With a voice as smooth as velvet, Samara Joy’s star seems to rise with each performance. Following her winning the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, she is currently recording her debut recording, which will feature Samara backed by the Pasquale Grasso Trio.
Hailed as the “Paganini of the Steelpan,” Liam Teague currently serves as the Head of Steelpan Studies and Professor of Music at Northern Illinois University. Along with Clifford Alexis, he co-directs the NIU Steelband. He has received many awards in his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, including the Humming Bird Award (Silver) for “loyal and devoted service,” and won a number of notable competitions.
Find out more information about our Jazz Series performers and concert series!
Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, is currently Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins. Prior to her appointment in Michigan, she served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut. To learn more visit: Ellen Rowe | Jazz Pianist, Composer, Educator
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Barb Catlin has become one of the leading jazz educators in the Southwest. After eighteen successful years in Arizona, she returned to her home state of California where she directs the jazz programs at Pomona College and the California Institute of Technology. Barb has many accolades as a jazz pianist, including being named as a Downbeat “Player to Catch”, but is equally well known for her tenure as musical director of the highly acclaimed youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona, as well as her years as director of jazz studies at Mesa Community College. To learn more visit: Barb Catlin
Paul is currently the director of jazz studies at Fresno City College. He received his BA in music education from California State University, Fresno and his masters of music in music education from Central Washington University. He is the former director of the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Student Ensembles (middle and high school), jazz educator of the year for California (2013), and clinician and adjudicator throughout the Western United States. To learn more visit: Paul Lucckesi
Patty Darling directs the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble and also teaches classes in jazz composition, arranging, electronic music and functional jazz piano. Patty completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in 1985. While pursuing an advanced composition degree at the University of Minnesota, she assisted in the Electronic Music Department. She has over 15 years of experience in the creation, recording and production of original soundtracks for broadcast and corporate multimedia events that have been distributed worldwide. To learn more visit: Patty Darling.
Lucy Croasdale is a senior at Lawrence University, majoring in saxophone performance with a jazz emphasis. As a talented performer playing soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, she participates in a wide range of campus ensembles, including the LU Jazz Ensemble, jazz combo, saxophone quartet, and the LU Wind Ensemble. Lucy also shows great promise as a composer and arranger and created a new original piece especially for this year’s Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend festival.
1981: Steve Houghton, Leon Breeden, and Buddy Baker
1982: Zoot Sims and the Mitchell-Ruff Duo
1983: Slide Hampton and “Fire and Ice”
1984: Bobby McFerrin and Rayburn Wright
1985: Art Blakey, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim Hall, Jerry Coker, and The Hi-Lo's
1986: Gerry Mulligan, Bobby McFerrin, Gene Bertoncini, and Michael Moore
1987: Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, and Dianne Reeves
1988: Wynton Marsalis, J.J. Johnson, and Cheryl Barnes
1989: Michael Brecker and Diane Schuur
1990: Benny Golson, Marlena Shaw, John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, Marc Johnson, Tim Hagans, and John Fedchock
1991: Chick Corea Elektric Band and Marlena Shaw
1992: New York Voices and Jack DeJohnette Trio
1993: Bobby Watson and Moore by Four
1994: Joe Henderson Trio and Jon Hendricks & Co.
1995: Cassandra Wilson and John Harmon
1996: Joe Lovano, Gunther Schuller, Janis Siegel, and Fred Hersch
1997: Diana Krall, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, and Jimmy Heath
1998: New York Voices and Marcus Roberts
1999: Kevin Mahogany and Arturo Sandoval
2000: Dave Holland Quintet, Nancy King, and Steve Christofferson
2001: Bobby McFerrin and Uri Caine
2002: Wayne Shorter, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade, and Dianne Reeves
2003: Kurt Elling, Lars Jansson, and the Mingus Big Band
2004: Eliane Elias Trio, Marc Johnson, and Tim Hagans
2005: Jane Monheit, Kenny Wheeler, Matt Harris, Steve Houghton and Clay Jenkins
2006: Jon Hendricks and LHR Redux, Wycliffe Gordon, and Chris Vadala
2007: Patricia Barber and the Branford Marsalis Quintet
2008: New York Voices and Ingrid Jensen
2009: Steve March Tormé, Brian Lynch, Joel Frahm, Geoffrey Keezer, Ike Sturm and Zach Harmon
2010: Luciana Souza and Conrad Herwig
2011: Tierney Sutton Band and John and Gerald Clayton
2012: Kurt Elling and Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra
2013: Kate McGarry and The Yellowjackets
2014: Terri Lyne Carrington's Mosaic Project and Peter Erskine
2015: Cyrille Aimée and Rufus Reid Quartet
2016: Luciana Souza and Children of the Light: Danilo Perez, Brian Blade and John Patitucci
2017: Lizz Wright and Storms/Nocturnes Trio: Geoffrey Keezer, Joe Locke and Tim Garland
2018: Regina Carter Quartet and Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
2019: The Miguel Zenón Quartet
2021: Dave Rivello and Ike Sturm + HEART, featuring guest Donny McCaslin