Directed by Dan Gailey
Camille Thurman composer—multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and unique interpreter of the jazz tradition—is quickly becoming one of the standard bearers for the form, making a considerable and dynamic contribution to the legacy of jazz while paying tribute to its heroes. Fluid and powerful on the tenor saxophone and highly inventive as a vocalist, she also plays bass clarinet, flute and piccolo. Her rich sax sound has been compared to Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon, while her vocal approach—including an impressive scatting ability—has been classified alongside those of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter. In a few short years, Thurman has shared stages with such jazz and R&B luminaries as George Coleman, Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves, Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Charles Tolliver, Jack DeJohnette, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jon Hendricks, Harry Connick Jr., Jon Batiste, Audra MacDonald, Diana Krall, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Louis Hayes, Russell Malone, Nicholas Payton, Jacky Terrasson, Janelle Monáe, Alicia Keys, Lalah Hathaway, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu, among others.
She will perform with the KU Jazz Ensemble I led by Dan Gailey, director of Jazz Studies. The ensemble has received numerous DownBeat Student Music Awards, including Best College Jazz Ensemble in 2015 and 2019. They have had the distinction of playing at many prestigious jazz festivals and venues, including the Montreux Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz, Jazz À Vienne Festival, the Kennedy Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center.