Women in Jazz Symposium 2023 - Biographies of Keynote, Presenters and Moderators
Keynote Speaker: CHRISTINE JENSEN
Montreal-based conductor, composer and saxophonist Christine Jensen is an original voice on the international jazz scene, and is regarded as one of Canada’s most compelling composers and improvisers. She recently won the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for Rising Star Big Band, Arranger, and Soprano Saxophonist, as well as being honored by the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2017 with the Oscar Peterson Prize. She leads her own jazz orchestra as well as other diverse ensemble projects. “Jensen writes in three dimensions, with a quiet kind of authority that makes the many elements cohere. Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler come to mind.” –Downbeat. Jensen has won two Juno Awards for her recordings with her jazz orchestra, including Habitat (2014) and Treelines (2011). Four of her albums have been nominated with Quebec’s ADISQ awards. Habitat received the coveted 5 stars in Downbeat, along with being included at the top of several international critic’s polls, including Jazz Album of the Year in 2014. She was also profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered for her work. A two-time recipient of the Hagood Hardy Prize from SOCAN, she has also received two Quebec Opus Awards for her jazz orchestra recordings and concerts. Her recent collaborations as conductor and composer with Orchestre National Jazz de Montreal have included conducting Terence Blanchard, Oliver Jones, The Music of Carla Bley, as well as recording her suite Under the Influence, which won the 2017 Prix Opus for jazz recording of the year. Christine co-leads Nordic Connect along with her sister, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen. They released two recordings, with tours of Canada, US, Australia and Europe. Their latest recording Infinitude featuring Ben Monder on guitar was nominated for a 2018 Juno Award. Jensen’s music has taken her all over the world, where she has received numerous commissions and conducting opportunities with jazz orchestras in Canada, the US and Europe. Recent guest artist residencies include Frost School of Music-UMiami, The New School-NY, Dartmouth College, University of Michigan, Finland’s UMO Jazz Orchestra, Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Vancouver’s Hard Rubber. Orchestra, and Luxembourg Jazz Orchestra. Frequent collaborators have included Phil Dwyer, Ben Monder, Gary Smulyan, Geoffrey Keezer, Lenny Pickett, and Donny McCaslin.
Teachers and mentors include Kenny Werner, Jim McNeely, Dick Oatts, Remi Bolduc and John Hollenbeck. She is currently on faculty at McGill University where she teaches composition, saxophone, ensembles, and is Artistic Director of Jazz Orchestra 1.
Presenters and Moderators
An expressive storyteller both in music and in life, drummer and composer Tetyana Haraschuk crafts sounds that stretch your emotions with a range of attitudes from delicate to frightening. The “freaky alien” textures, melodies and rhythms ever-present in the alternative chamber jazz genre are inscribed on Haraschuk’s artistic dog-tag. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, she is inspired by her Ukrainian culture, and has written for and performed with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, performed at the TD Ottawa and Winnipeg Jazz Festivals, in Spain, in Brazil and has collaborated with JUNO award winning artists. Tetyana is the founder of the new online resource “Music Theory Hang”, has taught high school composition masterclasses and was a guest lecturer on the topic of “Women in Jazz” at Western University in London, Canada. Tetyana is currently producing an alternative jazz album, fusing acoustic elements with an electronic soundscape.
Monica Jones has always had a passion for music. She began studying piano as a child and moved onto clarinet in junior high and saxophone in secondary school. Her studies with Janice Finlay and Brian Zimmerman during secondary school offered her a solid foundation in saxophone and jazz improvisation, while earning her recognition through provincial awards and honor band invitations. Monica furthered her studies in jazz saxophone at Brandon University where she studied with Greg Gatien, Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Saxophone. She developed her musicianship and performance abilities in the Brandon University Big Band, in numerous small jazz ensembles and through her concentrated studies in jazz improvisation, music theory, ear training, and composition. Monica has had the opportunity to perform with many high caliber bands including the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, The Ron Paley Big Band, The Dirty Catfish Brass Band and the Big City All Star Band. While her main instruments are Tenor and Alto saxophone, she also doubles on soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet and vocals. Under her own name in small ensemble settings, she performs on saxophone and as a vocalist in genres of R&B/Soul and Jazz. Monica has been teaching saxophone since 2005 and coaches in the Winnipeg school district on saxophone and wood winds. She is on faculty at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music (2015) and the Winnipeg Conservatory of Music (2020). She provides jazz and classical instruction as well as aural skills, theory, music history and improvisation.
