Mackenzie Leighton is a second-year grad student in Jazz Studies at the School of Music and Dance. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from SDSU, but has been interested in music since childhood. Leighton plays multiple instruments, including trombone, piano, and bass. After finishing undergrad, Leighton took time off from school to perform on a commercial cruise ship, a gig that took him to Australia, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Now that he is a student again, Leighton is working hard on his music career while teaching two classes on campus to help others develop their musical passions. Along with school and teaching, Mackenzie performs up to five shows each week at local venues such as the 98 Bottles bar in Little Italy. “We do a jazz jam there every Sunday afternoon, which is pretty fun,” he says. When he finishes his Master’s degree, he hopes to tour with his own band and eventually teach at the university level.