Jazz saxophonist, educator, bandleader and composer supreme, Tia Fuller has rocked the White House, toured the world with Beyoncé, performs with such other luminaries as Ralph Peterson, T.S. Monk, Wycliff Gordan, and Nancy Wilson; earned her master’s degree summa cum laude, and recently graced the cover of JazzTimes Magazine. Infinitely talented and thriving, as JazzTimes noted, Fuller “emits diva energy in the best sense of the word!”
Fuller is bringing her dynamicQuartet to the Performing Arts Series at the University of Nevada, Reno, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. in Nightingale Concert Hall, joined by her Beyoncé bandmate, drummer Kim Thompson, bassist Miriam Sullivan and Fuller’s sister, Shamie Royston on piano.
As an aspiring young musician, Fuller moved to Jersey City, New Jersey two days before the events of September 11, 2001. She used the tragic event as a reason to succeed and assisted with fundraisers in the New York and New Jersey music community to help others. She got her first gig playing in a big band at a fish fry. Brad Leali, who was playing in the Count Basie Orchestra at the time, spread the word that Fuller was a skillful saxophonist who also played the flute. This brought her to the attention of others in the jazz community, including Gerald Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Don Braden and Don Byron, which led to her performing with a number of luminaries in the world of jazz.
Chosen to tour and record with R&B star Beyoncé and her all-female band, Fuller has played throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, Good Morning America, BET Awards, American Music Awards and Total Request Live, as well as at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Most recently, she also performed as the featured soloist with Beyoncé for President Obama at the White House.
An accomplished performer in her own right, Fuller has recorded three CDs with her quartet, including her recent “Decisive Steps,” which has received numerous kudos and high acclaim. Fuller also performs regularly with such bands as the Ralph Peterson Septet, the T.S. Monk Septet, the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, the Rufus Reid Septet, the Sean Jones Quintet, the Nancy Wilson Jazz Orchestra, and Wycliffe Gordan Septet.
As an educator, Fuller credits her passion for teaching and inspiring students to her musically minded parents, who were educators/administrators in the Denver Public School District. She has lectured and taught ensembles and masterclasses at Stanford University’s Jazz Workshop, the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, New Mexico State University, the IAJE Jazz Convention, Purchase College, WBGO’s Children in Jazz Series, Duquesne University and Panama Jazz Festival.
In advance of her quartet’s performance Dec. 2 on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, Fuller will appear as a guest artist with one of the University’s student groups, the University Big Band, Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Nightingale Concert Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.
For more about Tia Fuller, visit http://www.tiafuller.com.
Tickets: Adult $24/ Senior $20/ Student $12/ UNR Student $5 Photos available at the series website: http://www.unr.edu/pas/media.html
Tickets may be purchased in person at Lawlor Events Center Box Office, 1500 No. Virginia St., lower level, open weekdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tickets are also available online with a convenience fee at http://www.unr.edu/pas .
-Andrea Turman & Sarah Purdy