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Friday Webinars at Wharton Arts – Artist Stories: Tia Fuller, Jazz Saxophonist and Shamie Royston, Jazz Pianist

October 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Friday Webinars at Wharton Arts is an hour-long weekly program where artists of different disciplines make authentic connections between art and life through sharing their stories, expertise, and creations. These webinars are curated and hosted by Artistic Director Helen H. Cha-Pyo.

This week’s webinar is Artist Stories: Tia Fuller, Jazz Saxophonist and Shamie Royston, Jazz Pianist on Women In Jazz—instrumental performers, directors, and composers.

Register for the FREE webinar HERE.  View on WhartonArts.tv.

When Grammy-nominated Mack Avenue recording artist, composer, educator, and bandleader Tia Fuller picks up her saxophone, something amazing happens. Currently, Fuller balances the worlds of performance and education, magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, and summa cum laude with a Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder, fulfilling a demanding schedule as both a busy touring musician, recording artist, and a full-time professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Her touring accolades include being selected to be a member of the Beyonce’s All-Female band where she appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Ophrah Winfrey Show, The Ellen Show, The Grammy’s, and World Music Awards. In addition, this Mack Avenue Recording artist has recorded five full-length projects with her quartet. Her most recent album, Diamond Cut, received a Grammy nomination in the Best Instrumental Jazz category, produced by three-time Grammy Award winner Terri Lyne Carrington, legendary bassist Dave Holland, and drummer Jack Dejohnette. Additionally, she can been seen playing regularly with Terri Lyne Carrinton, Ralph Peterson Jr., Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, Rufus Reid, and many more.

Fuller has also expanded her presence as a model and essayist being featured in J.Jill’s “Rhythm and Blues” campaign, Vanity Fair’s “Women in Jazz” issue, and wrote an opinion piece for NBCNEWS.com on “Sexism in Jazz.”  Fuller has also graced the cover of Downbeat Magazine, Jazztimes, Saxophone Today, The Jazz Education Journal, and recently the Japan’s The Sax Magazine. In addition, she has received numerous awards and marks of distinction including winning Jazztimes Jazz Critics Poll for best alto saxophonist (2018) and Downbeat Critic’s Poll-‘Rising Star’ two years in a row for Soprano Sax (2014), Alto Sax, and Flute (2013). In 2018, she received the Benny Golson Award from Howard University, the Distinguished Alumnae Award and commencement speaker at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and was appointed as 2018’s Artist-in-Residence at the Monterey Jazz Festival.


Born in Denver, CO, Shamie Royston is a pianist, composer, and educator. The New York Times states, “She is a rhythmic vanguardist…who channels Kenny Kirkland, Geri Allen, Ahmad Jamal and McCoy Tyner.” Royston has been commissioned to compose and arrange works for trumpeter, Sean Jones; saxophonist, Tia Fuller; and Grammy-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves. In addition to her accolades as a prolific performer and composer, Royston has received several awards for her exemplary work in music education. For the past two decades, she has conducted All-State Band, All-State Jazz Band, and directed full-piece orchestras. At Berklee School of Music, Royston held a full-time professorship in the Jazz Composition department. It was here where she co-directed ensembles with Terence Blanchard and taught jazz composition and jazz arranging classes. She is currently on the staff of the NYO Jazz Summer Program through Carnegie Hall and one of the directors of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz program, where she leads one of the big bands and jazz combos. She has worked with Jazz House Kids and has conducted clinics for top ensembles throughout the United States and abroad, including the Dominican Republic, Panama, Germany, Italy, and at the Panama Jazz Festival and Monterey Jazz Festival. She continues to teach in the Piscataway School System where she leads the jazz band and three concert bands. Royston’s most recent CD entitled Beautiful Liar was released in June 2018 under the Sunnyside record label and has received many great reviews in Downbeat, Jazziz, and NPR. This recording was also in the first round of voting for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for the 2019 Grammy Awards.


October 2
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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New Jersey Youth Symphony