KUVO honors Marion Powers during Women’s History Month
Marion Powers is a six-time DownBeat Award-winning jazz vocalist whose dynamic improvisation skills, fresh and modern arranging style, and sensitive approach to songwriting keep her in high demand from coast to coast not only as a performer but also as an educator. While heavily influenced by classic jazz singers like Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, and Sarah Vaughan, her experiences performing with or being mentored by Christian McBride, Dianne Reeves, Marshall Gilkes, Johnaye Kendrick, and Melissa Aldana have been some of the most instrumental to her artistic development.
Marion earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Jazz Performance from the University of North Texas (UNT) where she studied under renowned vocalists and educators, Rosana Eckert and Jennifer Barnes, and spent time as lead vocalist for the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band. In 2018, Marion was the selected vocalist for The Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy Big Band, where she was mentored by Christian McBride and Dianne Reeves; and, the following year was selected as a member of the Jazz Education Network’s Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Quintet under the mentorship of educator and pianist, Ellen Rowe, and world-renowned baritone sax player, Claire Daley. Among her DownBeat Awards are Outstanding Vocalist for her performance on the UNT Jazz Singers recording of “Groovin’ Hard,” and for her direction of UNT’s vocal jazz ensemble, Avenue C.
An equally gifted teacher and performer, she served as a full-time UNT Vocal Jazz teaching fellow and, after completing her graduate coursework in 2019, was promptly hired as an adjunct voice instructor. Marion maintains a worldwide voice studio and recently relocated from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to begin in-person teaching at the University of Northern Colorado. Marion is in demand as a live and studio vocalist. She performs regularly with her band and continues to record on various projects with musicians around the country.
About Women’s History Month—Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.
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