Born: September 2, 1972 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Eight years ago, the Washington Post called Julia Dollison a deeply musical virtuoso with an airy, luminous voice. Four years ago, critics praised Dollison's self-released debut CD Observatory as “rare, fresh and substantive” (JazzTimes Magazine), richly imaginative (Wall Street Journal) and “subtle, spontaneous and breathtaking” (Sacramento Bee).
Today, Dollison has released her newest recording project Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider through ArtistShare®, the Grammy Award- winning fan-based internet environment that promotes the artist's creative process. Here, she and her husband Kerry Marsh, vocalist and award-winning arranger, pay tribute to their mentor and ArtistShare's multi-Grammy Award- winning flagship artist Maria Schneider, recreating compositions written for her own jazz orchestra by multi-tracking the horn parts to create a two- voice orchestra. Dollison and Marsh will be touring this spring to promote their new CD, performing in duet with their own pre-recorded vocal tracks from the album minus the two parts they'll be singing live. The duo will also reprise songs from Dollison's Observatory CD and preview some of their newer arrangements and compositions.
Meanwhile, Dollison's uniquely personal brand of jazz is delighting club- goers, concert and festival audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe. She's performed with the Maria Schneider Orchestra at New York's Jazz Standard, 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, then 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 pop 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. She has also served locally as an assistant director for the DownBeat award-winning vocal jazz ensembles at American River College and Folsom High School. Dollison was previously an adjunct faculty member at the New School University in New York and at Florida's University of Miami, where she earned her B.M. and M.M. degrees in studio music and jazz vocal performance, teaching with a full assistantship while earning her graduate degree.
A classically trained soprano, Dollison has performed as a guest soloist under the direction of symphony conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Erich Kunzel, and has appeared with the Boston Pops Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra. She sang the solos in Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and in Come Sunday: The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington and has played the title role in Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. Julia also performed as a lead soprano in the Voices of Liberty show at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center, where she was featured as a main park attraction.
An experienced studio singer, Dollison can be heard as the soprano soloist in the Academy Award-winning Vera Drake film trailer (Fine Line Cinema 2004) and in film scores from The Stepford Wives (DreamWorks 2004) and The Corpse Bride (Warner Brothers Pictures 2005). She has also recorded commercials for Disney, Fox, Coca Cola, Pier One Imports, Go Girl Energy Drinks and Mattress Discounters, and has pre-recorded vocal tracks for the Florida Orange Bowl New Year's Even Halftime shows and parades, the 9/11 First Anniversary Memorial Service and The Rockettes' Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular in New York.
Awards:2000 DownBeat Student Music Award Winner - Best Collegiate Jazz Vocal Soloist
Julia Dollison’s pitch, range and ability to blend is simply astounding. Her work on 'Hang Gliding' is absolutely stellar and should garner her a new legion of fans. Kerry Marsh’s vocals are fresh and imaginative. The duo does Schneider’s work complete poetic justice. SOUNDSOFTIMELESSJAZZ.COM, CD Review Paula Edelstein (March 31, 2010)
As a fan of both wordless vocalese and Brazilian-flavored jazz, how could I not be swept up in Julia Dollison and Kerry Marsh's lush trills on Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider?' PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, Samba Swing Jonathan Takiff (March 30, 2010)
More than just a technical tour de force, this CD is a miracle of kaleidoscopically varied vocal color that provides an arresting new perspective on Schneider's musical genius. ARTSJOURNAL.COM About Last Night - TOP FIVE Terry Teachout (March 28, 2010)
Dollison and Marsh have accomplished the remarkable task of creating vocal renderings of Maria Schneider’s mesmerizing instrumental music. THE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MUSIC Picks of the Week Don Heckman (March 16, 2010)
A two-voice orchestra, an ambitious project, a novel new CD. CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO Morning Edition Feature Arts Story Paul Conley (March 15, 2010)
Should you wonder whether Maria Schneider's compositions are singable, the answer is a resounding yes. Such a good idea! ALL ABOUT JAZZ, Vox News Suzanne Lorge (August 26, 2009)
I'm with Schneider on this one. You have to give Dollison and Marsh full marks for their ambition, execution, commitment and musical taste. OTTAWA CITIZEN Peter Hum (August 26, 2009)
Here's an opportunity to hear their remarkable vocal transformations. THE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MUSIC Picks of the Week Don Heckman (August 26, 2009)
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Citrus Heights, CA
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Applied Jazz Voice Instructor, Sacramento State
Traveling Clinician, Monterey Next Generation Educational Program Assistant Director, Monterey County Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble Jazz Faculty Member, MJF Summer Jazz Camp Jazz Festival Guest Artist, Clinician and/or Adjudicator: (2003 to Present): Bear Valley Music Festival; Brubeck Festival; California Music in the Parks Festival; Capital Choral Festival; City Stages Jazz Festival; Columbia Jazz Festival ; Delta College Jazz Festival; Disney American All-Star Jazz Festival; Edmonton Choral Festival; Festival Miami (University of Miami); Festival of New American Music; Folsom Jazz Festival; Fresno Jazz Festival; Golden Empire Music Festival; Hollywood, Florida Jazz Festival; International Association of Jazz Education; Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions; KU (University of Kansas) Jazz Festival; Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival; McGill University Jazz Forum (Montreal); Monk Institute; Monterey Jazz Camp; Monterey Jazz Festival; Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival; Monterey Traveling Jazz Clinician Education Program; Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland); NARAS Florida Regional Grammy in the Schools; Noto Jazz Festival (Japan); Redwood Empire Music Festival; Reno Jazz Festival; Sacramento State University Jazz Festival; Santa Cruz Jazz Festival; Tomisato Jazz Festival (Japan); Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy); UNC (University of Northern Colorado) Jazz Festival; University of the Pacific Jazz Camp; University of Miami Jazz Forum; Utah Jazz Festival; Vallejo Jazz Festival; Vienne Jazz Festival (France).