Return to Headlines

Scott Black Returns to U. City Classrooms the Week of November 14-18

Scott Black Nov. 16, 2022 Reception PosterThe University City Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters has named Scott Black as the 2022 Returning Artist for The School District of University City. Black, a 1971 graduate of University City High School, is a professional bassist and trumpeter. He is also the co-founder and the co-owner and Small Group Instructor for the Tucson Jazz Institute.

The Commission will host a November 16, 2022 evening reception in honor of Black at 7 p.m. in University City High School’s Pruitt Library, located at 7401 Balson Ave. This event is free and open to the public, with prior registration. Reservations may be made at

As the Commission’s 2022 honoree, Black will share his expertise and musical artistry by visiting with elementary, middle and high school music students during American Education Week, November 14-18, 2022.

Black comes from a musical family. His mother became a church organist at the age of 14, and his dad continues to play trumpet. Black began playing the trumpet in fifth grade while attending Blackberry Lane Elementary School. He later attended Brittany Woods Junior High School and then high school. 

Black recalls many hours spent in the University City High School band room. He spent his college years at Indiana University studying with jazz education pioneer David Baker. After graduating, he played in both the New York and Chicago music scenes, performing as both a soloist and part of jazz rhythm sections. He has lived and performed in Tucson since 2002. 

In 2008, the Tucson Jazz Institute (TJI) opened its doors. Currently, Black teaches the “language of jazz” to improvisation classes at TJI, one of the most distinguished jazz schools in the country. The school’s Ellington Big Band has placed in the top three at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Competition and Festival and has also performed three times at the prestigious Monterey Jazz festival. 

Black impresses upon his students that there are three basic things a musician needs to know to be successful: what to play, how to play (with feelings) and when to play. It takes sincere commitment and respect, as well as significant work to be a musical artist, he said. Most importantly, Black said artists must also have a love of what they do.

Since 1994, the Commission’s Returning Artist program has recognized artistically renowned University City High School graduates by inviting them to return to their alma mater and share their work. The program encourages students to investigate careers in the arts and enriches the District’s arts programs in schools. Past Returning Artists have included visual artists, glassblowers, photographers, writers, filmmakers, graphic designers, videographers, animators, instrumental musicians, composers, actors, singers and dancers. 

Questions about the program may be sent to the Commission, at

Past Returning Artists ~

*Note: 2020 was postponed to 2021 due to COVID restrictions.