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KU’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo to perform with distinguished guest artists

Monday, October 25, 2010

The KU Jazz Ensemble I and Jazz Combo I will collaborate in a concert held at the Lawrence Arts Center on Wednesday, November 3, 7:30pm. Joining them will be distinguished jazz composer/arranger and KU graduate Kerry Marsh, along with his wife Julia Dollison, also a notable jazz musician/vocalist.

Marsh and Dollison will perform four of Maria Schneider's compositions with the Jazz Ensemble I: "The Pretty Road;" "Sky Blue;" "Danca Illusoria;" and "Hang Gliding." All four of these selections can be found Marsh and Dollison's new "Verical Voices" CD. They also will perform some of their compositions and arrangements for smaller ensembles with the KU Jazz Combo I, and will perform a cappella selections, as well.

Marsh and Dollison recently released an album entitled Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider, which has received high praise from various publications, including a 4-star review from DownBeat Magazine. Additionally, Marsh has worked extensively with pop singer and pianist Ben Folds and both Marsh and Dollison have worked with pop singer Imogen Heap.

Marsh is a composer and arranger specializing in contemporary music for vocal jazz ensembles. In high demand as a commissioned arranger for many of the nation's top educational vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles, Marsh has a large and varied catalog of music performed regularly around the world. Along with his wife and musical collaborator Julia Dollison, Kerry released his debut album, Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider, in March 2010 through ArtistShare. Endorsed by the Grammy-winning composer herself and funded largely through fan contributions, the album features Schneider's music as written for her jazz orchestra, but with the horn parts entirely sung, and the rhythm section consisting of Frank Kimbrough, Ben Monder, Jay Anderson and Clarence Penn (all current members of The Maria Schneider Orchestra).

Since 2003, Kerry has directed the vocal jazz ensembles at Sacramento State, and in that time, his ensembles and individual students have earned ten Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards, distinguishing it as one of the premiere programs in the country. The Sac State vocal jazz ensembles were invited twice to perform at conferences of the International Association for Jazz Education, and were one of fourteen winners of a national search to have a song appear on the Epic Records release: "Ben Folds - College A Cappella". Marsh then worked for Folds as a vocal arranger and background singers director on a twelve-city tour in performances with major symphony orchestras, including the Boston Pops and the Washington National Symphony.

Kerry recently joined the faculty of The JazzSchool Institute in Berkeley, CA, where he serves as a vocal jazz ensemble director. He graduated in 2000 from the University of Kansas with a BME in music education and in 2003 with a MM in jazz studies from the University of North Texas. Marsh's university training included study with Paris Rutherford, Dan Gailey, Simon Carrington, and Rosana Eckert.

Julia Dollison is a classically-trained soprano who has performed with the Maria Schneider Orchestra at New York's Jazz Standard, and appeared by invitation at many IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) and CMEA (California Music Educators Association) conferences. Dollison premiered a concerto written for her by Grammy-nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer, and headlined with him at the Brubeck Festival. As a performing vocalist and educator, Julia also regularly appears in California and throughout the world as a featured guest artist, clinician and adjudicator.

Since winning the DownBeat Magazine Student Music Award for Best Collegiate Jazz Vocal Soloist in 2000, Dollison has been heard at such New York clubs as Tavern on the Green, Jazz Standard, Sweet Rhythm and Cornelia Street Cafe. She's shared the stage with Jamey Aebersold, Bob Dorough, Kurt Elling, Christian McBride, Mark Murphy, Dianne Reeves, and Kenny Wheeler. She has performed and recorded backing vocals for artists Ben Folds, John Secada, Nell Carter and Regis Philbin. She has performed as a guest soprano soloist under the direction of symphony conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Erich Kunzel, and has appeared with the Boston Pops Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

Dollison is currently the vocal jazz program coordinator and applied jazz voice instructor at Sacramento State, winning ten total DownBeat Student Music Awards for Best College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Best Collegiate Jazz Arrangement and Outstanding Jazz Vocal Soloist since 2005.

For more information about this concert, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436. www.music.ku.edu

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.