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Kathy Boone: Kathy has been actively teaching and
performing music since 1979. Primarily a clarinetist she added the saxophone,
flute and bassoon to her woodwind specialties. She completed her BA degree
in Music Education at Seattle Pacific University, with an emphasis on
woodwinds in 1984. Kathy was the Instrumental Director at Bellevue Christian
Schools from 1984 – 1997 where her bands consistently received excellent
and superior ratings. She completed her Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the
University of Washington in 1993. She has performed with the Broadway
Symphony (Orchestra Seattle), the Seattle Philharmonic, and the Bellevue
Philharmonic. She currently performs as a free-lance musician in the Pacific Northwest.
From 1997 – present she has developed a very successful private studio
teaching clarinet, flute, saxophone and guitar. She is also Adjunct
Music Faculty at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. With a love for all styles of music and a special interest in Jazz,
she was excited to be asked to join the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra in 2010.
"Performing with SWOJO affords me the opportunity to play jazz on the woodwind
instruments I have studied over the years.” (photo by Jim Levitt)
Jenny Ziefel: Jenny has been a professional clarinetist and saxophonist in the
Pacific Northwest for over 11 years. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from
the University of Washington in 2002, and her Master of Arts degree from the University of
Northern Colorado in 1996. Jenny is a jazz scholar and has written a book on the clarinet
in jazz in the 1950's and 1960's. She teaches a large private studio of saxophone, clarinet,
and bass clarinet students, and has taught in the public schools as a clinician, woodwinds
teacher, and as a solo and ensemble adjudicator. In addition, Jenny has been a performing
member of the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra for several years and plays frequently in
dance bands and pit orchestras in the Puget Sound area. Jenny's love of music in all its
forms has spanned her entire lifetime and has ranged from a fascination with jazz to
performing classical music on antique and period instruments to avant-garde performances
of works by local composers.
Ann Babb-Nordling: Ann has been a member of Seattle's
hardest working swing band, The Portage Bay Big Band, with her husband Todd Nordling
since 1996, and has also played in many other big band groups in the Seattle
area, such as: Tuxedo Junction, Friendly Fire, the Fairly Honest Jazz Band,
Mach One, the Spokane Jazz Society, Fred Radke’s Day and Night bands at North
Seattle Community College, and many others. Ann has a BA in Communications from the University
of Washington, and has been fortunate enough to have had studied music and saxophone under
the tutelage of Cynthia Mullis, Jan Jessen, Don Lanphere, and most recently,
Jim DeJoie. Ann is also a Managing Broker with Chuck Cady and Associates
at RE/MAX Northwest Realtors and is one of the original and continuing
sponsors of the Ballard Jazz Festival. She also sponsors Ponyboy Record’s
Annual Jazz Picnic and most recently the North City Jazz Walk.
She is a busy mother of Stephanie Babb, a freshman at Western
Washington University, and Lucy Nordling, 18 months. (photo by Jim Levitt)
Cynthia Mullis: Cynthia is an alumnus of the New York all-women big band Diva.
With Diva she appeared with artists Diane Schuur, Joe Williams, and James Brown at venues such
as the NYC Blue Note, Birdland, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and jazz festivals
in Berlin, Austria, and Switzerland. In Seattle, Cynthia has performed with the Jazz Police,
the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, the Washington Wind Symphony, Philharmonia NW, the
Tacoma Symphony, Jay Thomas and others. Cynthia released her debut CD Inside Job on
OA2 Records and leads her own group,
New York Confidential.
She holds a Master of Arts in Jazz Performance from Queens College in NYC and a
Bachelor of Music Performance degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Cynthia also earned a
Certificate in Arts Management from the University of Washington and holds an
Associate Degree in Graphic Design.
Marge Rosen: Marge has been playing trumpet for over 25 years, both in
classical and jazz genres. She has enjoyed performing on stage at
Carnegie Hall and Benaroya Hall. A previous member of the
United States Navy Band, she has performed for the President of the United States, numerous
foreign dignitaries, and at the 1994 World Cup. She earned a masters degree
in music education from Ithaca College in New York. Marge is an original member of SWOJO and its current Executive Director (2011 - present).