Karly Epp is a Canadian-born, New York-based jazz vocalist who draws listeners into a mesmerizing world that reveals the power of nuance and subtlety in music. Her rhythmic confidence and improvisational prowess stem from a genuine love of straight-ahead jazz, as she has thoroughly studied the masters of its tradition, drawing inspiration from such artists as Sarah Vaughan and Shirley Horn. However, equally important to her is a sense of emotional vulnerability and unaffected delivery — an aesthetic movement led by her teacher and mentor, Grammy-nominated vocalist Gretchen Parlato. Born into a family of musicians and music educators, Epp’s love of music has been lifelong. After graduating from the University of Manitoba in Canada with a Bachelor of Music specializing in Jazz Vocal Performance, as well as a Bachelor of Education, Epp went on to become an accomplished choral director. She spent several years teaching, directing musicals, guest conducting and presenting clinics. It was during this time that she also discovered her love for arranging vocal music, something she continues to do regularly. Additionally, Epp co-chaired Tempo: The Manitoba Music Conference, an annual large-scale conference for music educators in Manitoba, Canada. In order to focus on her performance career, Epp relocated to New York City and later graduated from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music with a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies. During this time, she had the opportunity to study with three Grammy-nominated vocalists - Gretchen Parlato, Theo Bleckmann, and Kate McGarry - all of whom influenced her greatly. It was during this time that she was introduced to Somatic Voicework and went on to study the method with Jeannie LoVetri. Her time at MSM also allowed her to further develop her understanding of composition, arranging, and harmony, working with renowned artists and composers including Dave Liebman, Phil Markowitz, and Jim McNeely. In the fall of 2017, Epp was named a top-15 finalist in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition. This recognition was determined by a panel of highly distinguished judges, including T.S. Monk, Ann Hampton Callaway, Vanessa Rubin, and Will Downing. Epp has performed at major jazz festivals and clubs throughout North America. She has led her own group at the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, and has appeared as a guest with drummer Quincy Davis (Kurt Elling, Tom Harrell, Benny Green), bassist Karl Kohut (Wynton Marsalis, Felix Peikli & Joe Doubleday’s Showtime Band), and JUNO-nominated duo Erin Propp and Larry Roy, among others. In 2016-2017, she held a monthly residency at New York’s historic 55 Bar with Vinyl Live!. She continues to be active throughout the city and beyond with both private and public performances, as well as her own teaching studio.
Kathie Van Lare, born and raised in Calgary, has been teaching music in the Calgary area for over 30 years. Now retired from full-time teaching, Kathie continues to direct the Foothills Music Society Concert Band and the Westwinds Music Society Gold Jazz South Big Band.
She is active as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator throughout much of western Canada and has also served on faculty with MusiCamrose and the Calgary Regional Summer Band Workshop. Kathie is currently Co-President of Women Band Directors International – Alberta Chapter. Kathie continues to be active as a free-lance musician (trumpet) and has performed with many groups including among others, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Prime Time Big Band, Calgary Jazz Orchestra, Alberta Winds and Altius Brass. Besides music, Kathie enjoys woodworking, horseback riding and is an avid baseball fan. Go Cardinals!
