Remember the name Camille Thurman. As a composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and unique interpreter of the jazz tradition, she is quickly becoming one of the standard bearers for the form, making a considerable and 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.
Sasha is a graduate of The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and her music work remains primarily based in New York City. In addition to performing internationally with her own project, Sasha Berliner Azalea, her recent notable performances have been with musicians such as drummer-composer Tyshawn Sorey, trumpet player Nicholas Payton, and jazz vibraphonist Warren Wolf, and drummer Quincy Davis. In 2019, she was a nominee for best vibraphonist in the Downbeat Readers’ Poll and “Best New Artist” in the JazzTimes Reader Poll. She is an endorsing artist for Vater and Marimba One, and is a faculty member at the MalletLab percussion intensive, where she gives masterclasses and clinics.
Terri Lyne Carrington
Celebrating 40 years in music, three-time GRAMMY® award-winning drummer, producer, educator and activist, Terri Lyne Carrington started her professional career in Massachusetts at 10 years old when she became the youngest person to receive a union card in Boston. She was featured as a “kid wonder” in many publications and on local and national TV shows. After studying under a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music, Carrington worked as an in-demand musician in New York City, and later moved to Los Angeles, where she gained recognition on late night TV as the house drummer for both the Arsenio Hall Show and Quincy Jones’ VIBE TV show, hosted by Sinbad. Ms. Carrington was named as JazzTimes Critics Polls’ Artist of the Year, Jazz Artist of the Year by Boston Globe, and Jazz Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.
At age 25, Veronica Swift has become one of the world’s most sought-after jazz talents. Having grown up on the road with her parents- jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and jazz vocalist Stephanie Nakasian- she was exposed to some of the greatest musicians of the time; Annie Ross, Jon Hendricks, Bob Dorough, Paquito d’Rivera, and Marilyn Maye. The past few years, she has toured and performed on numerous occasions with Michael Feinstein, Benny Green, Wynton Marsalis, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, appearing at legendary festivals (Montreal, Monterey, Umbria, Detroit, Marciac, …) and jazz clubs (Birdland, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz Showcase, Jazz Standard, SF Jazz, JALC Shanghai, Blue Note).
Ellie M. Hisama
Ellie M. Hisama is Professor of Music and a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University. She has devoted her career to anti-discriminatory work, attending to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in her research, teaching, and administrative commitments. Her research has examined both classical and popular repertories with a focus on composers and musicians who have been silenced, ignored, and belittled despite the richness of their work. She has organized or co-organized many conferences and symposia, including Women, Music, Power: A Celebration of Suzanne G. Cusick’s Work (2015), Feminist Theory and Music 8 (2006), and a centennial festival in celebration of Ruth Crawford Seeger (2001). She is currently organizing Feed the Fire: A Cyber Symposium in Honor of Geri Allen (November 2020), Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langston at 30: A Screening and Roundtable Celebrating Queer Harlem (Fall 2020), and the symposium and podcast series Unsung Stories: Women at Columbia’s Center for Computer Music (April 2021). She is the author of Gendering Musical Modernism: The Music of Ruth Crawford, Marion Bauer, and Miriam Gideon (2001) and coeditor of Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Worlds: Innovation and Tradition in Twentieth-century American Music (2007) and Critical Minded: New Approaches to Hip Hop Studies (2005). She is Founding Director of For the Daughters of Harlem: Working in Sound, a workshop that brings students from local public schools to campus to create, record, and reflect upon their work in sound.
Stephanie Jensen-Moulton, associate professor of musicology, has published articles on women in hip-hop, the 19th-century piano prodigy “Blind Tom” Wiggins, Pauline Oliveros and other topics in American music. She has presented papers and lecture-recitals at numerous national and international conferences, including national meetings of the Society for American Music and the American Musicological Society. She received a Ph.D. in Musicology and Certificate in women’s studies from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2008, winning the Carolyn Heilbrun Prize for her dissertation on Miriam Gideon’s 1958 opera Fortunato, which was published by A-R Editions (2013). She is a co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies, (2016), a recipient of a Whiting Fellowship for Excellence in Humanities Teaching, and a Tow Research Fellowship (2019-21).
“Every time I have the opportunity to play music, I count it as an absolute pleasure. Without it, I would not be who I am today. As I create, I never lose focus on the main idea which is that it must be played in order to positively affect and influence the listener.” Born in West Palm Beach, Florida, Tyson Jackson first discovered his love for music at the ripe age of 3. Throughout his academic career, Tyson has attended performing arts institutions dedicated to music—these institutions further peaked his interest and allowed his love for music to grow. Throughout his musical career, Jackson has been afforded many opportunities to study and be mentored by world-renowned artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Darren Barrett, AJ Wright, Terri Lynn Carrington, Ralph Peterson, Tia Fuller, Sean Jones, Nona Hendryx, etc. Tyson feels that these experiences are invaluable and have truly helped to propel him in his professional career. “As an artist, I realize that I serve as a vessel for music to flow through. It is my duty to continue to pay homage to the masters who have come before me, while incorporating an innovative approach to my artistry, personal brand, and musical endeavors as I develop”.
