Ellen Johnson has devoted over three decades to the arts as a recording artist, educator, songwriter, lyricist, author, and publicist. Jazz Journal International described her performances and recordings as “superior jazz singing by an artist of the highest quality.” Johnson has performed or recorded with Bobby McFerrin, Sheila Jordan, Charles McPherson, Louie Bellson, Roy McCurdy, Don Braden, Larry Koonse and John Stowell among many others. Johnson is the author of the biography Jazz Child: Portrait of Sheila Jordan and has published lyrics to both Sonny Rollins and Charles Mingus compositions. Johnson has a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from San Diego State University and has served on the voice faculties of the University of San Diego /Old Globe Theatre MFA program, Cal Poly University Pomona, and on the faculty (since 2012) of the California Jazz Conservatory/Jazzschool. Her diversity in her own professional singing has made her an excellent teacher for cross over styles teaching everything from jazz, classical, musical theater, pop, and other genres. She has a strong background in vocal pedagogy and vocal rehabilitation assisting singers with difficult vocal issues. She continues to give master classes, online classes and teaches privately at www.vocalvisions.net. For more information go to: www.ellenjohnson.net
Nora’s been actively playing and teaching flute for many decades. She says teaching flute is fun and satisfying whether it’s for a beginner or more experienced players, for classical or jazz. Because classical was her first imprinted on her, she knows many ways to transfer skills from one style to another.
After receiving both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in classical music, Nora set out to learn jazz improvisation. Learning jazz mostly from her husband, Nora and Bill (Douglass) were the mama and papa of Sierra Jazz Camp for many years.
Nora recently formed a new jazz quartet, Jazz Alibi, and they can be heard locally and in the Sacramento area. Nora often plays alto flute, a fan favorite, for its low, sultry sound.
Nora received her BFA degree from SUNY at Buffalo in 1969 and her Masters in Flute Performance from New England Conservatory in 1971. She went on to teach music at the college level in Northern Michigan and Arkansas, then in music studios and currently in private sessions.
Kit Bailey loves rhythm. Initially drumming in a Scottish bagpipe band at age 11, he subsequently joined school wind ensembles, theater- and ballet pit-orchestras, and symphonic groups, performing with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Newark-Fremont Philharmonic Society, Santa Barbara Symphony, Music in the Mountains, InConcert Sierra, and Sierra Stages. Drum set being the instrument of choice for big bands, jazz combos, and the occasional rock group, Kit (his nickname long before he could play one) finally got to sit down to play. When he moved in 1988 to Nevada County, with its thriving Congolese and West African dance communities, he was inspired to look “upstream” into African drumming’s influence on North American music (of all varieties), Brazilian percussion, Afro-Caribbean drumming, and even many of the rhythms he first discovered in that bagpipe band. Anyone can play percussion, and every time we play any instrument, we go deeper—endlessly, it seems. Kit looks forward to resuming performing and teaching again, post-pandemic.
Contact Kit regarding lessons at his home studio in the Cement Hill Area of Nevada City.