Tia Fuller Blows Away Audience In Jazz Room Series
February 15th, 2011 No Comments »
Jazz lovers received an early Valentine’s Day treat on Sunday, February 13, courtesy of William Paterson University’s Jazz Room Series. The magnificently talented Tia Fuller performed a set from her latest record entitled “Decisive Steps.”
The Jazzville, NJ crew first had a chance to see this incredible young saxophone player when the The New Brunswick Jazz Project hosted an event at Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant late last year. Fuller completely stole our hearts that night, and this past weekend was no different.
We sat in for a Q&A session hosted by Dr. David Demsey, coordinator of WPU’s Jazz Studies Program, and learned firsthand what a genuinely nice person this rising jazz superstar is. She talked about her time at Spelman College which prepared her to become the first graduate of the University of Colorado’s Jazz Pedagogy and Performance program; her move to NYC only days prior to 9/11; and the first gig she was hired for – a fish fry in NJ!
Of course, most people recognize her from Beyonce’s all-female band, but Fuller doesn’t get caught up in all that hype. She explained she still wanted to maintain her presence in the jazz community while touring the world, even calling up people when she was in town to ask for work.
From the way she plays though, I doubt she’s still begging for gigs, especially if every performance is like it was this particular Sunday. With pieces like “Clear Mind,” “Decisive Steps,” “Windsoar,” “Kissed By The Sun” and “Ebb and Flow,” Fuller takes you on a journey of positivity, love and faith to keep moving forward, no matter what obstacles are thrown your way. The music she writes speaks to your soul. Full of tender emotion, but never lacking in passion, her beautiful melodies simply take your breath away.
As did the members of her band! Good lord, what took place on that stage was nothing short of magic! Jazzville, NJ founder D.A. Gutierrez put it best:
“Pianist (and Tia’s sister) Shamie Royston tickled the ivories with a skill unmatched, and bassist Luques Curtis attacked his bass with a passion that radiated. And the drummer, Justin Faulkner? What skill, what energy! Everyone was shocked to hear Tia tell the audience that he is only 20 years old! Mark my words, we are going to be seeing a lot of Justin Faulkner in the near future.”
So you can safely assume that we had a great time. Hats off to WPU for preserving the jazz tradition through its Jazz Room Series and Jazz Studies Program. Judging from the student ensemble that preceded Tia Fuller, there will not be a shortage of excellent musicians in the years to come.