Youngstown State University - Associate Professor of Jazz Studies, Clarinet, and Saxophone
Artist's BiographyDr. Kent Engelhardt is the Coordinator of Jazz Studies and Associate Professor of Jazz Studies/Clarinet/saxophone. Kent graduated from Boardman High School in 1981 and continued his education at Youngstown State University. He graduated from YSU in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music degree (summa cum laude) in Performance (jazz studies/clarinet). After graduation, Kent toured internationally with the "Tommy Dorsey Orchestra conducted by Buddy Morrow," where he was a featured soloist. While he was a member of the orchestra, Kent appeared in the PBS television special "Tommy Dorsey - Sentimental Gentleman of Swing." The special featured Mel Torme, Buddy Rich, Maureen McGovern, Jack Jones, the L.A. Voices, and the "Tommy Dorsey Orchestra."
In the Fall of 1991, Kent began teaching at YSU in the Jazz Studies Program as a member of its part-time faculty. He completed a Master of Music degree in Performance (clarinet) at YSU in the Fall of 1993. In 1994, Kent was hired at YSU as a full-time faculty member. His teaching responsibilities have included jazz ensemble, jazz combo, jazz fundamentals, jazz improvisation, jazz arranging, jazz keyboard, jazz history, jazz in the secondary schools, flute, clarinet, and saxophone. In 1999, Kent received a Master of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2001, he was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. In the same year, Kent became only the second Coordinator of Jazz Studies at YSU. He is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, OMEA, MENC, and the International Association of Jazz Educators where he has presented and published his research. Kent serves as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest artist at numerous jazz festivals and was the director of the 2003 OMEA/IAJE Intercollegiate All-Star Jazz Ensemble.
Kent is the saxophone section leader in the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and is also one of its arrangers. He can be heard on their recordings "Swingin' Together: The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra with Sammy Nestico," "Traditions," and "Night and Day: Barbara Knight & The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra." He can also be heard with the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra on "Friends" and on the YSU Jazz Ensemble CD "Burnin'" as a featured soloist. He has also recorded with the Blossom Festival Band and can be heard as a soloist on the YSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble recording “Spin Cycle.” Kent was a member of the YSU All-Star Alumni Jazz Ensemble, the Arts Midwest All-Star Band, and the Northeast Ohio Jazz Society Dream Band. His compositions and arrangements have been premiered at YSU, the International Trumpet Guild Convention, and the University of Akron. Kent has been a research presenter at the IAJE annual convention, and his research has been published by the IAJE. Kent's biography of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker was recently published in the African American National Biography, a joint project of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University and Oxford University Press. Kent has performed with some of the most well-known names in jazz including: Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich, Jimmy Owens, Geri Allen, Duffy Jackson, Mel Torme, Tommy Flanagan, Maria Schneider, Tommy Harrell, Ingrid Jensen, Billy Byers, Bob Brookmeyer, Terri Lynne Carrington, Milt Hinton, Joanne Brackeen, Slide Hampton, and Jiggs Whigham. In the Summer of 2002, Kent performed several of his compositions and arrangements with the YSU Jazz Quintet in Beijing, China as part of a cultural exchange program with The China Conservatory. Kent toured China again in 2004, performing in Hanzhou and Nanjing with the YSU Jazz Quintet. In the Summer of 2006, Kent traveled to NYC with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra to perform with saxophonist Joe Lovano at the world famous jazz club Birdland. The performances were recorded and a CD should be available in December 2006.
Kent has also performed with some of the most well-known names in entertainment. His most recent performances were with Linda Eder, Maureen McGovern, James Ingram, En Vogue, Peabo Bryson, Marylin McCoo, Barry Manilow, Oleta Adams, Sheena Easton, Michael McDonald, Bill Medley, Melissa Manchester, Roberta Flack, Christopher Cross, Steve Lawrence and Edye Gorme, Johnny Mathis, Jack Jones, Olivia Newton-John, and The Temptations. Kent can also be seen performing with the Blossom Festival Band, The Cleveland Lyric Opera, and The Cleveland Orchestra. Kent is an artist-representative for the Remle/Beechler mouthpiece company.