Vertical Voices LIVE Bio:

In 2010, after releasing their critically acclaimed album "Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider" (ArtistShare), Julia Dollison and Kerry Marsh joined forces with Jennifer Barnes and Greg Jasperse to form a vocal quartet that first focused primarily on performing Schneider's music live.  It was not long, though, before the group expanded their repertoire and focus to include their own original compositions as well as arrangements of music by Pat Metheny, The Yellowjackets, Imogen Heap and other contemporary jazz and pop influences.  Now, the group performs music in a variety of styles, all with a fresh and innovative approach, venturing into new artistic territory within the vocal jazz genre, utilizing wordless vocals, new compositions, improvisation and more. Among their many performances at major festival venues throughout the USA and Canada, Vertical Voices performed on the main stage of the 2014 Jazz Education Network conference in Dallas.  Their debut CD as a quartet, "Fourward," was released in January 2014. 

Available as guest artists / clinicians / adjudicators:

All four members of Vertical Voices have extensive experience as vocal jazz judges and clinicians at major jazz festivals and workshops around the world.  

Julia Dollison: 


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.

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. Julia had the honor of serving as the clinician for both the 2015 Colorado and North Dakota All-State Vocal Jazz Choirs. 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. 

Jennifer Barnes: 

Jennifer Barnes is a highly sought-after vocalist, educator, clinician and arranger throughout the U.S. and Canada, having relocated in 2011 from Los Angeles to accept a position as the Director of Vocal Jazz Studies here at the University of North Texas.  She is an active vocalist in both studio and live performance settings, having appeared and sung on radio and television advertisements including Chili’s Restaurant, Epson, Old El Paso, and McDonalds, and on films including “Wall-E”, “Live Free Or Die Hard”, “Ice Age 2 & 3”, “Enchanted”, “Star Trek” and the FOX t.v. hit "Glee".  Ms. Barnes has recorded her own solo jazz CD, “You Taught My Heart” (available on iTunes and CDBaby.com).   
 
As an educator, Ms. Barnes has directed downBeat [magazine] award-winning Vocal Jazz Ensembles and taught privately at seven universities, has served as a guest conductor for District and All-State Music Festivals in twelve states, has taught jazz vocals at the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps since 1998, and her numerous vocal arrangements are published by both Sound Music Publications (www.smpjazz.com) and UNC Jazz Press (www.uncjazzpress.com).
 
Ms. Barnes is a member of the American Society of Composers, Arrangers and Publishers (ASCAP), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Jazz Education Network (JEN).   She earned the Master of Music degree in Studio Music and Jazz Performance from the University of Miami (FL) and the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Western Michigan University.

Kerry Marsh: 


Kerry Marsh is a composer and arranger specializing in contemporary music for vocal jazz ensembles.  In high demand as a commissioned arranger for many of the nation's top educational vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles, Marsh has a large and varied catalog of music performed regularly around the world.  Kerry publishes over 160 compositions and arrangments at KerryMarsh.com, and also has published arrangements through UNC Jazz Press and Sound Music Publications.  

Kerry is a proud member of the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he directs two advanced vocal jazz ensembles and teaches other courses within the music department.  Previously, Kerry served for ten years as the director of vocal jazz ensembles at Sacramento State. In that time, his ensembles and individual students earned thirteen Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards, distinguishing Sac State as one of the premier vocal jazz programs in the country during that timespan.  Marsh's vocal jazz ensembles were invited twice to perform at conferences of the International Association for Jazz Education, and, in 2009, they were one of fourteen winners of a national search to have a song appear on the Epic Records release: "Ben Folds - College A Cappella".  Marsh has since worked with Folds as a vocal arranger and background singers director in numerous performances with major symphony orchestras, including the Boston Pops, The Washington National Symphony and The LA Philharmonic in performances at The Hollywood Bowl.  

Along with his wife and musical collaborator Julia Dollison, Kerry released his highly ambitious debut album, Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider, in March 2010 through ArtistShare.  Endorsed by the Grammy-winning composer herself and funded largely through fan contributions, the album features Schneider's music as written for her jazz orchestra, but with the horn parts entirely sung, and the rhythm section consisting of Frank Kimbrough, Ben Monder, Jay Anderson and Clarence Penn (all current members of The Maria Schneider Orchestra).  Vertical Voices was met with great critical praise, earning a four-star review in Down Beat Magazine.  Dollison and Marsh perform regularly with the vocal quartet called Vertical Voices, also featuring Greg Jasperse and Jennifer Barnes.  The quartet performs the music of Schneider as well as Pat Metheny, Nando Lauria and more, including original compositions by the group.

Marsh is busy year-round as an adjudicator and clinician for jazz festivals and workshops.  Kerry has directed all-state jazz choirs in California, Colorado, Arizona, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Illinois, New York, Maine, Iowa and New Hampshire All State Jazz Choirs as well as the Nassau County (NY) Honor Jazz Choir, and he will be serving as the director of the 2015 Missouri and New Jersey All-State Jazz Choirs as well.  

Kerry graduated in 2000 from the University of Kansas with a B.M.E. in Music Education and in 2003 with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas.

Greg Jasperse: 


Following eight years as a professional musician in Los Angeles, Greg Jasperse is returning to Kalamazoo as an assistant professor of vocal jazz and the new director of Gold Company and GC II at Western Michigan University. A world-renowned composer and arranger, he is sought after internationally as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor. His conducting credits include all-state jazz choirs in New York, California, Oklahoma, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Iowa, as well as the British Columbia Honors Jazz Choir. 

Jasperse’s voice can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks including Epic; Oz, The Great and Powerful; The Campaign; Star Trek and Star Trek 2; National Treasure 2; SALT; The Last Airbender; and Real Steel, as well as the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song “Monarchy of Roses” and Muse’s album The 2nd Law. Most recently he had the pleasure of singing at the 85th Annual Oscars with Adele on her song “Skyfall.” Jasperse also recently arranged, produced and music-directed “A Gallagher Family Christmas” for William H. Macy and the cast of Showtime’s “Shameless.”

Jasperse is a member of two professional vocal groups – Sixth Wave and Vertical Voices. He has also performed with a variety of artists, including Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Kirk Whalum, Jennifer Holiday, Jon Secada, and Gloria Estefan. He spends his summers teaching at several music camps including the New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp, the University of North Texas Vocal Jazz Camp, and Showchoir Camps of America.

Jasperse has released two solo piano CDs – Tournesol, a collection of contemporary jazz originals, and Crossings, a collection of improvised hymn meditations.

Jasperse is a graduate of University of Miami and Western Michigan University.