jazz Composition/Arranging, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trombone, has been a faculty member of the NY Pops Educational Programs since 1994, the Middle School Jazz Academy (Jazz at Lincoln Center – JALC) since 2005, teaches privately out of her NYC studio, and is active as a guest artist/clinician at various schools/camps across the U.S. (Educational Specialist for Conn-Selmer, Inc.). Deborah joined the faculty at Western Connecticut State University in 2008.

MA – Music Composition, January 2003, New York University;
BA – Music Performance, 1984, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
AA – Music Performance, 1982, Mesa Community College, Mesa, AZ

For more information please visit her website