Debbie Meyer Snook: Debbie joined the SWOJO trumpet
section in 2008. A graduate of Scott Brown’s Roosevelt Jazz program,
she attended the University of Washington, where she studied trumpet
with Roy Cummings and Timothy Salzman. She earned Bachelor degrees in
both Music and Music Education from the University of Washington.
Debbie recently received her Master of Arts in Education degree from
Antioch University Seattle, where she specialized in Mariachi Education.
She taught instrumental, choral and general music at Chief Sealth
International High School in West Seattle from 1999-2011.
She now is a full-time mom in addition to teaching piano lessons
in her private studio. Debbie also enjoys playing cornet in
PugetBrass, a Seattle-based British-style brass band.
Robin Stangland: Robin currently performs professionally on French horn with the Starry Night Orchestra, Skagit Chorale, Northwest Chorale, and Sno-King Chorale. She is a new member of the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra as she has recently dusted off the trumpet and started learning how to play jazz. Her jazz teachers have been Steve Ross, Greg Metcalf, Dave Stangland, and Jake Bergevin.
She performed with The Portland Opera Orchestra for 7 years, and also has played with Philharmonia Northwest and Rainier Chamber Winds. She studied horn performance at Indiana University and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Willamette University. Robin has taught band and general music in the Salem Public Schools, Hillsboro School District (Oregon), the Everett School District, and has been the director of the Seattle Area Homeschool Bands since 1993. Her bands have consistently received excellent and superior ratings at band festivals. She is the French horn coach for the Cascade Youth Symphony and brass and percussion coach at the Mount Baker Youth Symphony Summer Sounds Camp. She is music director at Madison Community Church where she leads worship, sings and plays guitar, bass, and drums. (photo credit Rebecca Calvo)
Carolyn Caster: Carolyn is an active trombonist in the Seattle big band scene and
has performed with the ConEd Art Ensemble, Brian Kirk's
Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Police, Jay Thomas' Friendly Fire, Kings of Swing, Route 66, Portage Bay Big Band,
Issaquah Jazz Orchestra, and others.
She studied music and computer science at the
University of Idaho, and has studied trombone with Jeff Hay and Dave Keim. Carolyn is an original member of
SWOJO and served as our Executive Director from 2004 - 2010.
Beth Yip: Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico,
trombonist/composer Beth Yip has been an active freelancer for over 20 years, playing
a variety of musical styles from classical to jazz to salsa to experimental. She
received degrees in trombone performance and theory/composition from the Eastman
School of Music and the University of New Mexico. Her thesis work explored feminist
themes in the music of Pauline Oliveros, while subsequent projects have reflected
her continued interest in experimental and alternative approaches to sound,
including the Unheard Of concert series she co-organized in Albuquerque,
featuring local composers, and a grant-funded soundscape installation project,
Harvesting Local Soundscapes. Beth has written several original works
for small ensembles that have premiered recently. One of her two pieces for
Japanese gamelan, “Patience: A Game” appears on Oasis in the Desert,
a cd recorded by the Albuquerque-based Gamalan Encantada.
Liana Green: Liana began her love affair with music in 5th grade, when she innocently signed up for beginning band at school, choosing the trumpet simply because her stepfather had played when he was young. She continued to play right through high school (where she added euphonium and tuba to her skill set), and earned a degree in trumpet performance from Western Washington University. She then moved to Boston where she continued her studies at New England Conservatory, earning a Master of Music degree. After playing trumpet professionally on the east coast for several years – and accruing a wide range of experience within the music business (including working as a music engraver/copyist, and a music librarian), she made her way back across the country in order to be closer to her family in Seattle. In need of a break from the trumpet, Liana returned to her early interest in low brass instruments several years ago. She picked up the trombone, and now plays in several jazz & “rock” bands around Seattle. She keeps her orchestral roots alive by playing the occasional euphonium part when orchestras are in need, and she spends her days teaching music and rock climbing to 6th-12th grade students at a small private school in downtown Seattle.