Born and raised in Winnipeg, MB, Jeni Taylor began her music studies in middle school. She went on to study trumpet performance at the University of Manitoba, earning a Bachelor of Music degree. She also holds a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant in jazz and brass, teaching large jazz ensemble and trumpet lessons. Her main teachers have included Dr. Richard Gillis, Lisa Norris, Dr. Darryl White, and NY freelance player and teacher Laurie Frink. Currently, Ms. Taylor is an educational assistant in performing arts at Charleswood School and Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg. She maintains a large private teaching studio, as well as doing many trumpet and brass clinics at schools throughout Manitoba. She also continues a busy performance schedule as a regular member of the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble, the East Side Jazz Band, and the Muddy Waters Brass Quintet.
Shannon Little has been a music educator since 2007. She currently teaches band and jazz band at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba. In addition to teaching, she continues to make music as a trumpet player in a variety of ensembles including the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble where she also acts as the personnel manager. Shannon is excited to be co-presenting with Jeni Taylor, who she has had the opportunity to play with, teach with and learn from for over twenty years.
Cheryl Ferguson received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance (French horn) and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Mary (Bismarck, ND). She has also done graduate work at Southern Oregon University, and has earned a Master in Curriculum Studies (Music Education) at Acadia University (Nova Scotia). Cheryl has taught music at every level, including K-6 general music classes, ten years running junior high band programs, and has been in her current position as Director of Bands at Fort Richmond Collegiate since 2006. Cheryl is also the Director of Concert Band at Canadian Mennonite University. Cheryl has completed the Canadian Wind Conductor’s Development Program Levels I and II. She is active as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor, including conducting the 2010 Manitoba Junior Provincial Honor Band, the 2017 Manitoba Intermediate Honor Band, and many regional Honor Bands across the Prairies. She has adjudicated at band and chamber music festivals across the Prairie Provinces and in North Dakota. She has also been a guest conductor for the Red Deer College Adult Concert Band, the Alberta Youth Wind Symphony, the Regina Catholic Schools Honor Band, and for the Prairielands Jazz Camp. The Fort Richmond Collegiate band program, under Cheryl's direction, was awarded the Don Green Award at the 2011 Optimist Band Festival in Winnipeg. In 2013, Cheryl received the Manitoba Band Association Award of Distinction recognizing an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to music education in Manitoba. In 2014, she received the I. Keith Mann Outstanding Band Director Award, national recognition given to one band director in Canada per year. Cheryl was also awarded the Community Hero Award from the Manitoba Legislative Assembly in 2018. Cheryl serves as French horn instructor at Canadian Mennonite University, and maintains a private studio of private French horn students. She continues to perform with the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble and the Ferguson Family Brass Quartet. She has conducted the Adult Advanced Band at International Music Camp for several years. Cheryl serves the band community in Manitoba through significant service to the Manitoba Band Association, including being the Concert Band Festival Chairperson, the Manitoba Honor Band Administrator, Co-chair of the MBA Solo Challenge, and a Regional Representative on the MBA Board. In 2016, Cheryl was invited to record a TED Talk on Motivating People toward Excellence.
Pauline Thimm has developed her wide-ranging campus and cultural projects portfolio over more than 15 years of practicing and teaching architecture. Through her role in DIALOG’s post-secondary education working group, her long-standing membership with SCUP, and her teaching at architectural design studios, Pauline has a keen awareness of student, instructor, and institutional perspectives. She works with and learns from diverse stakeholder groups at post-secondary institutions and the communities they serve and brings that understanding to the design of impactful spaces for living, teaching, and learning. Pauline has led and been involved in post-secondary projects across North America, from programming and planning to renovation and rehabilitation to new construction. She has worked with Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, MIT, and Stanford. A LEED® accredited architect is deeply committed to understanding and informing the leading edge of learning environment design. In addition to her portfolio of cultural work, which includes design competition proposals such as for the Winnipeg Market Lands and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Pauline is a lifelong participant and supporter of the arts. She studied studio arts at Emily Carr University, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Pauline develops and teaches architecture and design classes for children, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, an Executive Board member for the Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art, and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for AIA Canada.