John Fedchock Teaches at IU in Spring 2016

by A.J. O’Reilly, Tom Walsh, and Scott Gotschall

 

John FedchockIn the Spring of 2016, with Professor Brent Wallarab away on sabbatical, IU Jazz was thrilled to welcome two world-class composer/arrangers into our community: John Fedchock and Mike Holober. Each taught the jazz arranging class and rehearsed the top band. Fedchock made his home on the Indiana University campus for the first eight weeks of the semester and led the top Jacobs School of Music jazz ensemble in both of their concerts.

 

Here is a video of the IU Jazz Ensemble, directed by John Fedchock, performing his original composition and arrangement “Like It Is.”

 

“John Fedchock is one of the most accomplished big band composer/arrangers of the last thirty years,” extolled IU Jazz Studies chair Tom Walsh. “We were very fortunate to have him reside on campus to work with and get to know our students.”

 

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Fedchock is a graduate of The Ohio State University with degrees in Music Education and Jazz Studies. He also holds a master’s degree in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Most recently, Fedchock was nominated for a Grammy for his track “You and the Night and the Music” on the album Like It Is. Fedchock maintains a busy schedule working with other musicians through his big band, sextet, and as a performer, producer, and clinician throughout the world.

 

Many followers of IU Jazz will remember John Fedchock as the featured artist on the 2015 Jazz Celebration concert.

Here is Fedchock performing his composition “Up and Running” at that concert.

 

Fedchock has spent decades as a trombonist, composer, and producer collaborating with a wide variety of artists, but is best-known for his work with the legendary Woody Herman Orchestra as well as the big bands of Louie Bellson, Gerry Mulligan, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra. Fedchock formed his own successful big band, the John Fedchock New York Big Band, which features his own compositions and arrangements performed by some of New York’s finest jazz musicians.

 

Reflecting on his time at IU, Fedchock said, “Teaching the arranging class was a fun experience for me. Although having taught arranging privately in the past, it was a challenge to put together a methodical course of study within my relatively short time at IU that could give students everything they’d need to progress forward.” He continued, “I really enjoyed unveiling each new concept and technique to the class, watching them take it in and learn how to implement it in their own personal way. There are a lot of rules in arranging, but my goal was to foster individuality. Seeing that come to fruition was very satisfying.”

 

Fedchock also enjoyed the friendly and inclusive atmosphere of Indiana University and surrounding Bloomington. “Perhaps due to growing up in the Midwest, I immediately felt comfortable with all the students I encountered,” said Fedchock. “All were warm and welcoming, and it was easy for me to foster a relaxed rapport. This made my experience as a teacher more enjoyable than I could have imagined.”

 

Fedchock spoke highly of the students in the top jazz ensemble. “This particular group was an exceptional pleasure to work with,” he said. “They did everything they could to give me exactly what I asked for… In essence, they all conducted themselves as true professionals, which tells me they will have great success at the next level.”

 

Aside from his time in the classroom and on the MAC stage, Fedchock had the opportunity to connect with the faculty. “In addition to the great students, I also enjoyed working among the fine jazz faculty at the Jacobs School of Music. It’s nice to be in an environment with one shared vision. This is not a common occurrence in many jazz programs,” he observed. “As a trombonist, it was also great to interact with some of the excellent brass faculty at the school.”

 

Fedchock also visited Bear’s Place on more than one occasion to hear live jazz. “Hearing the students perform was very inspiring, and it was also a surprise to discover that jazz music has a weekly home at Bear’s Place.  Very few jazz programs have somewhere in the community so close to school for students and faculty alike to work on their craft in a ‘real world’ setting.”

 

He summed up his experience at IU saying, “My experience at the Jacobs School of Music was more than I had hoped for. The overall level of musicianship throughout the program is outstanding, with everyone’s general mindset being one focused on excellence and professionalism.” He added, “Bloomington is a great town, and I felt at home right away.”

 

Learn more about John Fedchock on his website: http://www.johnfedchock.com

 

 

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New Plummer Jazz Sextet Travels to Graz, Austria

by Scott Gotschall and Tom Walsh

 

The Plummer Group in GrazThis past spring the Jazz Studies department launched the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Plummer Jazz Sextet. The group is named for Paul Plummer, who gave a landmark gift in 2012 to support jazz activities in the Jacobs School of Music. Proceeds from the Plummer gift will support the activities of the group. The group was coached in spring 2016 by Dave Stryker, Adjunct Lecturer in Jazz Guitar. The student members of the group were Ken Johnston-trumpet, Matt Shugert-saxophone, John Sorsen-trombone, Jamaal Baptiste-piano, Quinn Sternberg-bass, and Jay Tibbitts-drums.

