Pianos by Steinway & Sons
Major Investment by Ron & Susan Whitaker
Sponsored by R. Scott & Meredith D. Belford in memory of Laura S. Devendorf, Critz Auto Group, Bob Faircloth, Floor & Decor, Marla & Morris Geffen, The Kennickell Group, Charles & Rosalie Morris and Wilson & Linda Fisk Morris
Sponsored in part by Joan & Jim Hunter and Gail & Paul Wickes
Drummer/bandleader Ulysses Owens Jr. has performed and recorded with many acclaimed jazz artists, including Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Mulgrew Miller and others. Through his relationships with these great bandleaders, he learned a great deal about Art Blakey and Betty Carter, both of whom had bands that became educational institutions and launched the careers of many of today’s paradigm-shifting musicians in jazz. In the past five years, Owens’ career has shifted him from being a “young lion” to grooming the next generation of talent through his performance, production and educational work. Generation Y is the result of those efforts, for which he has selected a new crop of young musicians from his professorship at The Juilliard School. Ulysses Owens Jr. has performed at SMF in previous years with the Christian McBride Trio and Joey Alexander Trio, and currently serves as the Artistic Educator In Residence for SMF Jazz Academy.
As a composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and unique interpreter of the jazz tradition, Camille Thurman is quickly becoming one of the standard bearers for the form, making a dynamic contribution to the legacy of jazz while paying tribute to its heroes. Fluid and powerful on the tenor saxophone and highly inventive as a vocalist, she also plays bass clarinet, flute and piccolo. Her rich sax sound has been compared to Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon, while her vocal approach—including an impressive scatting ability—has been classified alongside those of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter. Thurman tours internationally with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra; she is the first woman in 30 years to tour and perform full time two seasons as a saxophonist with the world-renowned orchestra (2018-2020). She is also a featured artist with the Darrell Green Quartet, with which she has performed at The Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall and numerous respected international jazz festivals and venues.