Tia Fuller and her Quartet
An accomplished performer in her own right, Tia has recorded three CDs with her quartet. The first, Pillar of Strength (2005/Wambui), received praise as being “an exhilarating work that introduced her as a leader who strives for perfection” (Terrell Holmes, All About Jazz Magazine). Her sophomore release, Healing Space (2007/Mack Avenue), is an offering of “melodic medicine” that the wide-eyed optimist sincerely hopes will serve as a healing agent for those who indulge in it. Tia will be releasing her third CD “Decisive Steps”, Jan. 2010, which will be her second offering under the Mack Avenue label. Her quartet was recently featured at Oris Watches/ Time Tourneau building for WBGO’s jazz festival. Tia can also be seen performing regularly with a number of bands, including the Ralph Peterson Septet, the T.S. Monk Septet, the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, the Rufus Reid Septet, the Sean Jones Quintet, the Nancy Wilson Jazz Orchestra, and Wycliff Gordan Septet.
Tia believes her passion for teaching and inspiring students is in her genes because her parents were educators/administrators in the Denver Public School District. As a devoted educator, she presents lectures and teaches ensembles and masterclasses at some of the most respected institutions in the country, including Stanford University’s “Jazz Workshop,” the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, New Mexico State University, the IAJE Jazz Convention, Purchase College, WBGO’s “Children in Jazz” Series, Duquesne University and Panama Jazz Festival.
With music in her blood and a song in her heart, Tia was born in Aurora, Colorado to jazz musicians, Fred and Elthopia Fuller. Her father, Fred plays bass and her mother, Elthopia sings. She grew up listening to her parents rehearse in the basement of their home, as well as the music of jazz greats, such as John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughn and Charlie Parker.
Inspired by her older sister, Shamie, Tia began playing classical piano when she was just three years old and continued until she was thirteen. She also began studying the flute when she was nine. Her interest in jazz came into fruition in high school. It was during this time that she began playing the saxophone.
The Colorado native, who now resides in Essex County, New Jersey, says playing music makes her feel as if she is a vessel for the Spirit to flow through. While listening to her songs, she wants people to be uplifted and experience a sense of restoration, compelling them to move forward not in fear, but in love and faith.
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Atlanta by night.. nice skyline!