Over Spring Break, the Plummer Jazz Sextet traveled to Graz, Austria, as a guest ensemble at the Kunst Universität Graz (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz) in their Jazz Institute. This visit was the first in what will be an ongoing exchange between the Jazz Institute at KUG and the Jazz Studies department in the Jacobs School of Music. The Sextet was accompanied on the trip by Dave Stryker, as well as Jazz Piano Professor Luke Gillespie.

The week in Graz was filled with performances, classes, jam sessions, and opportunities to connect with KUG Jazz Institute students and faculty. The students at KUG come from approximately 20 different countries with some from as far away as Brazil.

The IU students quickly integrated with the KUG students on the first day. While attending a conducting exam for a master’s degree student, Plummer Sextet member Ken Johnston was pressed into service to fill an empty trumpet chair. The group then attended a combo rehearsal led by pianist Renato Chicco and the two groups mixed together to play music that each group was rehearsing.

Monday evening Dave Stryker performed with KUG faculty pianist Olaf Polzhein, two KUG students, and guest vocalist Sachal Vasandani at the WIST Auditorium, the on-campus venue for the KUG Jazz Institute. WIST has a unique feel among campus venues—a kind of “black box” theater with a bar attached. Reflecting on Professor Stryker’s performance and the atmosphere, Quinn Sternberg remarked, “It was a great set that included arrangements of standards as well as originals. In addition to the good music, the environment at the WIST was different from anything I had experienced on an American campus.”

Stryker

Tuesday, Professor Stryker conducted a clinic with students from both schools. The KUG Professor of Jazz Guitar Guido Jeszenszky joined Stryker for several duets. Stryker also played duets with students, gave feedback on their performances, and answered questions.

Tuesday evening the Plummer Jazz Sextet took the stage at the WIST performing a concert of original compositions and arrangements by members of the group and Dave Stryker. The groups was enthusiastically received by the audience of community members and KUG students and faculty.

Wednesday the group was coached by KUG Professor of Jazz Trombone, Ed Neumeister. Students remarked how much they learned in just a single session. Matt Shugert commented, “It was one of the best jazz master classes I have observed or played in. In our three hours together, Ed gave great attention to the details of the music that we had been neglecting. He gave helpful feedback regarding our arrangements, ensemble playing, and improvising.”

Thursday night the IU ensemble attended a concert at the WIST by a quintet featuring New York City drummer Gregory Hutchinson. After the concert, the Plummer Jazz Sextet was the featured group at a late night jam session set in a small café in Graz. “The jam session had a really remarkable vibe to it,” said Sternberg, “The entire bar was packed with both students and audience members. It was a great atmosphere, and I found it inspiring to see so many students who were excited to partake in a late night jam.” Later in the evening Gregory Hutchinson and members of his quintet stopped in and joined the jam session which continued until 3 am. The combination of the intimate ambience of the café and the energy in the room from the students, other musicians, and lively audience made for a truly remarkable and unforgettable experience.

Throughout the week students had wonderful opportunities both on-campus and off. In addition to the clinics and performances, members of the Sextet had lessons with the KUG faculty. This gave them the invaluable experience of a different perspective on their playing in a one-on-one setting. Off-campus, they enjoyed the majesty of Graz, including an art museum, the Schlossberg (a castle atop a large hill), and of course the local delicacies.

Students said they were grateful both for the opportunity to travel and to have the chance to meet so many people from all over Europe. Matt Shugert noted, “We enjoyed talking with students from all over the world about music and more. It was great to hear them play and to play with them. The jazz institute has a great faculty with whom we played and studied quite a lot given our brief time in Graz. Students and faculty alike were very welcoming to us and involved us in whatever way they could.”

Dave Stryker summed up the value of this international experience for the students in the Plummer Jazz Sextet: “I enjoyed this trip to Austria with the Plummer combo. This is a great experience for our students to visit another country and meet, interact, attend classes and play with students from a different part of the world and experience their culture. On a personal level I enjoyed working with the Graz guitarists, sharing some of my ideas, as well as performing a couple songs that evening with the Plummer Combo.  Indiana University was well-represented by these fine students, and I know they had a great experience, as did I.”

