Vocalist Alexis Cole joins faculty at Western Connecticut State University
Starting in Spring Semester 2022, New York based vocalist Alexis Cole joins the faculty of the jazz program at Western Connecticut State University, teaching private students and the vocal jazz ensemble.
Alexis, an accomplished performer and recording artist, whose latest CD with big band, Sky Blossom is topping the jazz charts, began her teaching career at the 92nd St. Y in Manhattan. After completing her graduate studies at Queens College, she left New York to teach at the Berklee College of Music's program in Quito, Ecuador. Then following a six and a half year stint in the military, singing with the West Point Band's Jazz Knights Big Band, she joined the faculty at SUNY Purchase, in New York. This past Fall she joined the faculty at her alma mater, William Paterson University, and now she adds the students of Western Connecticut State University to her weekly sphere of influence.
Western Connecticut State University's Jazz program has steadily grown in the past 35 years in Danbury, Connecticut. Less than 70 miles north of the Village Vanguard but a world away from the stress of Manhattan, WCSU is emerging as a top choice for talented jazz students to earn their Bachelor's degree in Music Performance, Music Production, and Music Education. A faculty consisting of top NYC professionals, co-led by Dr. Jimmy Greene and Mr. Jamie Begian, combine a respect for the tradition of jazz with an eye for new ideas relevant to the 21st century in a state-of-the-art facility.
"We are proud to welcome Alexis Cole to our faculty at WCSU! Her considerable vocal talent and improvisational vocabulary coupled with her experience and ease in coaching young vocalists makes her an ideal instructor for our program. Our students can look forward to years of growth and inspiration under Alexis' tutelage." Dr. Jimmy Greene, Co-Coordinator of Jazz Studies.
"Alexis Cole combines a wealth of real-world performing experiences with 21st century entrepreneurial insights so necessary to the development of sustainable careers for our students. Teaching someone to be a talented performer is the first step in career success, Alexis has proven she knows how to do that and more." Professor Jamie Begian Co-Coordinator of Jazz Studies.
In 2020, Cole founded JazzVoice.com, an online educational community, where amateurs and budding professionals could have access to a wide variety top notch vocal educators. With over 1200 members, and weekly classes for skills building and professional development, the site has gained international recognition. The opportunity to study with faculty like Tierney Sutton, Karrin Allyson, Catherine Russell, Jane Monheit and Cole herself, make the programming compelling and exciting for singers and fans alike.
In 2021, Cole launched the inaugural Vocal Jazz Summit, www.thez.org/vocaljazzsummit in coordination with the Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach. In 2021 it was presented online, but from April 8-10, 2022 they are gathering in person. There will be daily workshops and jam sessions, and headliners Kurt Elling and Cole provide the evening entertainment, closing with Samara Joy, a rising star and recent student of Cole's from SUNY Purchase. Other presenters for 2022 include René Marie, Dominique Eade, Greta Matassa, Stephanie Nakasian and Melanie Charles.
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