Jazz Star Jackie Ryan Visits UTEP Next Week

Apr 23, 2013

  Acclaimed jazz vocalist Jackie Ryan – whose latest album recently held the No. 1 spot on the JazzWeek charts – will be coming to UTEP as a guest instructor and performer. In addition to a public concert on Tuesday, April 30, Ryan will conduct a master class for students in the UTEP Department of Music, giving them valuable professional insight and guidance.

“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.”

At 3 p.m. Monday, April 29 in the Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall, Ryan will perform with the Department of Music Faculty Combo and provide students an intimate opportunity to ask questions about her career and technique. At 7:30 p.m. April 30, she will perform a public concert with the UTEP Jazz Ensemble and Faculty Combo. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster for $3.50 plus service fees.

Ryan has been thrilling audiences across the globe with her powerful three-and-a-half octave range and amazing stage presence. 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 ranges 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 latest her 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. Ryan's double CD DOOZY held the No. 1 position nationwide on JazzWeek's industry-standard chart for seven solid 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 and/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 lasting impressions and knowledge about that ‘how.’ It will be a wonderful and unique opportunity for all.”

On her website, Jackie said, “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.”

More information about Ryan, including links to her music, visit