Described as a “charismatic and captivating performer,” Ashleigh Gordon has recorded with Switzerland’s Ensemble Proton and Germany’s Ensemble Modern; performed with Grammy-award winning BMOP and Grammy-nominated A Far Cry string ensemble; and appeared at the prestigious BBC Proms Festival with the Chineke! Orchestra. Comfortable on an international stage, Ashleigh has performed in the Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls (London), Konzerthaus Berlin and Oper Frankfurt (Germany), Gare du Nord and Dampfzentrale Bern (Switzerland), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Lee Hysan Concert Hall (Hong Kong), and throughout Sofia, Bulgaria as part of the multi-disciplinary 180 Degrees Festival. She is co-founder, Artistic/Executive Director and violist of Castle of our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music. In recognition of her work, she has presented at IDEAS UMass Boston Conference and 180 Degrees Festival in Bulgaria; has been featured in the International Musician and Improper Bostonian magazines as well as the Boston Globe; and was awarded the 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from the American Federation of Musicians. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award recipient, a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellow, a nominee for the 2020 “Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities,” and named one of WBUR’s “ARTery 25”, twenty-five millennials of color impacting Boston’s arts and culture scene.
Hailing from Wheaton, Illinois, 18 year old jazz trumpeter Kellin Hanas started playing at 7 years old and is now a current freshman Jazz Trumpet student at the Manhattan School of Music. Kellin was selected as a trumpet player for Carnegie Hall’s 2020 NYO Jazz Ensemble; was selected as a 2020 YoungArts Winner in Jazz Trumpet and as a co-winner of the Downbeat Magazine High School Jazz Improviser Award; was selected to the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Jazz Band of America and Next Generation Jazz Orchestra; was selected to the 2020 Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo; and was selected as the top high school jazz trumpet player in the state of Illinois for 2019 and 2020 by the Illinois Music Educators Association. She has also worked with legendary musicians such as Sean Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Rampton, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Tanya Darby and Terell Stafford at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Summer Jazz Academy and the highly selective Vail Jazz Workshop.
Dr. Cardona has been recognized nationally for efforts to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus climate via data-driven solutions. Initiatives he has led with award-winning teams have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and National Public Radio. While at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dr. Cardona previously served as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Trotter Multicultural Center within the Division of Student Life, Advisor to the Central Student Government and WCBN-FM (U-M’s student-run radio station), and as a Senior Research Associate for the National Center for Institutional Diversity and the School of Education. Additionally, Dr. Cardona served in leadership roles at Stanford University, University of California, Santa Cruz, and California State University, Monterey Bay. Dr. Cardona earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has a Master’s degree in Education from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Communication from California State University, Monterey Bay. Dr. Cardona played piano competitively from elementary through high school. He looks forward to continuing the vital role SMTD has in promoting an inclusive climate in which all can thrive.
Veronica Leahy is a multi-woodwind player, pianist, and composer based in Boston, MA. She is a sophomore enrolled in the Harvard University and Berklee College of Music dual degree program. Since starting college, she has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Monterey Jazz Festival, and as a Ravinia Steans Music Institute Jazz Fellow. She composed, orchestrated, and produced the music for Harvard’s First-Year Musical and was selected to compose the Hasty Pudding Theatrical’s 173rd annual show. She organized MusicGrams during the pandemic, a fundraiser to raise money for COVID-19 Relief, delivering over 75 personalized music videos from student musicians across the world. In high school, she received national recognition in both classical and jazz saxophone through her selection in ensembles such as the 2018 Grammy Jazz Band, the 2018 National YoungArts Foundation jazz combo, 2017 and 2018 Honor Band of America, the 2019 Next Generation in Jazz Band, the 2019 Honor Jazz Band of America, and more. Further notable performances include appearances on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Veronica has studied with Debra Richtmeyer, Vijay Iyer, Terri Lyne Carrington, George Garzone, Ted Nash, Kris Davis, Shannon LeClaire, Billy Childs, Phil Thompson, Will Campbell, and John Herrick.
Liany Mateo was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. Since she was 14, she has been playing the upright bass and pursuing a career in jazz music. Through her endeavors, she has been able to travel across the world for workshops, camps, and performances. In the past two years, she has traveled across the United States, Japan, Africa, and Banff, Canada performing, touring, and teaching music. Recently, she was involved in a project entitled ‘The Becoming Quintet’ that was recorded on posi-tone records. Liany has played at acclaimed jazz venues like Smalls Jazz Club (NYC) and the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe (Detroit).In January 2020 she was awarded the Jack Rudin “Outstanding Bass Solo” award at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s first collegiate jazz competition. This past May she received her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University and is currently beginning her master’s degree at the Berklee College of Music through the Berklee Global Jazz program.