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‘Portraits of Women in Motion’ Concert Oct. 21 at UW

October 15, 2021
person playing a grand piano
Jazz pianist Ellen Rowe will be featured in a jazz concert titled “Momentum: Portraits of Women in Motion, Ellen Rowe Octet” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in the UW Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. (Ellen Rowe Photo)

The University of Wyoming Department of Music will present a live performance of jazz music from “Momentum: Portraits of Women in Motion, Ellen Rowe Octet” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall.

Tickets for the in-person concert are $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens; $6 for students not attending UW; and free to UW students with a “W” number. To purchase tickets, visit the Performing Arts box office, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at

In her most recent CD, jazz pianist Rowe, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan, has created a collection of musical portraits of women heroes from music, sports, social justice, environmental advocacy and politics. These portraits have been orchestrated for chamber jazz ensembles ranging from quintet to octet.

The pieces were performed by an all-female group of musicians: Melissa Gardiner, trombone; Marion Hayden and Marlene Rosenberg, bass; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Virginia Mayhew, Lisa Parrott and Tia Fuller, saxophone; Allison Miller, drums; and Rowe, piano.

Some of the women included in the portraits are former first lady Michelle Obama; musicians Geri Allen and Mary Lou Williams; athletes Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova; unsung Black female heroines of the civil rights movement; singer-songwriters Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon; animal researchers Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall; and long-distance runners Joan Benoit Samuelson, Meghan Canfield Laws and Kathrine Switzer.

“In a time when diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of the national conscience, a campus visit by a jazz octet composed of women players is a timely and important show of support for underrepresented musicians in the field of jazz,” says UW music Professor Theresa Bogard. “The concept of this recording and the performance by the Ellen Rowe Octet highlight the excellence of these female musicians while honoring some important historical female figures.”

Performers for the UW concert, led by Rowe, are Tanya Darby, trumpet; Hayden, bass; Jen Krupa, trombone; Mayhew, tenor saxophone; Parrott, alto saxophone; Shirazette Tinnin, drums; and Kaleigh Wilder, baritone saxophone.

For more information, call Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or email

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