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Famed jazz musician to perform with UNT Jazz Singers

Australian-born singer Jo Lawry joins the UNT Jazz Singers at 8 p.m. April 15 and 16 for two nights of vocal jazz artistry showcasing freshly penned student and faculty arrangements of Lawry’s music. Jo Lawry

“I hope everyone has a wonderful time listening to great stories set to song by this prolific songwriter, as well as her beautiful and agile singing, all backed by UNT’s talented music students – singers and interesting instrumental accompaniment from the terrific rhythm section,” said Jennifer Barnes, associate professor and director of vocal jazz. “She's not a household name, but her music speaks for itself in depth, jazz sensibility with singer-songwriter accessibility, and she's also so much fun.”

The New York-based singer has become well-known to audiences through her work as a backing vocalist for Sting and she also has toured with Paul Simon. Barnes says having such a talented guest artist will benefit her students.

“The interesting thing is that one of our students was the first one to bring her music to my attention in a class project, and other students began to know about her and follow her and her music,” Barnes said. “So, many of them were both happy and surprised when I announced she'd be our guest artist. They're very excited to have this experience with an artist who's created a successful career as a fabulous vocalist and all-around musician – singing and touring with big-name artists, and composing, arranging and recording her own music. She's definitely a very inspiring woman with an interesting and varied career that has elements that our students would like to see come to fruition in their own careers. Hearing her stories about her musical and life journey will be profound and for some, life-changing.”

There also will be a free songwriting and arranging masterclass for UNT jazz voice students that is open for observation by the public at 1 p.m. on April 16.

“I'm happy that we can offer opportunities for the members of the community to come and learn more about the artists we bring in to work with our students – like this free admission masterclass where our students will showcase their own songs and arrangements for feedback from Ms. Lawry,” Barnes said.

The performances and masterclass will be held in the Paul Voertman Concert Hall in the Music Building, 415 Avenue C in Denton. Tickets for each performance cost $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, non-UNT students, children (12 and under), UNT faculty, staff and retirees, and groups of 10 or more; and are free for UNT students with valid ID. UNT students may pick up their ticket in person at the Murchison Box Office. For ticket information, call the box office at 940-369-7802 or visit the center’s website at

For a complete list of UNT College of Music events, including faculty and student recitals, visit the College of Music online calendar at and connect with the College of Music on Facebook at and on Twitter at @UNTCoM.

-Courtney Taylor, news promotions

(Photo courtesy of Jo Lawry)

Posted on: Sat 09 April 2016

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