Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Gregory Jasperse

Second Advisor

Matthew Fries


This senior jazz voice recital is aimed to convey the artistry that has blossomed from studying jazz music as a vocalist. The repertoire included in this recital spans music written as early as 1923 and as late as 2017 encompassing a wide variety of jazz styles to reflect all the different jazz eras as well as how other genres in those times have influenced those compositions. The recital includes ten songs with a variety of instrumentation that are aligned with the jazz idiom. Some songs include a typical jazz combo of voice, piano, guitar, bass, and drums while others also include a vocal quartet on top of that, and some others are paired down as duos for just voice and one other instrument.

For many of the jazz standards written within the front half of the 20th century, they were initially written for some kind of show or for entertainment. For instance, “Pennies From Heaven” was originally written for a film created by Bing Crosby entitled Pennies From Heaven in 1936. Also, “Speak Low” was written for a musical comedy entitled One Touch of Venus in 1943, and “Honeysuckle Rose” was featured in a theatrical skit called a revue entitled Load of Coal in 1929. The characterization of these three songs as a “showtune” is a perfect example of how jazz music was embraced within American culture during that time frame. Especially for “Honeysuckle Rose” which was first introduced in Harlem, these songs are the essence of how jazz standards became so popular so quickly and had jazz bands and vocalists from everywhere eager to perform their own interpretations.

Other songs included in this recital stretched upon the idea of what the typical listener might perceive as jazz music. Aside from the standards, there also included songs that were made popular in the pop or folk genre but were reimagined and arranged for the jazz idiom. Sarah Bareilles’s “Breathe Again,” although made famous as a pop song, is performed as a jazz arrangement done by Kerry Marsh which also features a vocal quartet. There is also a performance of the two songs “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “When She Loved Me” done back to back as a ballad medley and as a dedication to motherhood. This interpretation is done as a piano and voice duo with some added embellishments and reharmonization to pay homage to the original while also including some key concepts from the jazz idiom. Also, the first song performed called “Venus” written by Becca Stevens not only includes a lot of folk and pop influence but is also the most contemporary of all the repertoire.

This recital includes a large variety of composers ranging from a composer named Lil’ Johnson who has very little known about her to Sara Bareilles who is known worldwide. Each song in this recital was programmed to pay homage to the jazz idiom, celebrate the history of vocal jazz, and create an experience for the listener that is genuine and authentic.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Honors Thesis - Program Notes.pdf (154 kB)
Program Notes

01 - Stevens.wav (68236 kB)

02 - Dorough.wav (80858 kB)

03 - Berlin.wav (99191 kB)

04 - Johnston.wav (97366 kB)

05 - Weill.wav (91581 kB)

06 - Waller.wav (69546 kB)

07 - Nichols.wav (99974 kB)

08 - Eckert.wav (61765 kB)

09 - Bareilles.wav (91106 kB)

10 - Johnson.wav (147855 kB)