Jazz Star Jackie Ryan Visits UTEP In April

Mar 5, 2013

  UTEP music students will have the opportunity to learn from a leader in the industry when acclaimed jazz vocalist Jackie Ryan – whose most recent album currently holds the No. 1 spot on the JazzWeek charts – visits the University in April as a guest instructor.

Ryan will conduct a master class for students in the UTEP Department of Music, hold informal meetings with students, and conduct other instructional activities, giving them valuable professional insight and guidance, as well as the chance to perform with her.

“Performing artists like Jackie Ryan not only provide great entertainment, but they bring inspiration to our academic environment,” said Lowell Graham, D.M.A., chair of UTEP’s Department of Music. “Music is about performing, and there is no better way to understand and experience the performing arts than to see, hear and participate with an artist of her stature. We are indeed honored to have Ms. Ryan on our campus to provide a memorable educational, emotional and aesthetic experience for our students and audience members alike.”

Ryan will perform live with the UTEP Jazz Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. April 30 at the Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall. Tickets are available through the UTEP Ticket Center at 915-747-5234.

Ryan has been thrilling audiences across the globe with her powerful stage presence and three-and-a-half octave range. She has a style that is uniquely her own, born of a Mexican mother who sang in operettas in Mexico and an Irish father who sang classical tenor in many languages. Ryan has sung all over the world, from the famous Ronnie Scott's Club in London (where she was asked to record for their label) to Jazz at Lincoln Center and Birdland in New York to Oakland's Yoshi's, as well as many of the major jazz festivals. Her style encompasses a broad range from gospel and blues to Brazilian bossa novas, from Latin to bebop, from vocalese to the most heartfelt ballads – and all in several languages.

On her latest album Listen Here, Jackie teams with Grammy Award winner John Clayton to deliver a tour de force through blues and gospel flavored jazz gems to luscious love songs, a soaring Spanish ballad, a Gershwin classic, pulsating samba rhythms, and a duet with three-time Grammy nominee Gerald Clayton. Listen Here has been JazzWeek’s No. 1 album pick for the third week in a row.

Ryan's double CD Doozy – featuring Cyrus Chestnut, Eric Alexander, Romero Lubambo and Jeremy Pelt – garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews from both DownBeat and All Music Guide, and held the No. 1 position nationwide on JazzWeek's industry-standard chart for seven weeks – an extraordinarily rare achievement matched by only one vocal recording (Diana Krall's From This Moment On).

Ryan has been featured on NPR, Voice of America, CNN Español, and Primetime A&E. She has shared the stage or recorded with Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, Barry Harris, The Jeff Hamilton Trio, Amina Figarova, Cyrus Chestnut, Terry Gibbs, Eric Alexander, Buddy DeFranco, Red Holloway, Romero Lubambo, and Jon Hendricks, to name just a few. Christopher Louden of JazzTimes describes her as "one of the outstanding jazz vocalists of her generation and, quite possibly, of all time. She is the thoroughbred vocal equivalent of the Triple Crown, rivaling the dexterous sass of Sarah Vaughan, the instinctive smarts of Carmen McRae and the scintillating verve of Diana Krall."

“We are so excited about Ms. Ryan’s visit to work with students and others at UTEP,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Junius Gonzales. “The late jazz great Bill Evans said: ‘Jazz is not a what, it is a how.’ We know Ms. Ryan, given her national and international acclaim, will leave them lasting impressions and knowledge about that ‘how.’ It will be a wonderful and unique opportunity for all.”

On her website, Ryan says, “I'm excited to be invited to teach master classes and workshops and perform with the Big Band Performance band, Combo Performance band, and this amazing university.”

Find more information about Ryan, including links to her music, at