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Remembering David Baker

by Scott Gotschall

 

ALUMNI RECEPTION: Celebrating David Baker’s 50th Year at IUOn March 26th, 2016, the Jacobs School of Music lost long-time faculty member David Baker, Chair Emeritus of the IU Jazz Studies Department. He was in his fiftieth year on faculty. Words cannot begin to express the extent to which we miss his intellect, dedication, and humor.

While much has been said in publications ranging from the Indiana Daily Student to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, perhaps the most personal reflections have come from Professor Baker’s former students. IU Jazz Studies chair Tom Walsh set up a Facebook group titled “Remembering David Baker,” in which many of the 900-plus members have shared their reflections, memories, and homages to the late mentor. The Jacobs School of Music has also created a “Remembrances” page where visitors are encouraged to post their tributes.  A select few entries appear at the end of this article.

As we strive to honor David Baker’s life’s work as a performer, composer, author, and educator, we can recognize that it is through each of us —how he inspired us and how we then inspire others — that his legacy lives on. We will include information about an upcoming celebration of David’s life and music in our next newsletter later this month.

Read the Jacobs School of Music’s press release about David Baker here.

 

From Remembering David Baker on facebook:

His incredible generosity made me a better teacher. – Laura Rexroth

He truly took time to listen to you, to honestly care about you and your successes and challenges.  – Michael Tracy

 As large as his pedigree was, that was dwarfed by the size of his heart and generosity. – Mike Reifenberg

We will miss having his on-going contributions, but he has left the world so rich and with such a wonderful legacy. – Lynn Baker

His prodigious memory aside (I mean 30+ years and he still remembers me?!?), he was a generous spirit, a true mensch, a connection to jazz history, a brilliant mind that codified and structured the inner workings of jazz; and was able to put it all into context – and play it – and did I mention teach it?  – Chris Bell

Whether this was with his stars or just some lost, flakey freshman kid, David always seemed to know what to say to sort of gas up the tank. – Joe Auty

David seemed to have a gift for telling exactly what people needed and when. He seemed to know exactly when to be hard on you and when to lift you up. – Justin Mabrey

 He is an incredible genius and I am honored to have known him and been touched by his greatness.  – Mary Jo Papich

After every encounter with David, I was motivated to go back and try to accomplish more than I had before. His work ethic and his intellect were an inspiration. – Edwin Lacy

He was a wonderful teacher. His words will inspire me for the rest of my life. – Martha Dycus

For the last few years I have thought a lot about what students get from working with David, and the word that I think sums it up is encouragement. He was always helping people believe they can do more than they thought they could do. – Tom Walsh

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Inaugural class of Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame inducted

By Maia Rabenold

IU Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, Jamey Aebersold, performs with members of the student jazz ensemble Saturday night at the Musical Arts Center. Aebersold has created more than 133 volumes of jazz recordings and books throughout 50 years. Photo by DEONNA WEATHERLY

IU Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, Jamey Aebersold, performs with members of the student jazz ensemble Saturday night at the Musical Arts Center. Aebersold has created more than 133 volumes of jazz recordings and books throughout 50 years.
Photo by DEONNA WEATHERLY

Five of the alumni attended. Jerry Coker was unable to come, and the late David Baker was represented by his wife Lida Baker in the second balcony. Baker died March 26.

©Indiana Daily Student

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Clay Wulbrecht receives Indianapolis Jazz Foundation scholarship

Clay Wulbrecht, a sophomore at the Jacobs School of Music, was awarded an Indianapolis Jazz Foundation (IJF) scholarship at the annual IJF Legacy Showcase Nov. 19. He is a jazz pianist and the youngest member of the IU Jazz Ensemble.

Wulbrecht was nominated by Brent Wallarab, associate professor of jazz studies at Jacobs. “Clay is a superb jazz pianist,” said Wallarab. “While he is extremely conversant in the vocabulary of modern and contemporary jazz, Clay has a love and respect for the tradition, which seasons his playing with maturity beyond his years.”

The Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, which works to preserve the legacy and promote the future of jazz in Indianapolis, awarded five $1,000 scholarships to central Indiana college students, recognized an Educator of the Year and inducted four musicians into the Jazz Hall of Fame at the 2015 Legacy Showcase.

