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swojoplayers        Saxophones  |   Trumpets  |   Trombones  |   Rhythm  |   Musical Director

Saxophones

Dianne Krouse: Dianne's love for music has her playing lead alto saxophone in dozens of big bands, combos and professional performance groups across the Pacific Northwest. She also plays clarinet, guitar, keyboards and is a lead vocalist. One of her favorite creative pastimes is writing, recording and arranging music. She is also learning how to play the flute and mandolin. While attending the University of Washington, she enjoyed playing lead alto and clarinet in the UW Jazz Ensemble and UW Symphony.






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.

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Trumpets

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.


Kristen Rassmusen: Kristen is a Research Assistant and PhD candidate in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at University of Washington. She earned a B.S and B.A in Meterology, Math, and Music from the University of Miami. (photo Jim Levitt)








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)




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Trombones

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 Javanese 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).




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Rhythm

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 – CocoLoco and Clave Gringa. 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 Gilkeson: 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 in general!

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Musical Director

Dr. Daniel Barry: Dr. Daniel Barry is an accomplished composer, conductor and trumpet player. His music falls primarily into the jazz category, but integrates elements garnered from advanced classical music studies along with residency and festival performances throughout the world, in particular Brazil and Peru. Daniel recently was honored with a Fulbright Scholarship and will serve as Composer-In-Residence at the Univeridade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil in 2012.

Daniel lives in Seattle, Washington where he writes for and performs regularly with his chamber music group Walk All Ways, the Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra, and the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, which he also directs. Daniel has two recently released recording projects: Walk All Ways, Origin Records, and Music of the Spheres, Origin Classical.

Dr. Barry is the owner of Marina Music Service and Daniel Barry Publications, and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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