Grammy-nominated and Fulbright Scholar Dr. Gene Aitken is considered one of the most exciting and energetic jazz educator/clinicians today, and is recognized as a visionary in both jazz education and computer technology.
His activities as a conductor, performer, composer, adventurer, clinician, adjudicator, and producer of educational events have led him to all corners of the globe. As CEO of Jazz Education Abroad, a US non-profit organization, he travels to many countries in Asia and the Middle East including China, Taiwan, Thailand, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many others.
In June 2007 Dr. Aitken was appointed the first Cultural Envoy to Nepal by the US Department of State. While there he worked with the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory Jazz Ensemble, the Nepal Police Academy Band, the Nepal Army Band, and various community groups.
In 1995 he was the 32nd member inducted into the International Association of Jazz Educator’s Hall of Fame
Also in June 2007, Dr. Gene was awarded DownBeat magazine’s Jazz Educator of the Year and inducted into the DownBeat magazine’s Hall of Fame. In addition, in 1995 he was the 32nd member inducted into the International Association of Jazz Educator’s Hall of Fame along with Ella Fitzgerald and Doc Severinson, joining luminaries such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington. Dr. Aitken is one of only four individuals who have received induction into both organizations’ Hall of Fame.