UNO Graduate Student Receives ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Scholarship
University of New Orleans graduate student Gregory Agid received the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Foundation Louis Armstrong Scholarship on Thursday during ceremonies at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The annual event is hosted by singer and composer Paul Williams and this year featured performances by the hip-hop star Ne-Yo.
The $3,000 ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Scholarship is awarded to a UNO graduate student in jazz studies who demonstrates excellence in composition, and is supported by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation Inc., founded and funded by jazz musician Louis Armstrong in 1969 reportedly as a way of giving back to give back to the world some of the goodness he received throughout his lifetime. Stanley Crouch, acclaimed jazz critic and president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, presented the award to Agid on Dec. 12 in the sold-out Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Gregory Agid is a stand-out clarinetist and saxophone player who recently released his first solo record, "Mystery Blues," to critical acclaim from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Offbeat magazine and others, said Missy Bowen, spokeswoman for the UNO Music Department. Agid's family moved to New Orleans from Hawaii when he was in junior high school and he began attending the Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Jazz Camp in the summers. There he found inspiration from New Orleans' music education legend Alvin Batiste. After earning a degree in classical clarinet from Loyola, Agid spent time directing a high school band, then gave up the day job to play music full time. He performs regularly with his own quartet and with the Delfeayo Marsalis Uptown Jazz Orchestra, among others. He can also be seen in the HBO series "Treme."
Agid decided to return to school and is now in his last year in the master's degree program at the University. He expects to receive a Master of Music degree from UNO in May.