Duncan Hardy, Stonington, Maine, not only won the James Moody Scholarship for 2008, he performed with the legendary saxophonist at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City the night he received the award.
Hardy is a sophomore and a music major in the Jazz Studies program in the Purchase College School of the Arts, Conservatory of Music.
He has been playing the saxophone since he was 10 and became serious about it in high school. At Purchase he studies with Steve Wilson.
The James Moody Scholarship represents the long-standing desire of James and Linda Moody to create opportunities for the next generation of jazz masters by providing financial assistance to students who demonstrate outstanding ability, good character and for whom the scholarship makes a difference.
The evening included a stellar group of 15 jazz greats from across the U.S. and two who flew in from Asia for the evening. Performers included trumpeter Jon Faddis, who also served as music director. Faddis is the former director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band who heads the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra and is on the faculty of Purchase College. Joining him were NEA Jazz Master and 2008 Grammy Award winner Paquito D’Rivera, clarinet, NEA Jazz Master and vocalist Jon Hendricks, and bassist Todd Coolman, a Grammy winner who regularly tours with James Moody and Director of Jazz Studies at Purchase College, among others. All the performers were invited by the Moodys and donated their services to raise scholarship funds.
Hardy performed solo and joined the other musicians for several numbers.
As a student at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine, Hardy studied under two saxophone teachers, Jack Moser and the band director Steven Orlofsky. He was inspired and motivated to study jazz by Mr. Orlowfsky and in his sophomore year took private lessons with Jack Moser.
While in high school Hardy won numerous awards at jazz festivals including Best Woodwind soloist and Best Jazz Ensemble. After graduation, he and a friend Nigel Chase started arranging for a steel band. The 40 members in the band went to Toronto in July of 2005 and won the International Steel Pan Festival. Soon after Hardy applied and joined the Jazz program at Purchase College.
At Purchase he is one of 400 students who is mentored by accomplished professional faculty drawn from the ranks of the most accomplished and respected musicians in the greater New York area. The Conservatory believes musical mastery is fueled by intellectual insight and builds a serious liberal arts component into the program along with training focused on musical excellence.