Chapman's Office of the President & Musco Center present Jazzy STEAM. Science & jazz in concert and conversation. Back by popular demand. Dr. Stephon Alexander and God Particle. Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts. Pictures of the 4 artists.

Chapman's Office of the President and Musco Center present:


Saturday, April 1, 2023 | 4:00 p.m.


The worlds of theoretical physics and jazz collide in this free public event on the Musco stage. Brown University professor, Chapman Presidential Fellow, and saxophonist Dr. Stephon Alexander leads a group of world-class musicians and cutting-edge physicists who bring to vivid life his best-selling book, The Jazz of Physics. Part concert and part scientific panel, this brilliant afternoon event reveals the true interconnectivity of STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math – and how STEAM drives education and the universe. Joining Alexander will be jaron Lanier (the father of “Virtual Reality”), Melvin Gibbs (Grammy-nominated songwriter, composer, and musician), and Will Calhoun (multi-Grammy award-winning Living Color drummer).

Stephon Alexander
Scientist Leader, Saxophone

Stephon Alexander is a theoretical physicist, computational physicist, and author whose work is at the interface between cosmology, particle physics, quantum gravity, and music cognition. 

In his critically acclaimed book, The Jazz of Physics, Alexander revisits the ancient interconnection between music and the evolution of astrophysics and the laws of motion. He explores new ways music, particularly jazz music, mirrors modern physics, such as quantum mechanics, general relativity, and the physics of the early universe. He also discusses ways that innovations in physics have been and can be inspired by “improvisational logic” exemplified in jazz performance and practice.

Alexander is a Professor of Physics at Brown University and the President of the National Society of Black Physicists. He is also a professional touring jazz musician.

jaron Lanier
Multiple Instruments

A Renaissance Man for the 21st century, Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, artist, and author who writes on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism. In 2018, he was named one of the 25 most influential people in the previous 25 years of tech history by Wired Magazine.

Lanier has been on the cusp of technological innovation from its infancy to the present. A pioneer in virtual reality, Lanier founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products, and led teams originating VR applications for medicine, design, and numerous other fields. He is currently the "octopus" (which stands for Office of the Chief Technology Officer Prime Unifying Scientist) at Microsoft.

jaron Lanier is also a musician and artist. He has been active in the world of new "classical" music since the late '70s and writes chamber and orchestral works. He is a pianist and a specialist in unusual and historical musical instruments; he maintains one of the largest and most varied collections of actively played instruments in the world.

Melvin Gibbs

Melvin Gibbs is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, composer, and musician who has been called "the World's greatest bassist" by Time Out New York magazine. His wide-ranging resume includes tutelage by Ornette Coleman, time in the seminal bands Defunkt, the Decoding Society & the Sonny Sharrock Band, tenure in the alt-rock Rollins Band as well participating in the lauded project Power Tools with Bill Frisell and Ronald Shannon Jackson.

Gibbs is a long-time member of the cooperative band Harriet Tubman, whose latest record, "The Terror End Of Beauty," was cited as "Best Jazz of 2018" by the New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine and whose performance at the Earshot Jazz Festival was cited as a "Best Jazz Performance of 2018" by NPR - National Public Radio.

Will Calhoun

Will Calhoun, the widely acclaimed drummer from the Bronx, New York, graduated from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Production and engineering and received the prestigious Buddy Rich Jazz Masters Award for outstanding performance by a drummer. Will is also a two-time Grammy winner with the genre-bending iconic Rock band Living Colour.

Calhoun's unique blend of improvisational and hard rock drumming can be found on each of Living Colour's four Epic releases, during which he received a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance by a group and another Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. Will has also recorded and/or toured with diverse artists, including B.B. King, Mick Jagger, and hip-hop pioneers Run-DMC and Public Enemy. As a producer, player, and songwriter, Will has worked on Herb Alpert's Grammy-nominated CD, Colors, and Mos Def's Black Jack Johnson project.

Will has invested over 25 years of personal research in the Outback of Australia, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Belize, and Northern Brazil (among other locations) to document and study the true history of the drums, rhythm, sonic vibrations, and their impact on modern music. Will is an inventor and avid user of technology and its unique role in creating music.

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