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Brent White
Brent White
Assistant Teaching Professor, Music
Director, Jazz Orchestra and Jazztet
Coordinator, Arts and Culture Hub at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships



MacAlister Hall, 2023A

Brent White is a lifelong Philadelphian and jazz enthusiast. Mr. White understands Philadelphia’s rich cultural community; its leaders, history, musicians, connectors, and politics. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Widener University, a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts, and a certificate in non-profit management from LaSalle University. He has toured nationwide and internationally as a freelance trombonist to the world’s largest Jazz festivals, yet possesses the local field experience, and relationships with many of Philadelphia’s non-profits with a career focus that can be summarized in one word—Jazz. 


Previously, Mr. White has worked as the Education Program Manager at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, designing and implementing outreach education programming for Philadelphia students. Mr. White has taught jazz in the Philadelphia Prison System, the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, in the Camden New Jersey City School system, and as Director of Jazz Orchestra at Drexel University. Residencies included the Juilliard School of Music outreach Department (Bay Area Tour), where he provided jazz workshops in juvenile detention centers, children’s hospitals, and schools in the San Francisco Bay area. 


As a trombonist, Mr. White has toured with the likes of John Legend (Indonesia), Kindred Family Soul (South Africa), and the Sun Ra Arkestra (Europe). Mr. White has been welcomed to the stage by Lady Alma, and has recorded in-studio for Patti Labelle. Mr. White is no stranger to the Philadelphia and New York jazz scenes where currently, he performs with Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, Josh Lawrence and Color Theory, and the Fresh Cut Orchestra, among other ensembles. Most recently, Mr. White composed and recorded his album Broken Toy dedicated to children who suffer trauma caused by losing a parent to incarceration.

BS in Electrical Engineering, Widener University
MM in Jazz Studies, UArts
Certificate in Non-Profit Management, LaSalle University

My research interests center around the intersections of Arts and community and the power of art to facilitate change. In particular, how jazz music and improvisation invite community participants to critique structures of power and oppression. This intersection allows the pairing of creative outlets across the arts disciplines, ensuring individuals who commune together in artmaking, sharing intimate time, thoughts, and feelings, listening, and hearing in conversation. This intersection facilitates the connection between siloed communities through celebration and performance. The goal of this research is to create sustainable community arts programs that celebrate diversity in culture.

Funded Research Projects:

The Double Consciousness of Francis Johnson's Compositions

Funding Source: The Library Company of Philadelphia

March 2021-December 2022

Broken Toy - Brent White Album 

The recording features Orrin Evans — Piano/Rhodes, Luques Curtis — Bass, Josh Lawrence — Trumpet, Ian Macaulay — Guitar, Nazir Ebo – Drums, and my daughter Lorraine Elise White – sampled on the song, I Fear Intro.

Broken Toy project is a beautifully scored suite of music dedicated to all children who suffer emotional damage that makes them broken and unable to be part of healthy relationships. The Broken Toy project is inspired by the children's book Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me, written by Daniel Beaty and illustrated by Bryan Collier.