University of Alberta music researcher receives $45,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant

Music researchers and faculty members Jake Hertzog and Justin R. Hunter will use a $45,000 NEA grant to study the importance of university jazz programs to the jazz ecosystems of three major cities.

Photo by University of Arkansas

Music researchers and faculty members Jake Hertzog and Justin R. Hunter will use a $45,000 NEA grant to study the importance of university jazz programs to the jazz ecosystems of three major cities.

The University of Alberta received a $45,000 research grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant will support Department of Music researchers Jake Hertzog and Justin R. Hunter as they study the importance of university jazz programs to the jazz ecosystems of three U.S. cities— —Kansas City, Missouri; Portland, Oregon; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Each of these cities represents regions with diverse and broad jazz scenes and musical ecosystems, not just university jazz programs that serve as sources, anchors, and centers.

“We are delighted to have NEA’s support on this project – this is a critical time for higher education, the music industry, and the important and growing work in music and cultural placemaking,” said Herzog.

“We look forward to contributing to these scholarly intersections and sharing the results of this research with the many communities involved,” he added.

Hunter said that by studying these cities, the pair thought they would discover how important university jazz programs are to the music ecosystem for a variety of organizations and community roles.

“While the U.S. government recognizes the importance of jazz, there is no national strategy to support this important American art form,” Hunter said.

“This research also has important implications for communities, institutions and policymakers, as it aims to advance our understanding of the jazz scene and serve the arts community, while providing avenues for future research on creative ecology,” he added.

Hertzog and Hunter’s project is one of only 18 arts research grants awarded by the NEA in early 2024, totaling more than $1 million, to support broad-based research investigating the value and/or impact of the arts—whether as separate components of the American arts ecosystem or as they interact with each other and/or with other areas of American life.

Sunil Iyengar said: “The National Endowment for the Arts is honored to support this project at the University of Arkansas, part of our institution’s commitment to catalyze research and improve the quality of evidence about the role of the arts and their contributions to society. a part of.

About the researchers

Jake Hertzog is a guitarist, educator, and researcher. He is currently an Assistant Professor and Jazz Area Coordinator at the University of Alberta. Hertzog has written two books and published more than 30 articles on jazz.Herzog’s published work on music education in higher education has been published in the journal express clearly and Research and Practice in Jazz Education.

He holds music degrees from Berklee College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, as well as a Ph.D. in higher education from Herzog University has recently spoken at the Popular Music Educators Conference, the Association for Arts Entrepreneurship Education, and the Jazz Education Network Conference. Herzog is extensively involved in creative economy services with the Fayetteville Arts Council and the Northwest Arkansas Film Commission. He has advised Arkansas on the creative economy and higher education at the state level.

Justin R. Hunter is an ethnomusicologist and educator. He is a lecturer in musicology at the University of Alabama. Hunter holds a music degree from the University of Alberta and completed a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Hunter’s research areas include Indigenous Studies, East Asian Studies, and Ozark Music Studies, with a focus on grassroots efforts to build community through the performing arts. He has presented this research extensively at ethnomusicological societies and at conferences in Europe and Asia. Hunter served on the Fayetteville Arts Council for seven years and was actively involved in networking in the Northwest Arkansas community, connecting students with professional development programs.

For more information about other projects included in NEA grant announcements, visit

In addition, visit to learn more about NEA’s work in research and analysis, including the agency’s five-year research agenda; in-depth coverage and analysis of arts research topics; statistics from data exploration of arts and more Collection of data, graphics and summary results.

About the Fulbright School of Arts and Sciences: The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus, with 3 colleges, 16 departments, and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college offers most core courses to all University of Arkansas students.

About the University of Arkansas:As the flagship institution of Arkansas, the University of Alberta offers more than 200 academic programs and provides an internationally competitive education. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas contributes more than $2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy through teaching new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activities, and training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the University of Alberta as one of the few colleges and universities in the United States with the highest levels of research activity. U.S. News & World Report Ranks the University of Alberta among the top public universities in the country. Learn how the University of Alberta is working to build a better world in Arkansas research and economic development news.

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