Camille Thurman
Courtesy photo
Camille Thurman

VJC hosts vocalist/saxophonist Thurman

Tenor saxophonist and vocalist Camille Thurman, who has been called a "rising star" by DownBeat magazine and a "first class saxophonist that blows the proverbial roof off the place" by All About Jazz, will appear at the Vermont Jazz Center (VJC) on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

She will be accompanied by her touring ensemble, the Darrell Green Quartet, which includes Wallace Roney Jr., trumpet; Jordan Williams, piano; Paul Beaudry, bass; Darrell Green, drums.

According to VJC Director Eugene Uman, Thurman "is a modern player who both honors the past and looks towards the future. Her promotional materials make the legitimate claim that her sound on tenor evokes Dexter Gordon and Joe Henderson and that her vocals are suggestive of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter. This is all true, yet Thurman's concepts are fresh, innovative and modern. She takes delight in presenting material that is informed by the legendary masters while simultaneously imbuing it with the hip language of her generation."

Thurman is a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (LCJO) with whom she performed John Coltrane's immortal "A Love Supreme" and other Coltrane works. An accomplished performer and composer in her own right, Thurman has performed with notable jazz and R & B icons Dr. Billy Taylor, Chaka Khan, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Alicia Keys, Ciara, and many others.

Thurman has recorded four albums as a leader and performed as a side-woman on several others, including Dianne Reeves's Beautiful Life and two releases with the LCJO under the direction of Wynton Marsalis. She leads her own quartet, which has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the International Women in Jazz Festival, the Super Jazz Ashdod Israel Festival, The Jazz Gallery, and many other prominent jazz venues, as well as festivals around the world.

Discouraged from playing music full-time due to costs of entering Berklee School of Music, Thurman graduated with a degree in Geological and Earth Sciences from Binghamton University. Her talent was recognized by a music instructor who brought in Tia Fuller as a mentor.

According VJC's news release, Fuller asked Thurman, "what are you doing here?" Thurman responded "I'm studying rocks and I'm going to be a scientist. I love dirt and trees and hug the earth all day." Encouraged by Fuller to pursue music full time, Thurman "embraced the challenge and is now one of the leading players of her generation."

Tickets are available at, [email protected], or 802-254-9088.

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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