"Musicians Unplugged" features women in music at Fairfield University

"Musicians Unplugged" features women in music at Fairfield University

The Jamie A. Hulley Musicians Unplugged Series presents its second annual event, "Women in Music," an evening of three top jazz and Broadway musicians performing and discussing their work, on Thursday, March 30. The informal program, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. in the Room 25 studio in Jogues Hall on the campus of Fairfield University.

In addition to short performances, jazz pianist Florence Melnotte, jazz vocalist Catherine Dupuis and Broadway performer Kimberly JaJuan will all speak about their music and careers with Brian Torff, director of the Fairfield University Music Program, who helps organize the campus series.

"Women in Music" is sponsored by the Jamie A. Hulley Fund for the Arts, which was created in memory of Jamie Alaine Hulley, daughter of Fairfield University psychology professor Judy Primavera and Fred Hulley Jr. The intimate performer-audience venue of the Unplugged Series was inspired by Jamie's penchant for getting onstage or backstage to talk with musicians and performers. The Unplugged Series is one of 15 different educational and scholarship programs in the visual and performing arts sponsored by Jamie's Fund.

"Women in Music" is a fitting tribute to Hulley, Torff said.

"The role of women in music has too often been overlooked or underestimated," he said. "While there are countless great female musicians, composers and performers, they have had to overcome many obstacles. It will be interesting to hear the viewpoints of three women artists that I greatly respect, and this should be valuable to our students as well."

Since receiving degrees from The Eastman School and The Juilliard School, Kimberly JaJuan has been much in demand as a singer. She has performed on and off Broadway and was featured in national tours of "Smokey Joe's Café," "Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night," "Dreamgirls," "Ragtime," and "King David," among others.

She sang at "The Broadway Bash," a celebration of City Center's 60 th anniversary, and her film and television credits include "Law & Order," "Paradise on the One," "Broadway Damage" and "Private Parts." She can be heard on the original cast albums of "King David" and "Marie Christine" and is featured on "Great Joy" and other recordings by Broadway Inspirational Voices.

For the last 12 years, jazz vocalist Catherine Dupuis has been appearing in top New York City venues, playing to both critical and audience acclaim.  She's had memorable bookings at Iridium, Smoke, the Knickerbocker, Jilly's NY and Danny's Skylight Room, among others, and was featured at Town Hall for the Mabel Mercer Foundation's Cabaret Convention. A frequent guest at festivals, she has performed at Mohonk Mountain House's Jazz on the Mountain, the Sackets Harbor Jazz Festival, the Montclair Women in Jazz Festival and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. She has performed regionally and off-Broadway in productions of "Fiddler on the Roof," "Goblin Market," and "Camelot." A managing director of the off-Broadway Melting Pot Theatre Company, she created and performs a one-woman show based on Native American issues and her Mohawk/Ojibwa ancestry.

Born in Paris, jazz pianist Florence Melnotte studied at L'Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris before touring and recording with the acclaimed quartet Four Roses. She appeared at the Montreaux Jazz Festival with the ensemble and has contributed many original composition and arrangements for their recordings. Melnotte won first prize honors at the Tremplin d'Avignon in 1995, the Jazz Sous les Pommiers competition in 1994, and the Tremplin Jazz du Val d'Oise in 1993. Four Roses also won second prize at the National Jazz Competition at the Défense in Paris in 1994.

Melnotte, who has performed with James Zollar, John Silverman, Vincent Mascart and Michel N'Ba, recorded "Another Great Day" with Torff, a bassist and composer, and she continues to tour internationally. A dedicated jazz educator, she has taught at Fairfield University, Connecticut's Neighborhood School and two music conservatories in Geneva, Switzerland. In March, she will be featured as a guest soloist and clinician at Fairfield.

Space is limited for the Unplugged event. For more information on the Fund, visit www.jamiehulleyartsfund.org. To view Jamie's artwork or make a donation, contact Judy Primavera at jamieart@snet.net or Jamie A. Hulley Fund for the Arts, P.O. Box 1208, Orange, CT 06477-7208.

Posted On: 02-27-2006 10:02 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 178