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Miami Dade College Jazz Student Recognized by Down Beat Magazine at 31st Annual Student Music Awards

Kemuel Roig

Wolfson Campus jazz student, Kemuel Roig

Miami, April 8, 2008 - Miami Dade College (MDC) Wolfson Campus jazz student, Kemuel Roig, was awarded “Outstanding Performance” and “Outstanding Composition” by Down Beat magazine at its 31st Annual Student Music Awards. Down Beat is widely regarded as the “bible” of jazz, blues and roots music. 

Roig was selected among students from some of the finest music schools in the country, including Berklee College of Music, The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory of Music, and the University of Miami. He joins the ranks of renowned jazz musicians who have been recognized by Down Beat over the past three decades, including Norah Jones, Chris Potter, Everette Harp, Maria Schneider, Roy Hargrove, Vince Mendoza, Larry Grenadier, Ron Miles, and many more. 

“I am very proud of Kemuel but not completely surprised by this,” said Dr. Michael Di Liddo, professor of jazz studies at MDC.  “Kemuel came to the Wolfson Campus a short while back as a fine pianist, but with little knowledge of jazz. He instantly embraced the style, learning the important musicians, composers and stylistic periods. It has been a joy to watch him grow musically.” 

This is not the first time the jazz program at MDC’s Wolfson Campus receives a Down Beat award. In 2003, saxophonist Rocky Year was awarded “Outstanding Performance” by a college student. 

Founded 31 years ago, the Down Beat student awards have brought attention to more than 10,000 student instrumentalists, vocalists, songwriters, arrangers and sound engineers, and resulted in more than $5 million in scholarships for talented students. The awards have also served as a platform for recognizing the nation's most innovative middle school, high school and college music programs and educators. 

“The Down Beat Student Music Awards are among the highest honors a student musician can receive,” said DownBeat Magazine publisher Frank Alkyer. “The awards have come to be known as the ‘Grammy Awards’ for student music.”

For more information about the jazz program, please contact Dr. Michael Di Liddo at 305-237-3930.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

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