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Theresa Chen, D.M.A., is an active, well-rounded musician. She is an improvising keyboardist, accompanist, composer/arranger, pedagogue, and Catholic music minister.

Dr. Chen currently serves as an assistant professor of jazz studies at Texas A&M University--Kingsville (TAMUK). She is the first Taiwanese-American to teach jazz full-time at the music college in the United States. She has given clinics, lectures, and masterclasses around Taiwan and America. Her first jazz album, Whispering to God, was released digitally in December 2021 and physically in July 2022. The album's title track was nominated in the Best Jazz Tune category of the 2022 Golden Indie Music Awards in Taiwan. Chen was also nominated in the top 8 for the People’s Choice—Artist/Band category of the 2023 Syracuse Area Music Awards. 

Dr. Chen has shared the stage with famous jazz artists such as Gary Smulyan, Ingrid Jensen, Dave Liebman, Bria Skonberg, Boris Kozlov, Victor Provost, Allison Miller, Chien-Chien Lu, Nathan Graybeal, and Scott Wendholt. She also performed at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, WGMC-Jazz90.1 Radio Station, Civic Morning Musicals, Syracuse Opera, WCNY (Symphoria), and many other prominent jazz venues in Taiwan and Central New York.

Dr. Chen's passion for promoting her cultural heritage through music is unwavering. Her compositions, “The Song of Taibalang” and her arrangement of Mary Lou Williams' "Lonely Moments," were honored with the Outstanding Composition and Outstanding Arrangement--Small Ensemble awards in the Graduate College category of the 2017-18 Downbeat Student Music Awards. She was also commissioned by flutist Dr. Hanna Li to create two works inspired by the natural scenes of Taiwan in summer 2022, a testament to her dedication to promoting jazz music and culture, particularly in Asia.

Dr. Chen is devoted to a series of performance projects on women jazz instrumentalists, historical improvisations, jazz in Asia, pedagogical methods of jazz/commercial music theory/history, and jazz music applied in Christian liturgies. She published two quick-hit articles--on teaching jazz standards writing and stride piano playing--via the latest issue of Jazz Education in Research and Practice journal. Invited by her alma mater, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), and the Department of Teacher and Art Education of the Ministry of Education in the summer of 2022, she has created jazz/commercial music teaching materials for high school students.

Born in Buffalo, New York, and raised in Chiayi, Taiwan, Dr. Chen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in classical piano at National Taiwan Normal University in 2013 with a Certificate in Digital Visual and Sound Arts and minors in flute and voice. In 2015 and 2018, she earned Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in jazz piano performance at Eastman School Music, with a minor in Music Theory and a Certificate of Advanced Achievement in the Art of Improvisation. She has studied jazz and historical improvisations with the legendary jazz pianist Harold Danko, Gary Versace, Bill Dobbins, Dr. Dariusz Terefenko, Vincent Lenti, and organist/harpsichordist Edoardo Bellotti.


Dr. Chen is also passionate about organ and sacred music. So far, she has served at many Catholic churches in Taiwan and America, including St John's Cathedral in Chiayi City, Sacred Heart Church at Guting, Immaculate Conception Church at Fu-Ren University, St. Paul's Church at Xinchuang, St Anne Church in Rochester, New York, Most Holy Rosary Church in Syracuse, New York. She was the sub-dean of the American Guild of Organists-Syracuse Chapter and hosted many workshops in organ improvisations, hymn accompanying, and transcribing. 

Dr. Chen's interests extend far beyond music, showcasing her multifaceted personality. She is fascinated by a diverse range of subjects, including American and Taiwanese cultures, meteorology, ornithology, psychology, feminism, language, herpetology, interpersonal relationships and communications, geology, geography, and geometry. This broad spectrum of interests adds depth and richness to her character, making her a unique individual.

陳含章博士,台裔全方位音樂人。身兼鍵盤即興演奏家、作/編曲家、伴奏家、教育家以及天主教禮儀音樂工作者等數職。先後獲得國立台灣師範大學音樂系鋼琴組學士、美國伊斯曼音樂學院(Eastman School of Music)爵士音樂系碩博士,取得古典鋼琴以及爵士鋼琴演奏學位,亦為華人首位爵士鋼琴演奏博士 (第二位台灣爵士演奏博士)。現任德州農工大學金斯維爾分校爵士樂專任助理教授,為首位於美國正規大學音樂系專任教授爵士樂的台灣人。


於2021年12月以數位、翌年七月以實體發行首張個人爵士聖樂專輯《給老天爺的悄悄話》(Whispering to God),並著手進行爵士樂與天主教禮儀之關係(爵士彌撒曲)研究。其中同名曲"給老天爺的悄悄話"入圍2022金音創作獎最佳爵士歌曲獎,隔年也入圍雪城當地音樂獎項(The SAMMY's)觀眾票選最佳個人/團體前八強。


學生時期師事葉綠娜教授、Harold Danko教授、Bill Dobbins教授(前德國科隆WDR大樂團音樂總監與指揮)、波蘭籍爵士音樂理論家Dariusz Terefenko博士、大樂團作曲家Bob Brookmeyer之弟子Dave Rivello教授、古典鋼琴教育家Vincent Lenti教授、義大利大鍵琴/管風琴演奏家Edoardo Bellotti教授以及葛萊美獎提名電風琴演奏家Gary Versace等大師。先後曾與爵士小號演奏家Bria Skonberg、Ingrid Jensen、Scott Wendholt,薩克管演奏家Gary Smulyan、Dave Liebman、林偉庭、Nathan Graybeal、貝斯手Boris Kozlov、Will Lyle、鐵琴手魯千千以及鼓手Allison Miller等大師同台演出。


陳氏的音樂學術研究範圍相當廣泛與多元,包括西洋古典音樂即興演奏、世界女性爵士鋼琴手的演奏風格以及歷史貢獻、爵士樂在亞洲的發展史、爵士/流行樂理暨音樂史教學法,更積極開發爵士音樂以及流行音樂相關教材。曾受全美最具聲望的爵士教育組織Jazz Education Network三度邀請發表小論文與海報,為台灣首位參與此研討會的爵士樂手。所撰之爵士教學法相關文章曾刊登於美國新興爵士教育期刊Jazz Education in Research and Practice以及Journal of Jazz Studies。2022年起,受母校台灣師範大學音樂系及教育部師資培育及藝術教育司委託,參與第五學習階段音樂藝術才能班素養導向國際性之教材研發與師資培訓計畫,並撰寫爵士/流行音樂相關教材。



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