Faculty & Administration

Dr. Theresa Chen

Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies

Theresa Chen, D.M.A., is an active, well-rounded, improvising keyboardist, accompanist, composer/arranger, pedagogue, and Catholic music minister. Dr. Chen serves as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She is the first Taiwanese-American to teach jazz there and gives clinics, lectures, and masterclasses around Taiwan and America. Her first jazz album’s title track, Whispering to God, was nominated in the Best Jazz Tune category of the 2022 Golden Indie Music Awards in Taiwan. 

Dr. Chen has published articles on teaching jazz standards writing and stride piano playing in the Jazz Education in Research and Practice Journal. She has also created jazz/commercial music teaching materials for high school students by invitation of the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) and the Department of Teacher and Art Education of the Ministry of Education. 

Born in Buffalo, New York, and raised in Chiayi, Taiwan, Dr. Chen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in classical piano at National Taiwan Normal University in 2013 with a Certificate in Digital Visual and Sound Arts and minors in flute and voice. In 2015 and 2018, she earned Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in jazz piano performance at Eastman School of Music, with a minor in Music Theory and a Certificate of Advanced Achievement in the Art of Improvisation. She has studied jazz and historical improvisations with the legendary jazz pianist Harold Danko, Gary Versace, Bill Dobbins, Dr. Dariusz Terefenko, Vincent Lenti, and organist/harpsichordist Edoardo Bellotti. 

Chen studies women jazz instrumentalists, historical improvisations, jazz in Asia, pedagogical methods of jazz/commercial music theory/history, and jazz music applied in Christian liturgies. Other interests include meteorology, ornithology, psychology, feminism, and language. 

Dr. Theresa Chen