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Grammy Winner Lyle Lovett Engages with UNT Music Students

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DENTON, Texas — The University of North Texas (UNT) College of Music hosted Grammy Award-winning artist Lyle Lovett for an artist-in-residency program on April 3 and 4, providing an exceptional opportunity for students to learn from a music industry veteran. The visit included a notable performance alongside UNT’s One O’Clock Lab Band, which saw a turnout that exceeded the available seating.

Lyle Lovett, a country music singer-songwriter renowned for his genre-crossing appeal, has made significant contributions to music with over a dozen albums and four Grammy awards to his name. His work encompasses a rich blend of jazz, blues, gospel, Western, and swing influences. In addition to his musical career, Lovett has appeared in several acting roles, including in the television drama “Blue Bloods” and the film “Cookie’s Fortune.”

During his stay, Lovett engaged in various activities, including meeting with UNT President Neal Smatresk and leading a songwriter masterclass with professors Rosana Eckert and Federico Llach. A question-and-answer session with students, facilitated by Associate Professor of Music Business Jessica Muñiz-Collado, provided further insight into Lovett’s career and perspective on music.

Lovett shared his admiration for the UNT College of Music’s legacy and encouraged students to pursue their passions while understanding the music industry. This advice comes ahead of UNT’s introduction of a bachelor’s degree in commercial music in Fall 2025, aiming to equip students with comprehensive knowledge of the industry.

Brad Leali, a professor of jazz saxophone at UNT and a long-time member of Lovett’s Large Band, emphasized the importance of authenticity in one’s musical career, a message echoed by Lovett’s own career and persona.

The residency concluded with a rehearsal and performance by the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band, featuring Lovett. The event highlighted Lovett’s hits “That’s Right (You Aren’t From Texas)” and “Naked Party,” showcasing the talents of UNT students, including second-year doctoral student Brian Lawrence, who arranged the music for the performance.

Dean John W. Richmond of the College of Music praised Lovett’s visit as crucial to inspiring students and broadening their perspectives on potential careers in music, reinforcing the idea that there are diverse pathways to success in the music industry.

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