Julie Blanchfield: Bass Trombone
Julie has enjoyed playing trombone for 22 years and is excited to play
bass trombone with the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra. Music and jazz is
a passion Julie practices outside of her time on active duty as a
Lieutenant Commander in the United States Coast Guard. Julie graduated
from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2003 and while there
performed in the cadet NiteCaps Jazz Band. In her first tour of duty on
a Coast Guard ship in San Diego, she had responsibilities within the
engineering department standing watch, and managing fueling operations
and auxiliary machinery. Upon moving to the Washington, DC area
(stationed at the Coast Guard's Headquarters), Julie played with the
Columbia Concert band. In 2008, Julie was transferred to Charleston,
South Carolina where she stood watch in the Coast Guard's search and
rescue center and was responsible for aids to navigation, waterways
management, and waterfront shipping facilities. In Charleston, Julie
performed with the Lowcountry Power Brass. In 2011 Julie moved to
Seattle where she inspects US and foreign cargo and passenger vessels
for safety and security compliance. She was honored to join SWOJO as the
bass trombone player. Julie resides in Burien with her amazing husband
(John), Great Dane (Sierra), and border collie mix (Monkey).
Ann Reynolds: A composer as well as a
player, Ann(-ita) has been a member of the NW jazz and latin musical
communities for several years. After her first trip to Cuba in 2000,
she became addicted to Cuban music and dance. The Cuban influence
is felt both in her playing and her musical compositions. Ann
leads two latin groups in Seattle –
She facilitated a Cuban rhythm section workshop in Mexico,
teaches Cuban music classes for dancers, and teaches piano
in Seattle. Ann studied with Jerome Gray and Randy Halberstadt
in Seattle and with Andres Alen and Dayramir Gonzalez in Cuba. (photo by Jim Levitt)
Morgan hails from Seattle and has been playing drums for 13 years. She began playing drums her Sophomore year of High School and received a scholarship to attend Central Washington University's renowned Jazz Program. In her years of playing, she has had the privilege of sharing the stage with many greats, some of which include Benny Green, Terell Stafford, Dawn Clement, Christoph Luty, Tamir Hendelman and Ingrid Jensen. Morgan has studied with some of the great drummers of our time, Jeff Hamilton, Jon Wikan, Matt Wilson, Garey Williams, and Gary Hobbs just to name a few. In the greater Seattle area she has played at prestigious clubs and events in groups such as The Jay Thomas Big Band, The NW Gospel Big Band, and The Jazz Pearls Quartet. Her most recent project is the "Morgan G Funkay Quartet" and you can see them play every Friday at Holy Grounds Coffee House on Crown hill, where Morgan also works as a Barista. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her large family, brewing coffee, and playing with her Italian Greyhound puppy Kuya. She also enjoys astronomy and hopes that one day she will have a constellation named after her.
Rachael Contorer: Rachael has been an
in-demand bassist in Seattle for over ten years, playing with nearly
every jazz orchestra in town at some point (Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra,
Roadside Attraction, Smith-Staelens Big Band, Portage Bay Big Band,
Kings of Swing, and many others), accompanying singers, and backing
up many talented musicians in a wide array of settings. In recent
years she has been bassist of choice for outstanding singers Troy
Kline, Mark Haynie, and Sue Bell, with whom she recorded 2010's
Upon the Highest Bough, a collection of Christmas and seasonal music.
She has also performed for several years with Ostgard & Allen,
a classical guitar and woodwind duo that performs original music,
and appears on their Tidings of Comfort and Joy, also recorded in
2010. For the past several years she has played with the Music
Works Jazz Orchestra, a band devoted to promoting modern large-ensemble
music. The MWJO has been a fixture at the Bellevue Jazz Festival in
recent years, and was the house band for the 2010 Frank DeMiero
Jazz Festival, backing Sara Gazarek among other national performers.
And of course she devotes a great deal of time to SWOJO, promoting
female musicians and composers, and high-quality large-ensemble music
Interim Musical Director
Maria Joyner-Wulf: Maria Joyner-Wulf is an Olympia based drummer, multi-instrumentalist and music
educator. A native of the northwest, Maria grew up in Aberdeen and fell in love
with music at an early age. Throughout her performance career she has made
appearances on stages across the country including New York City and the
Kennedy Center. Since settling back in the northwest Maria has made a name for
herself both as a bandleader and sideman including performing with the Olympia
Jazz Senators, the Emerald City Jazz Orchestra, and KPLU's School of Jazz. Maria
is a Yamaha sponsored music educator and her compositions and arrangements
have been featured in performance at the Washington Center for the Performing
Arts and on KPLU’s Jazz Northwest.