Karim Yengsep, DMA
Founder and Directror, Instructor of Jazz Bass
Equally at home with jazz, Western-European classical, and World music, over the past decade Dr. Yengsep has led and played in a variety of ensembles whose repertoire explored the music of Brazil, Argentina, and American jazz from hard bop to fusion. He was a featured guest during live broadcasts on Illinois Public Media WILL FM and in 2010 executive produced and performed on “Bossa Nuevo,” a CD released by Teal Creek Music (TC-2021). Most recently, Karim can be heard playing fretless bass on a CD by Chicago based Palestinian-American composer, Issa Boulos, "Bonfire" (2019).
Native of Kazakhstan, Karim first came to the United States in 2000 and attended Western Oregon University as a recipient of International Cultural Service Program scholarship. At Western, he joined a big band coached by pianist Gordon Lee, studied double bass with bassist Dan Schulte, and met Professor of Music, Dr. Diane Baxter, who has become his life-long mentor in music education.
After graduating with BA in Music (2005) from Western, Karim continued his music studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received both Master of Music in Double Bass Performance (2009) and Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance (2012) degrees as a recipient of full tuition-waiver awards in the studios of Professors Michael Cameron and Larry Gray. While at UIUC, Karim played under direction of such jazz educators as Chip McNeill, Joan Hickey, Tito Carillo, Chip Stephens, and Glenn Wilson.
Dr. Yengsep's career in music education includes, but is not limited to, designing and teaching graduate seminar on Jazz Theory and Improvisation at the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, serving as Docent of Music and leading a big band for Kazakh National University of Arts, serving as Administrative Director and teaching double bass at a premier Suzuki violin school in Chicago, and coaching Jazz Band for Precollege Enrichment Opportunity for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Yengsep is an avid Suzuki educator and is a Suzuki Association of the Americas registered teacher.
In 2018, he relocated with his family to Southern California to pursue his lifelong passion of opening a music school that addresses the need for quality instruction in jazz education for kids, youth, and adults.
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