Don Bailey is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Jazz Studies at UAFS. He joined the teaching staff in 1985. He helped to develop the curriculum for a Jazz Studies concentration associated with the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. Bailey teaches all of the core jazz courses as well as music theory. Under his direction, the award-winning Jazz Catz (vocal jazz ensemble) continue to perform for sellout crowds of more than 1,000 people.
Bailey is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma. He developed the first comprehensive summer Jazz Band Camp in Arkansas, and he developed a Jazz Improv for Strings camp for orchestral strings—one of only a handful in the country. Both camps have grown under his direction and attract students from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
A native of New Jersey, Bailey received his formative music education performing as a freelance musician in New York and his home state. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Iowa Wesleyan College (Mount Pleasant) and his Master of Arts in Music degree from the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls), where he was a teaching assistant in Jazz Studies under Dr. Bob Washut.
Honors and Awards
In 2007, Bailey received the annual (Fort Smith) "Mayor’s Honors to the Visual and Performing Arts." He was included in Who’s Who in America for 2008 and in the 2009 edition of Who's Who in the World, and received the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” award in 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2005. He also earned the "Excellence in Teaching Award" at Westark College (now UAFS) in 1987, and the "National Teaching Excellence Award" from The University of Texas at Austin in 1989.
Bailey served two terms as president of the Arkansas Unit of the International Association for Jazz Education, and has represented the state at regional and national jazz events. He also is on the teaching staff of the International Worship Institute in Dallas.
Bailey is the president and co-founder (with his wife, Terri) of New Song Music Company, which publishes their original music compositions. Together, they have written several solos for band instruments and small ensembles, and an assortment of Christian choruses and jazz band and vocal ensemble music, as well as written and produced several background tracks of familiar hymns that can be used for instrumental performances. Their latest and most extensive work is “Jazz Suite: A Retrospective.”
Bailey has performed with The Temptations, The Four Tops, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Allen, Lucie Arnaz, the New York Voices, Tommy Newsom, Marvin Hamlisch, Phil Driscoll and other nationally acclaimed artists. He also has opened for Christian music artist Clay Cross and country music artist Randy Travis.
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