FEBRUARY 26-27, 2016


Competition Judge

Ulyesses Owens Jr.

Ulysses Owens Jr. is steadily establishing himself as a leader in his generation of jazz artists, admired for his sensitive, fiery, and complex playing, vivid display of textural nuance, and gift for propelling a band with charisma and integrity. Both humble in person and imposing behind a kit, Owens is a two-time Grammy® Award winner who has earned his stripes as a member of bassist Christian McBride’s acclaimed trio and the driving force of McBride’s famed big band. His 2009 debut recording “It’s Time For U” featured several original compositions and arrangements. In 2012, he released a second album, “Unanimous” (Criss Cross Jazz), featuring Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Jaleel Shaw, Michael Dease, and Christian Sands.
In 2010, Ulysses received his first Grammy® for his performance on Kurt Elling’s “Dedicated To You,” and his second Grammy® for the Christian McBride Big Band album, “The Good Feeling.” This year, he garnered a third nomination for Christian McBride’s Trio album, “Out Here.” Owens flexes his versatility across projects, having toured and recorded with artists including McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Diane Schuur, Renee Fleming, Monty Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Russell Malone, and the late Mulgrew Miller.

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