BISMARCK, ND— The 46th annual University of Mary Jazz Festival features world-renowned jazz artists and award-winning student jazz ensembles. The concert showcases Terell Stafford on trumpet; Ulysses Owens Jr. on drums; Christine Jensen on saxophone; Luke Malewicz on trombone; and Shon Parker, Jennifer Scovell Parker, Stephen Futrell providing vocal jazz.

Stafford, Owens, Jensen, Malewicz, Parker, Scovell Parker and Futrell join Mary’s Jazz Ensemble and Vocal Jazz on stage for an evening of toe-tapping jazz Friday, January 25, 7:30 p.m., in Founders Hall in the new Lumen Vitae University Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

“With the unique sound and style that each guest artist brings to the table, there is sure to be something for everyone at this concert,” said Russ Ballenger, instructor of Low Brass and Jazz.

“Vocal Jazz has exploded in the past 10 years with TV shows like the “Sing Off,” movies such as “Pitch Perfect,” and YouTube sensations like Pentatonix and Home Free,” said Dr. Tom Porter, professor of Music and chair of the department. “The UMary Jazz Festival allows the audience to experience vocal ensembles covering the full range from traditional jazz to contemporary covers, and our guest artists are not only amazing performers, but also wonderful educators throughout the spectrum of styles. UMary Vocal Jazz rises to the occasion with a concert set that includes traditional jazz, arrangements by Pentatonix, the Real Group and Swingle Singers, and a contemporary cover arranged by UMary senior Kolbe Schanzenbach.

Stafford is regarded as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner, and can be heard performing on over 130 albums. Since the mid-1990s, Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band. Stafford has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and the “Rosie O’Donnel Show” to name just a few.  Stafford was a member of the GRAMMY nominated Bobby Watson’s Tailor Made Big Band for their album Tailor Made. Stafford is a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and they were awarded a GRAMMY for Best Large Ensemble Live at the Village Vanguard. Stafford is the director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and managing and artistic director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP).

Critical Jazzcalls Owens a “legitimate jazz triple threat,” who, according to The New York Times, “takes a back seat to no one.” A burgeoning force in the industry, DownBeat’s Critics Poll has named Owens a Rising Star for five years straight. He is one of the most sought-after drummers of his generation with a resume marked with GRAMMY award-winning performances with Christian McBride’s acclaimed Trio and Big Band and world tours with Kurt Elling and Joey Alexander. He is the recipient of the 2013 ASCAP Plus Award, a Gold medal winner of the 2014 Global Music Awards and a 2015 Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing! Awards honoree. Still, most notable of Owens’s accomplishments are his performances on the 2010 GRAMMY award-winning Kurt Elling live album, Dedicated to You, and the 2012 GRAMMY award-winning Christian Mcbride Big Band album, The Good Feeling. Owens is also making a name for himself in production circles, having accumulated over 30 producer credits in just a few short years. As founder of Don’t Miss A Beat, Inc., a nonprofit organization empowering young people, Owens has created programs for over 200 children and teens annually.

The greatest aspect of this festival is the opportunity for the University of Mary student musicians to perform alongside and learn from the some of the world’s best jazz performers and educators. Additionally, more than a thousand middle school and high school students from around the region and Canada will be part of the festival performances judged by these renowned jazz artists. As part of the event, these guest artists will judge nearly 50 junior high and high school ensembles from across North Dakota, South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba at both Arno Gustin Hall (Clairmont Center for Performing Arts) and Matt and JoAnn Butler Hall (Tharaldson School of Business). The public is invited to attend any of the participating schools’ performances (doors are opened between schools performances).

Jazz Ensemble

Barret Smith, Bismarck, ND

Beth Kensok, Casselton, ND

Rylee Kubischta, Bismarck, ND

Liz Haaland, Williston, ND

Kayla Kitzmann, Billings, MT

Kayla Sailer, Bismarck, ND

Nick Mortenson, Jamestown, ND

Victoria Del Curto, Oakdale, CA

Timothy Miller, Orange, MA

Mary Borow, Winfield, IL

Phil Litton, Bismarck, ND

Daniel Plunkett, Clarkston, MI

Noelle McCarthy, Minnetonka, MN

David Sorenson, Bismarck, ND


Vocal Jazz

Marisa Mund, Bismarck, ND

Jordyn Varland, Bismarck, ND

Hannah Fischer, Helena, MT

Emily Cicha, Mandan, ND

Jane Gowen, Bismarck, ND

Rebecca Richardson, Kemah, TX

Heidi Bau, Slayton, MN

Kaitlyn Gellerman, Inver Grove Heights, MN

Hunter Fox, Bismarck, ND

Joey Meyer, Ypsilanti, MI

Chase Angermeier, Bismarck, ND

Kolbe Schanzenbach, Vista, CA

Barret Smith, Bismarck, ND

Christopher Riedman, Bismarck, ND

Josef Sollmann, Port Angeles, WA