Tia Fuller


Wed. Oct. 10, 4pm:
“Introduction to Jazz” Workshop and Mini-Concert

Boys and Girls Club’s Allied Family Center, 4619 Jenewein Road, Madison - Free admission

Thur. Oct. 11, 7pm:
“Mind, Body and Spirit of the Saxophone and Jazz Improvisation” Workshop and Performance

Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2019 Fisher Street, Madison - Free admission

Sat. Oct. 13, 10am:
Women in Jazz Brunch,
Sheraton Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison - A talk with live music, video and a brunch meal


Tia Fuller

Saxophonist to Beyoncé,
Dianne Reeves, and Esperanza Spalding


Wisconsin Union TheaterA co-production with the Wisconsin Union Theater

Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

Union South – The Sett

1308 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI

Tia Fuller talks about the making of her Mack Avenue CD 'Decisive Steps.'

Tia Fuller teaching children jazz music at Newark (NJ) Museum

Tia Fuller's Website



Our 2012 Fall Series headliner was the dynamic young saxophonist, Tia Fuller. Ms. Fuller conducted a 4-day residency that included a free concert with her all-female jazz quartet.  This concert kicked off the 2012-13 Isthmus Jazz Series in the continuing partnership between the Music Collective and the Wisconsin Union Theater.  In the two days prior to this concert, Ms. Fuller and her missionary zeal for jazz was featured in educational outreach programs that she conducted at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County at the Allied Family Center and at Wright Middle School and Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Then on Saturday morning, 10/13, MMC presented a brunch program at the Sheraton hotel featuring Ms. Fuller’s “Women in Jazz” workshop.



Perhaps best known for her years as saxophonist in pop diva Beyoncé’s all-female band, Tia Fuller is one of the most active and in-demand players on today’s jazz scene.  Though in steady contact with the biggest stars in R&B, pop, and hip-hop, Ms. Fuller told Jazz Times magazine that “… when I first moved out (to the New York City area), I promised myself I would really focus on jazz and establish myself as a jazz artist.”  And that she has.

Last year, the music world shook when the dynamic young jazz bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding won the Best New Artist award over someone named Justin Bieber.  On the heels of that award, Spalding hired Ms. Fuller as music director and saxophone soloist for her new band, Radio Music Society (RMS), and Fuller has been on a super-fast-paced global tour with RMS ever since.  In between her RMS gigs, Ms. Fuller toured Europe this past summer with world-class jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves and the great drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.  And around all these gigs, Fuller has managed to maintain an active touring and recording schedule for her own quartet.

Ms. Fuller’s terrific jazz chops have been on display in many high-profile settings, including the storied Monterey Jazz Festival, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in New York City, the Detroit and Kansas City jazz Festivals, and the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, to name just a few.  She has recorded with many of the brightest stars in jazz, like the Duke Ellington Orchestra, vocalist Nancy Wilson, reedmen Jimmy Heath and Don Byron, trombonists Wycliffe Gordon and Steve Turré, pianist Joanne Brackeen, and trumpeter Jon Faddis.  Ms. Fuller’s recordings as a leader include Pillar of Strength (2005), Healing Space (2007), Decisive Steps (2010), and the just-released Angelic Warrior (2012).

“Playing in jazz settings helps me appreciate and integrate what we’re doing with Beyoncé … (and) helped me really appreciate the artistry and freedom we have in jazz,” Ms. Fuller told All About Jazz. “There's a common thread between the two, and they enhance each other.  I think musicians are taking a step forward on both sides.  We're moving forward with combining all forms, and more people are accepting that concept, because it's all inter-connected."

Ms. Fuller was born to musician parents 36 years ago in Aurora, Colorado, and grew up listening to John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughan and Charlie Parker.  She started playing classical piano at age three, flute at age nine, and saxophone in middle school.  She did her undergraduate work at Spelman College, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Colorado with a Masters in Music, Jazz Pedagogy and Performance.  A gifted educator, Fuller has conducted countless residencies, clinics and master classes at the middle, high school, and college levels.  Her teaching skills will be on full display in the outreach programs she will conduct during her Madison visit.



Denver-born Shamie Royston is an up-and-coming pianist in New York City’s jazz scene, where she has been a steady member of her younger sister Tia Fuller’s quartet.  Her performance credits include work with the bands of trumpeter Sean Jones, bassists Christian McBride, Lonnie Plaxico, and John Patitucci, and drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Ralph Peterson.  Ms. Royston is also an acclaimed composer whose works can be found on Ms. Fuller’s CDs as well as on her debut CD, Portraits (2012).  This coming April, she will be guest conductor Metropolitan State College Jazz Ensemble in Denver CO in a performance of her compositions.  Also an active jazz educator, Ms. Royston has adjudicated high school and college jazz festivals and has been a clinician for many top ensembles.



Born and raised in New York City and Manhattan School of Music Conservatory graduate, Mimi Jones plays acoustic bass, baby bass, electric bass in musical genres including jazz, funk, hip hop, Cuban, free, folk, and pop.  She has performed with the legendary Lionel Hampton, trumpeters Roy Hargrove, Ingrid Jensen and Ambrose Akinmisure, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and pianist Joanne Brackeen, and is featured frequently at the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.  She co-founded the group “Jazz Sabroson” with drummer Antonio De Vivo and took it on State Department-sponsored cultural exchange programs throughout South America, the Caribbean, and Africa.  She is also founder and leader of the Mimi Jones Band, featuring Mimi on bass and voice.  That band released its first CD, New Day, in 2009 and has performed at top venues in New York including Jazz at Lincoln Center.



Born to musical parents just outside New York City, Otis Brown III is one of the most in-demand drummers in jazz. A graduate of the prestigious New School University, Mr. Brown studied under luminaries like Carl Allen, Lewis Nash, and Donald Byrd. It was Mr. Byrd who convinced Brown, a music education major at the time, to pursue a career as a working musician. Featured in the 8/7/12 issue of DownBeat , Mr. Brown is currently on tour with the Thelonious Monk Institute’s “Jazz in America” initiative, Joe Lovano (trio, quartet and nonet), Steve Wilson’s quartet, the Bob Stewart tuba project, and the Oliver Lake Big Band. His 2011 debut CD as a leader, “Thought of You,” includes generational peers like pianist Robert Glasper, saxophonist John Ellis, and bassist-vocalist Esperanza Spalding. His considerable performance credits include Herbie Hancock, Kurt Elling, Christian McBride, and Roy Hargrove.




Ms. Fuller’s Madison residency was co-produced by Madison Music Collective and the Wisconsin Union Theater and a partnership team with members representing the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Urban League of Greater Madison, The Links, Inc., the alumnae chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Fine Arts Office.





The Brink Lounge