The newest members of the Hall of Fame are Rob Dixon (sax, education), the late Errol “Groundhog” Grandy (pianist), Kenny Phelps (drummer, educator, label owner) and James Spaulding (sax, composer). The Educator of the Year award was presented to Marion “Mo” Trout, professor of music and director of the jazz program at Purdue University.

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All-Campus Jazz Ensembles to perform Tuesday

By Brooke McAfee

The All-Campus Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo rehearse their set list Monday evening in the Music Annex. The ensemble is made up of non-music majors and will perform Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in Ford-Crawford Hall.

The All-Campus Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo rehearse their set list Monday evening in the Music Annex. The ensemble is made up of non-music majors and will perform Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in Ford-Crawford Hall.

The All-Campus Jazz Ensemble and All-Campus Jazz Combo is open to all majors so IU students can play music beyond high school even if they are not in the Jacobs School of Music, conductor Matt Shugert said.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity because it is a really high commitment to major in music, so it’s good for students who major in different fields to have this,” Shugert said.

The All-Campus Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo will perform at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Ford-Crawford Hall.

Lexie Signor, who is finishing her doctoral work in the music school, conducts the All-Campus Jazz 
Ensemble. It is her second year.

The All-Campus Jazz Ensemble is a big band consisting of about 22 students.

“It’s been a blast,” Signor said. “They are a fantastic group of students from basically every major on campus.”

Shugert, an assistant instructor in the music school’s jazz department, conducts the All-Campus Jazz Combo, which is a group of seven students. The jazz combo is the first ensemble Shugert has directed at IU.

Signor said the All-Campus Jazz Ensemble is a creative outlet for students who are not in the music school. She said the students 
internalize the music.

“I think it’s extremely therapeutic,” Signor said. “They can join in the joy of creating music.”

The concert will feature music ranging from standards from the Great American Songbook to contemporary works, Shugert said.

Signor said the ensemble allows students to become more informed about contemporary big band styles.

“It’s intellectually stimulating as well as soothing to the soul,” Signor said.

Sophomore Jonathan Sussler plays drums in the jazz combo. He said he loves playing in a small ensemble because he is able to improvise.

Although he performed music in high school, Sussler said he chose to study sports marketing and management.

“I went to a high school that’s incredibly musically-oriented,” Sussler said. “Now I have a lot more freedom and I can improvise and showcase my own skills.

Sussler said he is looking forward to the concert so the jazz combo can show the audience what they have been working on all semester.

The jazz combo meets once a week, a change from high school when he rehearsed twice a day, Sussler said.

The students have limited rehearsal time, so one of the challenges is finding time to practice music outside of class, Shugert said. He said some of the students are going above and beyond, including students who wrote arrangements for the jazz combo.

Shugert said he also likes seeing how the students’ excitement transforms the way they play the music.

“They take ownership of the music,” Shugert said. “It’s like they own the music, rather than just playing music I brought in for them to play.”

© Indiana Daily Student 2015

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Jacobs ensembles to perform Latin jazz

By Brooke McAfee

“A Night of Latin Jazz” is not about simply sitting and listening to a concert, Latin Jazz Ensemble Director Michael Spiro said. The audience will also have the opportunity to dance to the music.

“It is both listening material and dancing 
material,” Spiro said.

The Jacob School of Music’s Latin Jazz Ensemble and the IU Jazz Afro-Cuban combo will perform at 8 p.m. Monday in the Buskirk-Chumley Theater for “A Night of Latin Jazz.” General admission for the concert is free.

Spiro and Wayne Wallace are co-directors of the ensemble.

Both of the groups are part of the music school’s jazz department.

The Latin Jazz Ensemble is a 25-piece big band that performs a mixture of genres such as Latin Jazz, pop and funk.

The show will begin with the IU Jazz Afro-Cuban combo, which is led by Wallace.

The Latin Jazz Ensemble performs about twice a semester, Spiro said, but the concerts are usually at the Musical Arts Center. The new venue allows for the audience to dance, he said.

Spiro, associate professor of percussion in the music school, is a Grammy-nominated percussionist and a recording artist.

He co-leads the percussion trio Talking Drums, and Drum Magazine named his album “Bata-Ketu” one of the top 50 drum records of all time.

Wallace, professor of practice in jazz in the music school, is a trombonist, arranger and composer and a five-time Grammy Award nominee. He has performed, recorded and studied with musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Tito Puente, Earth, Wind & Fire, Santana and the Count Basie Orchestra.

