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Cornish College of the Arts Announces Appointment of Vocalist Johnaye Kenrick to Jazz Faculty

May 05, 2010

SEATTLE, WA – Cornish College of the Arts announces the appointment of jazz vocalist Johnaye Kendrick to the position of Assistant Professor of Jazz Voice. Ms. Kendrick has garnered increasing praise for her vocal performances with the Ellis Marsalis Quartet, Nicholas Payton SEXTETT, and the Grammy-awarding-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, as well as with her own quartet.

Originally from San Diego, Ms. Kendrick attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Western Michigan University where she received a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis in Jazz Studies. She earned a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies as well as an Artist’s Diploma at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at Loyola University in New Orleans.

“I’m thrilled that Johnaye will be joining the Cornish faculty this fall,” said Music Department Chair Kent Devereaux. “Her strong academic background, as well as her continued commitment to touring and recording makes her an ideal fit with Cornish’s culture that emphasizes both teaching and professional artistic activity.”

Ms. Kendrick joins over twenty other talented artists on Cornish’s jazz faculty including composer and bandleader Jim Knapp, trombonist Julian Priester, composers Jovino Santos Neto and Wayne Horvitz, trumpeter Jay Thomas, French hornist Tom Varner, and bassist Chuck Deardorf.

Founded in 1974, the Cornish jazz program is one of the oldest and most prestigious jazz programs in the nation and boasts such distinguished alumni as Myra Melford, Eyvind Kang, Briggan Krauss, Brad Shepik, and Dawn Clement. Cornish has a storied tradition of attracting ground-breaking artists to teach in the jazz program over the years including Gil Evans, Gary Peacock, Jay Clayton, Hadley Calliman, Michael White, Anthony Braxton, Jerry Granelli, Carter Jefferson, and Art Lande.

“Cornish has long been known as a hot-bed of innovative exploration in the arts, and for having one of the most forward-looking jazz programs in the nation,” said Devereaux. “I believe our ability to recruit top-caliber talent like Johnaye speaks well for Cornish’s continued commitment to building a truly world-class jazz program.”

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About Cornish College of the Arts
Cornish College of the Arts is nationally recognized as a premier college of the visual and performing arts offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in dance, theater, art, design and performance production, and a Bachelor of Music degree. A pioneer in arts education, Cornish College of the Arts sprang from the remarkable vision of Nellie Cornish, a woman determined to cultivate the arts in Seattle when it was scarcely more than a frontier town. Her philosophy of educating the artist through exposure to all the arts was progressive at the time, and continues to be innovative today.

About Johnaye Kendrick
A San Diego native, Johnaye Kendrick received her Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University (2005) where she was also the recipient of a Downbeat Student Music Award as Outstanding Jazz Vocalist, and featured soloist in an honors recital with pianist Fred Hersch.

Ms. Kendrick received her Masters Degree in Jazz Studies (2009) and an Artist’s Diploma from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at Loyola University in New Orleans. While attending the Thelonious Monk Institute, Ms. Kendrick also performed with visiting jazz artists Terence Blanchard, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Brian Blade.

After graduating from the Monk Institute, Ms. Kendrick was hired by trumpeter Nicholas Payton, who says of her, “Johnaye has the potential to be a vocalist of the highest order; the likes of which we have seen seldom since the grande dames of the golden era of jazz roamed about the earth. She’s got IT!”

In addition to her work with the Nicholas Payton SEXTET, Ms. Kendrick is also the vocalist with the Ellis Marsalis Quartet and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, the latter the recipient of the 2009 Grammy® Award for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” for their latest release Book 1 on which Ms. Kendrick is the featured vocalist.