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Dan Gailey

High School Honor Jazz Band

University of Kansas

Dan Gailey is the Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Music at the University of Kansas, where he directs Jazz Ensemble I, teaches courses in jazz composition and arranging, produces the annual KU Jazz Festival, and is director of the KU Jazz Workshop.  He has been named to a coveted Chancellor’s Club Teaching Professorship at KU for 2017-23.  Dan is the recipient of the 1996 IAJE Gil Evans Fellowship, presented to an emerging jazz composer from an international field of candidates.  Under his direction, the KU Jazz Studies Program has been the recipient of 25 DownBeat Student Music Awards, including Jazz Ensemble I’s 2015 award for Best College Jazz Ensemble in the Graduate Division and their Outstanding Performance Award in the same category in 2017.

As director of KU Jazz Ensemble I, Dan has led performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, the 2008 and 2014 Montreux Jazz Festivals in Switzerland, the 2014 Jazz a Vienne Festival in France, the 2017 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival in California, and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City.  He also directed the band in invited appearances at International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences in New York City, Atlanta and Boston.

The Dan Gailey Jazz Orchestra debut CD What Did You Dream? was released in July 2010 on Origin/OA2 Records and features all original compositions by Dan. The CD spent almost 2 years on the JazzWeek Radio Airplay charts, and received very favorable reviews from JAZZIZJazzTimes and Cadence magazines, among others.

Dan has directed all-state high school jazz ensembles in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington, along with the 2015 NAfME All-Northwest Jazz Ensemble and the 1996 National Band Association National High School Ensemble.  He holds degrees from the University of Northern Colorado (MM) and Pacific Lutheran University (BM).


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Julia Dollison

High School Honor Vocal Jazz

University of Northern Colorado

In 2005, critics praised Dollison's self-released debut CD "Observatory" as “rare, fresh and substantive” (JazzTimes Magazine), "richly imaginative" (Wall Street Journal) and "subtle to a degree rarely found among the present generation of once-over-lightly jazz singers" (Washington Post).

In 2010, Dollison released her ArtistShare® recording project "Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider." 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 with their own two voices. The album received an abundance of critical praise, including JazzTimes' and DownBeat Magazine's Best Albums of 2010, and Jazziz Magazine's Top 3 Vocal Groups of the year along with Manhattan Transfer and the New York Voices.

This year, Dollison and Marsh are touring to promote their newly released Vertical Voices CD "Fourward" as as a vocal quartet also featuring Jennifer Barnes (alto) and Greg Jasperse (bass), Directors of Vocal Jazz at the Universities of North Texas and Western Michigan, respectively. The group will be headlining the 2015 Reno Jazz Festival and their own 2nd Annual Vertical Voices Vocal Jazz Festival in Rochelle, IL. Julia has also been selected to direct the 2015 Colorado and North Dakota All-State Vocal Jazz Choirs.

Meanwhile, Dollison's uniquely personal brand of solo vocal 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 several jazz conferences, namely IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), CMEA (California Music Educators Association) and JEN (Jazz Education Network). 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 as a featured guest artist performer, 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 also performed with pop artists such as Imogen Heap and Ben Folds. Dollison and Marsh have most recently appeared with Folds (from NBC's "The Sing Off") with sold out audiences at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, Boston Pops Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

A classically trained soprano, Dollison has performed as a guest soloist under the direction of symphony conductors Michael Tilson Thomas with the New World Symphony as the featured soloist in Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and Erich Kunzel with the Naples Philharmonic's Duke Ellington / Hoagy Carmichael Centennial Concert Series. Most recently, Julia was the featured soloist with the Sacramento Master Singers 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" Americana 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's "New Year's Event" halftime shows and parades, the 9/11 First Anniversary Memorial Service and The Rockettes' Radio City Music Hall "Christmas Spectacular" in New York.

In Fall 2015, Dollison will join the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado as they launch their new Vocal Jazz Degree Programs. Her role will include teaching applied jazz voice and overseeing the solo vocal jazz major component. From 2005 to 2013, Dollison and Marsh directed the vocal jazz program at Sacramento State, during which time the students and ensembles earned thirteen Down Beat Student Music Awards for Best Collegiate Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Best Collegiate Jazz Arrangement and Outstanding Jazz Vocal Soloist. Dollison has been an adjunct jazz studies faculty member at eight other universities including Metropolitan State University in Denver, The New School University in New York and at Florida's University of Miami, where she also 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. 


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John Zimny

Junior High Honor Jazz Band

Folsom and Sutter Middle Schools

John Zimny, a native of Chicago, Illinois, began his music career as a trumpet player at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Following his enlistment he became the chief music arranger for the Academy Cadets serving in that capacity for 15 years. His interest in arranging and composing has led him to write for marching bands, drum corps, jazz choirs and jazz bands in the United States, Canada and Europe. 

He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with degrees in Music Education and Psychology. Upon his arrival in California, he began testing students for psychological and perceptual deficiencies, as well as working with students one on one in the private sector. He went on to teach music at Sacramento City College for several years and conducted classes in electronic composition, jazz improvisation, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble and brass ensemble before joining the outstanding Folsom music department.

Mr. Zimny has been the instrumental music director at Folsom and Sutter Middle Schools in the Folsom-Cordova School District for more than 20 years. During his tenure he has seen the band program grow from two to six concert bands. His Wind Ensemble is the recipient of numerous awards, including being a two-time winner of Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Concert Band.” Mr. Zimny is responsible for starting jazz programs at both middle schools. His jazz bands have won Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Jazz Ensemble” award twelve times; and captured first place at many major jazz festivals in California, Nevada, and Utah. In addition, his Folsom & Sutter Middle School Jazz Bands were featured ensembles at the CBDA (California Band Directors Association) State Convention in 2009 and the NCBA (Northern California Band Association) Convention in 2002.

As an adjudicator for CMEA and NCBA, and as an arranger and clinician for many jazz, concert, and marching bands in California and throughout the country, Mr. Zimny calls on his many years of experience as Chief Arranger, Staff and Program Coordinator for the Sacramento Freelancers Drum Corps.  Recently, in New York, he was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame for his contributions to the activity.