The concert’s repertoire will feature both standards and originals.

“Both groups play a variety of styles,” Spiro said.

Spiro said as the students in the ensemble learn many new pieces, and one of the challenges is learning to play the genre of Latin music itself.

First-year master’s student Yael Litwin is a percussionist with the Latin Jazz Ensemble.

The band has come a long way, she said, and playing with the other musicians is an enjoyable 
experience.

Litwin said she likes playing the music because of its joyous tone.

“It is joy that permeates through all of it, through the rhythm and harmony,” she said.

Litwin said the group has high-quality musicians with great camaraderie. She said Spiro and Wallace are educators with a huge depth of knowledge about music and how to communicate with students.

“They have respect for us as artists and as individuals,” Litwin said. “They also complement each other.”

It can be difficult to get the whole band on the same page, Litwin said, but they always come together. She said the musicians must learn how to play in a way that sounds like Latin jazz.

“We have to make it sound like it is from Cuba, not from Indiana,” Litwin said.

Spiro said he takes great pride in the ensemble.

“I’m looking forward to showing off the group,” Spiro said.

© Indiana Daily Student 2015

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Jacobs concert to feature jazz vocal ensembles

By Brooke McAfee

The challenge for the musicians in the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and IUnison is to realize every voice is different while also performing as part of a group, director Duane Davis said.

“We do not want to strip the uniqueness of the instrument,” Davis said. “They are also part of the whole.”

The jazz ensembles will perform a concert at 8 p.m. Thursday in Auer Hall. The concert will feature guest artist Darmon Meader.

The ensembles are both directed by Davis. The Vocal Jazz Ensemble I consists of more experienced musicians, while IUnison, or Vocal Jazz Ensemble II, is an intermediate group.

Davis, who is an adjunct lecturer in choral conducting and jazz studies in the Jacobs School of Music, said both groups have talented 
musicians.

The Vocal Jazz Ensemble I won the Down Beat Award in the Graduate College Vocal Group category in 2014 and 2015. The ensembles have performed in New York City, including performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Meader, an adjunct faculty member in the jazz vocal department, visits IU three times a semester to work with students. He is a renowned vocalist, saxophonist and arranger, and he is the founder and musical director of New York Voices.

“He certainly is an artist in its true form,” Davis said.

The program will include a cross-section of many kinds of jazz, including standards, fusion and bebop, Davis said.

Jazz is challenging and intimate, Associate Director Ly Wilder said, and the singers in these ensembles learn skills like improvisation.

The ensembles also place emphasis on solo performance, and the vocalists have frequent opportunities to sing at the microphone, Wilder said. When there is only one person on a part, the musicians learn how to be confident, she said.

Wilder said the concert features a vast program.

“I’m looking forward to sharing a wide variety of repertoire,” Wilder said. “The singers travel through many styles.”

Wilder said the concert is also a showcase of an American art form.

“Jazz is our music, so we can take a lot of pride in taking our ensembles through this repertoire,” Wilder said.

The voice is the root of all jazz, and the students in the ensembles have a responsibility to understand the art Davis said. He said to be a student of jazz, the musicians must learn they have the ability to bring the music off the page.

“My favorite part about working with them is watching the mics come on as the music becomes more and more beautiful,” Davis said.

© Indiana Daily Student 2015

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Liberation Music Collective helps spread socially conscious messages through jazz

The Liberation Music Collective performs at its album release show.

The Liberation Music Collective performs at its album release show.

IU Communications Student Experience Blog

When most people think of protest music, they think of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” or Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” But there’s a new generation of musicians eager to make its protests heard.

Meet the Liberation Music Collective, a socially conscious big band made up of 16 Indiana University students and alumni dedicated to communicating contemporary issues through jazz music.

Started by Jacobs School of Music students Hannah Fidler and Matthew Riggen, the band was initially created as a way to process some of the events surrounding Ferguson, Mo., and the Black Lives Matter protests. Riggen, who was especially moved by the events, actually came up with the idea for using music as a method to raise awareness in a conversation with IU distinguished professor of jazz studies and jazz legend David Baker.

Read the complete blog and view the video.

