College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Speaker and honorary degree recipient

Kevin Eubanks

Acclaimed guitarist and composer Kevin Eubanks is perhaps best known for his 15-year run as music director for Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show Band, where he played with prominent musicians across genres.

A Philadelphia native from a musically accomplished family (including older brother trombonist Robin, younger brother trumpeter Duane, and uncle pianist Ray Bryant), Eubanks began playing violin at the age of 7, then added the piano, trumpet and guitar. He started playing at jazz clubs when he was 13. After studying at the Berklee School of Music in Boston (1976–1979), he auditioned for and won a spot with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, then toured Europe with the group. 

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Marco Ciappelli

Marco Ciappelli