Sisters in jazz



Application Deadline – October 15, 2019 – 11:59pm PST

In an effort to support JEN’s overall commitment to represent and cultivate diversity and inclusion in jazz, the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Women in Jazz Committee has re-established the Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Combo Competition. Through this exemplary program, full-time university students identifying as young women or non-binary jazz artists ages 18-29 will audition and be selected to perform in the Sisters in Jazz quintet.

Photo by René Huemer

Tia Fuller

2020 Sisters in Jazz Director

Tia Fuller photo by Jerris Madison

Selected participants will:

  • Work with Tia Fuller and other renowned jazz artists/teachers.
  • Perform at the 2020 JEN conference in New Orleans, LA
  • Conference lodging, daily meal per diem and travel within the United States will be provided.  

Note: If applying from outside of the United States, roundtrip transportation costs are only covered within the U.S. The selected applicant would need to fund transportation to/from the United States.


2020 Sisters In Jazz Selectee

Domi Edson

Domi Edson’s music career has taken her all over the country.  A bassist originally from Seattle, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Bass Performance from Central Washington University and is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. She maintains a lively performance schedule in Colorado and Wyoming, and has been the house bassist for the Boxley Pro-Am Big Band, played at the JEN conference, Seattle radio station KNKX and with Washington Symphonies. Domi has also performed with her heroes John Clayton, Dawn Clement, Terell Stafford and Brian Lynch. A passionate educator, Domi served as a faculty member at the SheBop Young Women in Jazz workshop and works as a graduate teaching assistant at UNC.  She is thrilled and honored to be selected for the 2020 JEN Conference as a Sister in Jazz. –

2020 Sisters In Jazz Selectee

Maya Keren

Maya Keren is a Philadelphia-raised pianist and composer currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Princeton University. Maya has had the privilege of participating in Lincoln Center’s Summer Jazz Academy and the Kimmel Center Creative Music Program with Anthony Tidd.


At Princeton, both Maya plays in large and small ensembles directed by Darcy James Argue and program head Rudresh Mahanthappa. Last year, Maya studied with Kris Davis. This year she will continue her studies with Angelica Sanchez.

In the summer of 2019, Maya attended the Banff International Workshop for Jazz & Creative Music. She will be touring Europe with Julien Chang’s indie-rock-jazz band during the fall of 2019.

Instagram: @mayakerenmusic



2020 Sisters In Jazz Selectee

Misaki Nakamichi

Misaki Nakamichi is a drummer from Osaka, Japan. She started playing the drums at the age of 10 and has performed in various styles including jazz, funk/fusion, Latin, and pop. She received a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Berklee College of Music as the full tuition scholarship recipient. In 2016, she moved to New York City where she played with various bands. In 2017, she was selected to be a part of Betty Carter Jazz Ahead, which is held in Washington, D.C. In the same year, she played with Mao Soné Quartet at NY Blue Note and Blues Alley (Washington D.C.). She was also on stage with Tiger Okoshi at Blues Alley. She has received numerous awards and honors such as “Yokohama Jazz Promenade Competition 2010 Grand-Prix and Best Player Award”, “Kanazawa Jazz Competition 2010 Grand-Prix”, “Yamaha Young Performing Artists 2015 Jazz winner” to name a few. Currently, Misaki is pursuing her Master’s degree at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.

2020 Sisters In Jazz Selectee

Zahria Sims

Zahria Sims is a 2018 graduate of Baton Rouge Magnet High School, in Baton Rouge, LA and is currently a student at Loyola University in New Orleans, LA majoring in Music Business with a concentration in jazz studies/performance.  Over the years, Zahria has had many interests including basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, and track. However, music is the activity that captivated her the most. She started playing the piano at 7 years old, and when she was 12 she picked up the saxophone and fell in love. The rest is history. She is now studying music, recording and performing at various events throughout Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She has performed or opened with EBR All-Parish Middle School Jazz Band (2014); LMEA All State Jazz Band (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014); EBR All-Parish High School Jazz Band (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015,); performed with Mid City Jazz Festival Resident Band (2017); opened up for Kenny Garrett at the Manship Theatre; EBR Talented Music Program. Some of her accolades include Loyola University Jazz Festival Outstanding Soloist Award – 2016 & 2017; Loyola Jazz Camp Scholarship Recipient – 2016 & 2017; and BRCC Mid City Jazz Festival Outstanding Soloist – 2017.