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DownBeat: Jazz Educator Steve Zegree Dies at 61

DownBeat Magazine
3/11/2015

Zegree_Steve.headshot.168Steve Zegree, an internationally respected vocal jazz educator who was also an accomplished pianist and choral conductor, died March 7 in Bloomington, Indiana. He was 61 and had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Since August 2012, Zegree had served as the Pam and Jack Burks Professor of Music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he directed the Singing Hoosiers and Vocal Jazz Ensemble I. Prior to that, he was a longtime faculty member at Western Michigan University, where he began his teaching career in 1978 and later was named the Bobby McFerrin Distinguished Professor of Music.

While at WMU, Zegree founded the acclaimed collegiate vocal ensemble Gold Company, which performed at festivals and conferences around the world and won close to 50 DownBeat Student Music Awards under his direction. He also toured and recorded regularly as a pianist with the Western Jazz Quartet, a faculty group.

Known as a dedicated mentor to generations of vocal jazz students, Zegree was held in high regard by his peers in the educational community. “It is with deep sadness but incredible gratitude that we say goodbye to our director, our friend, our motivator, our inspiration and our visionary voice, Dr. Stephen Zegree,” said Ly Wilder, a member of the vocal jazz faculty at the Jacobs School, in a statement issued by Indiana University. “As a student and a colleague, I have been blessed to know the generosity and the artistry of this man. He has invested his life in the musical growth and professional development of so many young musicians, and he leaves a legacy of beautiful music in his wake.”

Zegree, who was inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Education Hall of Fame in 2012, placed high expectations on his students, drawing from his own extensive experience as a professional performing musician. Although frequently described as “demanding,” he was known as a compassionate teacher with boundless energy and a disarming sense of humor. His success has been attributed to his tireless personality and an underlying commitment to excellence. “I work hard; I put in a lot of hours, and I have a lot of energy,” he said in the June 2012 issue of DownBeat. “If I average four or five hours [of sleep] a night, I’m feeling pretty good.”

Born on May 5, 1953, in Vancouver, Washington, Zegree started playing piano at age 3. He received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Miami University in 1975 and a master’s degree in piano performance from Indiana University in 1978. He would go on to receive a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1989.

Zegree discovered his passion for teaching after beginning his career as a performer. When WMU hired him in 1978, he was charged with teaching piano and molding an existing ensemble called the Varsity Vagabonds into a respectable vocal jazz group. “Being a college professor wasn’t something that I had aspired to or was part of my life script,” he told DownBeat. “The opportunity came up and initially I thought, ‘I’ll try this out for a year.’”

His presence at WMU helped to boost the school’s international cachet as a place to study jazz. He started an annual vocal jazz festival at the school and founded the Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Camp for high school and college students and teachers during his stint there.

A Steinway Artist, Zegree maintained an active schedule as a performer, clinician and choral conductor throughout his teaching career. He played piano with symphony orchestras, gave solo concerts and toured as a keyboardist with national Broadway shows.

Additionally, he was the arranger and rehearsal director for actor-singer-producer Nick Lachey’s winning choir on NBC’s telecast of Clash of the Choirs, and he conducted the World Youth Choir during the 2008 Olympics in China.

Zegree recorded four CDs as pianist with the Western Jazz Quartet, and one as a leader, Steve Zegree & Friends (Sea Breeze, 2009). He also produced several recordings, including the Grammy-nominated Mark Murphy Sings Nat’s Choice: The Complete Nat “King” Cole Songbook, Volumes 1 & 2 (Muse, 1994).

Along with teaching, performing and recording, Zegree was a published author and in-demand musical arranger. He wrote two definitive books on jazz singing and performance: The Complete Guide to Teaching Vocal Jazz (Heritage Music Press/Lorenz Music Publishing) and The Wow Factor: How To Create It, Inspire It & Achieve It (Hal Leonard). More than 100 of his arrangements have been published and are in use by choral groups around the world.

Zegree served on the selection committee for the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival from 1992 to 1998. He was appointed national co-chair of the International Association for Jazz Education Vocal Jazz Committee from 1990 to 1994, and he had affiliations with numerous professional organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association, College Music Society, International Federation for Choral Music and Jazz Education Network.

A statement released by Zegree’s family described his legacy as “the thousands of singers and musicians, both professional and amateur, who had the opportunity to study, learn and perform with this most extraordinary man of such exceptional talent and warmth.”

Two collegiate scholarship funds bear Zegree’s name: The Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Scholarship Fund at IU and The Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Endowed Scholarship at WMU.

Zegree is survived by his wife, Laurie Hofmann; his children, Sarah and Nat; and his sister, Joan Zegree.

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