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Sidney Hauser: A musician and artist from Whidbey Island, Sidney has been playing saxophone for 12 years. In June of 2016 she graduated from UW with a minor in music performance and a BA in fine arts. She is very musically involved in Seattle and plays in bands such as SWOJO, folk band High Turnover and her own band Schuff. She has been very fortunate to study under the tutelage of incredible musicians such as Neil Welch, Mark Taylor, Michael Brockman and Steve Treseler. She works as a teacher's assistant and aftercare lead for Pacific Crest Montessori, a caregiver on the weekends and a freelance illustrator for a book educating children about Alzheimer's. You can visit her website at sidneyhauserart.com.

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 graduate from Western Washington University, and Lucy Nordling, 7 years old. (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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Marge Rosen: Marge is a music educator, conductor and trumpet player. 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. Marge has enjoyed performing across the country from New York to Orlando and Adak, Alaska to San Diego. 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)

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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.

Robyn Weber: Bass Trombone Originally from Kauai, Hawaii, Robyn moved to the Seattle area by way of Houston in 2011. An active trombonist for over 20 years, Robyn is a former member of the Bob Enos Soundwave Orchestra (Alameda, CA), Bay Bones (SF Bay Area, CA), Seattle Central Jazz Orchestra, Bayou City Bones (Houston, TX), The Woodlands (TX) Concert Band, Monroe (WA) Concert Band and many others. While not playing the trombone, Robyn can be found hanging out with her young daughter and Sphynx cat. Robyn also enjoys playing her 1912 Holton double bell euphonium and searching for new additions to her collection of rare and unusual trombones.

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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.

 photo 070b3697-055e-4919-baae-016b13a51e52_zps7wwv8oaw.jpg Leah Pogwizd: Leah has worked as a jazz bassist and instructor in the Seattle area for over 8 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from University of North Texas and Doctorate of Philosophy in Ethnomusicology from University of Washington. After years of training to be a professor, she decided to return to her true love of performance – embarking on a non-traditional career as a freelance musician and educator. She has taught classes, ensembles, lessons, and workshops at Jazz Night School, among other venues. In addition, she runs the blog Versatile Practice and the website Gig-Ready Jazz Bassist. When she isn’t playing or teaching, you can find her cross-stitching, making web comics, going to yoga class, or attending to her overindulged cat, Lola.

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Musical Directors

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.

Jill Townsend: A prolific composer and arranger, Jill Townsend is the leader of the critically acclaimed Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra. The Canadian National Jazz Awards twice nominated the Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra for Large Ensemble of the Year. Their recent recording Legacy, featuring the music of Ross Taggart (Cellar Live 2015) presents new arrangements by Jill Townsend and Bill Coon and was voted #1 in CBC’s “Top Ten Outstanding CD’s of the Year”. Jill characterizes her writing style as both lyrical and personal. She has composed and arranged music to feature several guest artists appearing with her large ensemble including Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ian McDougall, Jiggs Whigham, Campbell Ryga and Brad Turner.

Jill is currently commissioned to arrange music for a ten-piece ensemble featuring Cory Weeds, Joe Magnarelli and Vincent Herring to be premiered in fall of 2017. The Touch of Brass Quintet premiered her commissioned work Canciones Para Quinteto in February 2016 and the New Orchestra Workshop premiered her composition Circle of Friends in September 2015. Jill's music has been recorded and performed by many ensembles throughout North America including Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra and Prime Time Big Band, featuring award-winning saxophonist PJ Perry.

Jill has received grants awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the B.C. Arts Council and has completed numerous composition residencies in the Leighton Artists Colony at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She studied composition, arranging and trombone with Ian McDougall, Kenny Wheeler, Rob McConnell and Jiggs Whigham.

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