2020 Sisters In Jazz Selectee

Kate Williams

Kate Williams is from Vacaville, California, where she graduated from Vanden High School in 2018.  Kate Williams started playing jazz in 6th grade while living in Anchorage, Alaska. In California, she has been involved in a number of bay area student and professional groups, including the SFJazz High School All-Stars big band and combo, the Marcus Shelby orchestra, and the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra.  She has received numerous awards for her compositions and arrangements. Now 19 years old, Williams is attending her second year at the University of the Pacific, where she is a member of the Pacific Jazz Ambassadors (previously the Dave Brubeck Institute.)


Sisters in Jazz alumnae include such renowned artists as Sara Caswell, Dawn Clement, Anat Cohen, Anne Drummond, Rosana Eckert, Tia Fuller, Linda May Han Oh, Tina Raymond, Chihiro Yamanaka, and many more.

And, now, your name can be added to the list.

About Tia Fuller

When Grammy-nominated artist, Tia Fuller picks up her sax to play, something amazing happens as the reverberations of her musical elixir fill the room. Balancing both worlds of performance and education, it is understood why this touring artist and full-time professor (at the Berklee College of Music), has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, (Magna Cum Laude) and Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder (Summa Cum Laude), was selected to be a member of the all-female band touring with R&B star, Beyoncé. As part of the I AM..Sasha Fierce and Beyoncé Experience World Tour promoting the superstar’s CD’s, world-wide. She is a featured soloist on the Beyoncé Experience DVD (Me, Myself and I), I AM Yours I DVD (Wynn Theatre) and also appeared on number of major television shows, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, Good Morning America, BET Awards, American Music Awards, 2010 Grammy Awards and a featured soloist with Beyonce for President Obama at the White House.

An accomplished performer in her own right, Tia has recorded five CDs with her quartet. Her most recent album “Diamond Cut,” received a Grammy-nomination in the Best Instrumental Jazz category, produced by Terri Lyne Carrington, which features Jack Dejohnette, and Dave Holland. The first self-produced, Pillar of Strength (2005/Wambui). Her sophomore release, Healing Space (2007/Mack Avenue), is an offering of “melodic medicine” and healing agent. Her third CD Decisive Steps, 2nd under the Mack Avenue label, which has received: the #1 JazzWeek rating for two weeks straight, #3 in JET magazines top jazz cd’s, and nominated for Best Jazz album for JazzWeek. And in 2012, she released her 4th album, Angelic Warrior, which received praise from Wall Street Journal, New York Times and numerous jazz publications. Tia’s quartet has performed world-wide, including: Angola, Croatia, South Africa, North Sea, Umbria, Edinburgh jazz festivals, and NYC’s prestigious Lincoln Center’s: Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, just to name a few.

Tia can also be seen touring regularly with a number of bands, including: Terri Lyne Carrington’s grammy-winning ‘Mosaic’ Project and Money Jungle Provocative in Blue, the assistant musical director for Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society tour, and Dianne Reeves’ grammy winning, Beautiful Life tour. She has also performed with luminaries such as: Ralph Peterson Septet, Rufus Reid Quintet, Geri Allen, the Nancy Wilson Jazz Orchestra, Wycliffe Gordon Septet, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Chaka Kahn, Ledisi, Kelly Rowland, Jay-Z, Jill Scott, Pattie Labelle, Sheila E, Valerie Simpson, Patrice Rushen, Erica Badu and Aretha Franklin.

Fuller is the recent poster child for J.Jill clothing, “Blues and Rhythm” campaign. Her life-sized picture is featured in more than 270 display windows of J.Jill stores, nationwide. In addition, she is also featured in an exclusive Vanity Fair magazine shoot, celebrating women in jazz. Furthermore, her recent opinion piece on ‘Sexism in the World of Jazz,’ her performance/ interview on TV One’s “Sister Circle,” and Associated Press article, have all gotten rave reviews.

