SUZI STERN Based in Austin, Texas, the live music capital of the world, jazz vocalist Suzi Stern performs and records all over the USA, Canada, and Europe. Born in Buffalo, N.Y. to professional musicians (her father was a jazz violinist, and her mother a jazz singer) one could say Stern's jazz indoctrination literally started in the womb. Perhaps in an attempt to get onto a professional path that varied from her parents, a teenaged and headstrong Stern embarked on a career as a professional ballet dancer, studying in NYC, at American Ballet Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, and Harkness Ballet. Realizing she could actually obtain this dream of becoming an underpaid, anorexic, corps de Ballet dancer made Stern rethink her career choice and look again at immersing herself in her original lifelong passion and companion...Jazz. She studied classical voice for ten years in N.Y. and later in Austin at the University of Texas, and learned jazz theory from her studies with jazz horn players making her approach more instrumental than vocal at times, with a strong foundation in improvisation. Her studies with vocal wizard Bobby McFerrin were without question one of her most inspired learning experiences. Through her own inventive lyrics and her selection of jazz classics not typically performed by singers, Suzi expresses a relevant, deeply personal perception of life as a woman at the beginning of this new century. A published poet as well as an accomplished lyricist, Suzi has written words to numerous contemporary and classic jazz compositions such as Denny Zeitlin's Quiet Now and Joe Henderson's Black Narcissus which have been recorded by artists worldwide. From collaborations with famed bassist David Friesen, her lyrics to several of his tunes appear in Friesen's transcription book Years Through Time, a Hal Leonard publication, and most recently her words set to Bill Evans tunes, have been published in another Hal Leonard compilation of Evans compositions. A move to the Portland/Seattle area for 5 years gave Stern an unexpected opportunity to work with some of the nations best Jazz musicians who were there playing gigs, recording, and living in this low key, amazing west coast community. Among those musical colleagues, collaborators and mentors are: Denny Zeitlin, Joe Henderson, David Friesen, Jerry Hahn, Graham Lear, Leroy Vinegar, Jesseca Williams, Shiela Jordan, Jay Clayton, and Mal Waldron, to name only a few. New York collaborations found her working with, recording or writing lyrics for the likes of Joshua Redman, Russell Ferrante, Tonino Horta, Deduka de Fonseka, Siro Baptista, and Nilson Matta. One might be surprised to know that Texas has an amazing jazz scene tucked away amongst the country music and singer songwriter circles. This fact has afforded Suzi the opportunity to play and record with incomparable musicians like Mitch Watkins, Eric Avinger, Alex Coke, John Mills, Doug Hall, and the late A.D. Mannion. The Austin arts community in particular has crossed over to open up collaborations with many different forms of visual and performing arts for Suzi. She has performed and toured with: WORD WORK a multi media performance arts troupe combining dance, poetry and improvised voice; COLLABORATIVE VOICES, a group of 6 female voices led by the nationally acclaimed Tina Marsh; countless collaborations with choreographers out of Texas such as Yacov Sharir; and even several years of performance and recording with a Texas based Klezmer band led by jazz trumpeter Bill Averbach. Suzi's CD releases include ' Lament' on Aardvark Records, 'Inside Stories' on Viewpoint Records, and ' Seven Stars' on Mad Moon Records. Aside from recording and live performance, Stern is a respected jazz educator. She was on the faculty of Marylherst College in Oregon teaching jazz vocals and improvisation for several years, and presently teaches jazz clinics at Universities in the U.S. and Europe. Suzi has two amazing children that are her greatest creative accomplishments by far: her son Rene, a filmmaker and playwrite; and daughter Ariana Blue, who inspires Suzi daily. TERRY BOWNESS An electrical engineer tapping away at a piano keyboard sounds about as promising as a musician designing computer chips. Until you meet Terry Bowness. Terry, whose knack for both is now manifested in multiple CD releases and a host of technical feats you probably don't want to hear about, started playing piano twenty-five years ago, shortly after his eighth birthday. His early musical tastes were influenced as much by his older brother's eight-track tape collection as they were by his piano teacher. Think Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy, alongside Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Beatles. Now throw in some Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett and a bit of Radiohead. Terry grew up in a musical family, with a mother who sang in the church choir and a father who followed a dream all the way into a Nashville recording studio. Not knowing what else to do after high school, Terry enrolled in the electrical engineering program at the University of Missouri-Rolla. There he landed a gig as DJ and engineer at the campus radio station. During his four-year tenure at KMNR he spent innumerable hours spinning vinyl on the airwaves and recording strange noises in the production room. Under the guidance of his college jazz band director, Terry took every opportunity to explore the depths of KMNR's vast record library. Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett mixed with The Pixies, The Sugarcubes and other college radio fare of the day. A newly degreed electrical engineer, Terry moved to Dallas in 1992 to work for Texas Instruments. A few jazz piano lessons with University of North Texas lab band alumni led to sideman gigs with jazz combos and a Grateful Dead cover band. In 1995 he began leading his own trio. A year later, Terry and his wife Sonal left Dallas for Austin. Terry finished a master's degree in electrical engineering at the University of Texas in 1996, and with great relief re-entered the 'real' world as a computer chip designer by day and pianist by night. Since then he has worked with many key players in the Austin jazz scene, including Tony Campise, Clay Moore, Suzi Stern and Mitch Watkins. Since 1998 he has been pianist for Los Jazz Vatos, a six-piece Latin jazz band led by veteran Austin drummer Ernie Durawa. The Jazz Vatos' debut CD, released in 2003, was selected for top 10 'Best in Texas' by the Austin Chronicle. Terry also performs regularly as a soloist and leads several small groups, including a trio with drummer Mike Koenning and bassist Chris Maresh of Eric Johnson¹s Alien Love Child. Terry has been composing and recording music since he was a teenager. His self-titled debut on Aardvark Records was selected for the Austin Chronicle's 'Best of 1999.' It features eight original compositions and a reggae spin on John Coltrane's 'Naima,' with contributions by an A-list of Austin musicians and San Francisco-based guitarist Jackie King. His second CD, 'Stick Figures,' released by Aardvark Records in May 2003 has also garnered a top ten 'Best in Texas' selection by the Austin Chronicle. Terry currently divides his time among his family, music and computer chip design.