The dynamic saxophonist has also graced the cover of Downbeat Magazine, Jazztimes Magazine, Saxophone Today, and Jazz Education Journal. 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 has also received the Benny Golson Award from Howard University, the Distinguished Alumae Award and commencement speaker from the University of Colorado at Boulder and appointed as 2018’s Artist-in-Residence at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

As a Professor at Berklee College of Music, she also shares her expertise teaching over 70 students per week; directing the Rainbow big band and All Stars, the Esperanza Ensemble, repertoire class, jazz improvisation, two jazz combos and the Christian Mcbride Ensemble. In addition, she produces and directs large production ground-breaking ensembles such as, the Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande Ensembles. These groups focus on cross-collaboration throughout the college and is reflective of an “A-list” tour/production incorporating musicians, choreography, strings, dancers, video and lighting. Between balancing her teaching and tour life, Tia feels that she is fulfilling her purpose here on this earth, that is to “serve as a light for others.”

Sisters in Jazz Alumnae


Rehearsal and Performance at the 2020 JEN Conference in New Orleans!


  • Colleen Clark – drums
  • Sarah Hanahan – alto saxophone
  • Summer Kodama – bass
  • Marion Powers – voice
  • Franchesca Romero – piano


  • Ashley Baker – alto sax
  • Christie Dashiell – voice
  • Judith Goldbach – bass
  • Julia Brav – piano
  • Shirazette Tinnin – drums


  • Chelsea Baratz – tenor sax
  • Sharel Cassity – alto, soprano sax
  • Vanessa McGowan – bass
  • Mika Nishimura- piano
  • Tina Raymond – drums


  • Misty Boyce – piano
  • Caroline Davis – alto sax
  • Lauren Falls – bass
  • Melissa Gardiner – trombone
  • Lorie Wolf – drums


  • Lakecia Benjamin – alto sax
  • Jacquelyn Coleman – trumpet
  • Delandria Mills – flute
  • Hanne Pulli – drums
  • Maeve Royce – bass
  • Carmen Staaf – piano


  • Ariel Alexander – alto, soprano sax
  • Brenda Earle – piano
  • Maria Joyner – drums
  • Linda Oh – bass
  • Janelle Reichman – tenor sax


  • Kara Baldus – piano
  • Elizabeth Goodfellow – drums
  • Nicole Johaenntgen – alto, soprano sax
  • Jennifer Krupa – trombone
  • Ashley Summers – bass


  • Renee Marie Cruz – bass
  • Alyssa Falk – drums
  • Becky Noble – alto sax
  • Tineke Postma – alto sax
  • Daniela Schaechter – piano


  • Airelle Besson – trumpet
  • Laila Biali – piano
  • Karine Chapdelaine – bass
  • Tara Davidson – alto, soprano sax
  • Sandra Hempel – guitar
  • Kimberly Thompson – drums


  • Brandi Disterheft – bass
  • Anne Drummond – flute
  • Lisa Kelly Scott – voice
  • Karen Teperberg – drums
  • Chihiro Yamanaka – piano


  • Rosana Calderon Eckert – voice
  • Rachel Eckroth – piano
  • Tia Fuller – alto sax
  • Karin Harris – trombone
  • Erin Marie Roberts – bass
  • Angie Tabor – drums


  • Sara Caswell – violin
  • Dawn Clement – piano
  • Anat Cohen – tenor sax, clarinet
  • Loraine Faina – drums
  • Jodi Proznick – bass


All applicants must be:

  • A full-time college student, concurrently taking a minimum of 12 undergraduate hours or six graduate hours
  • A JENeral Individual or eJEN Member

Application Requirements

All applicants must submit the following by October 15:

1.An application form

2.Five audio recordings of your best playing, the sum total of the five audio recordings cannot exceed 30 minutes in length, including the following selections (video recordings not accepted):

  • a medium-tempo blues
  • an up-tempo rhythm changes tune
  • a Latin, rock, or funk tune
  • a ballad
  • any other tune of the applicant’s choice (standard, contemporary tune, original, etc.), best displaying her artistry

3. Two letters of recommendation 

  • You will submit the email address of two recommenders in your application.
  • Upon submission of the application, the two recommenders will receive an email with a link to upload the letter on your behalf to Acceptd.

4. A resume or list of experience

5. A copy of college transcript or other proof of concurrent full-time enrollment in an accredited college, university, or conservatory (a minimum of 12 undergraduate or six graduate hours)



Application Deadline

October 15, 2019

11:59 PST


eJEN or JENeral Individual

Membership required to be eligible.

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