Beyoncé’s jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller


This music video from the USA says about itself:

Beyoncé´s “Single Ladies” performed by her original all female band, and students from Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

As part of Berklee’s Signature Series, Beyoncé’s Original All-Female Band performed at the Berklee Performance Center for a 10-Year Anniversary Concert.

Tia Fuller, saxophonist for Beyoncé and faculty director at Berklee, led the Berklee Beyoncé Band for several months of preparation. The overall journey culminated in an intense week of rehearsals with the ladies from Beyoncé’s all-female band, with a sold-out concert as a grand celebration for these outstanding women.

Beyoncé’s Original All-Female Band includes Berklee alumni Nikki Glaspie ’04 (drums) and Rie Tsuji ‘02 (keyboard). Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumna, Ebony Williams ’05, was one of the featured dancers in the viral “Single Ladies” video with Beyoncé, and performed with dancers from her alma mater in this unforgettable show.

By Chris Searle in Britain:

Beyonce‘s saxophonist dazzles with her own jazz band

Tuesday 13th October 2015

Tia Fuller
Decisive Steps and Angelic Warrior

For the seething altosaxophonist Tia Fuller, who plays in the all-woman band which accompanies Beyoncé, as well as in regular jazz formations, “playing in front of 16,000 people or 60 people it’s the same, because it’s all about people, transferring energy, uplifting and encouraging spirits and sharing the love of music.”

Born in Aurora, Colorado in 1976, the daughter of teachers in the Denver school system who were also musicians, her girlhood was full of the sounds of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, as well as the piano of her sister, Shamie. Starting from the flute, she grew into the saxophone and by 1998 she had graduated in Music from Spelman College in Atlanta.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Tia Fuller – Touring with Beyoncé

30 November 2011

RockJazz caught Tia Fuller and her band recently in Chicago, where she discussed touring with Beyoncé, and the lessons she learned from the mega-shows Beyoncé stages.

The Chris Searle article continues:

In 2001 she moved into the jazz scene in New York, playing in stellar company with Jimmy Heath, Ralph Peterson, Don Byron and Jon Faddis, among many others, but it was in 2006 that another way beckoned when she became a featured horn in Beyoncé’s band, and thus began a strange coupling of jazz and superstar pop, while she also established a high reputation for teaching, both in Aurora state schools and at prestigious college level.

Her 201[0] album Decisive Steps has sister Shamie on piano and her drummate in Beyoncé’s band, Kim Thompson, with bassist Miriam Sullivan forming a central quartet, and male guests in Christian McBride (bass), Sean Jones (trumpet), vibesman Warren Wolf and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut.

Tia says that the fist altoist that she ever transcribed was Cannonball Adderley, and there is something of his fleeting brilliance in the album’s title tune opener, with Shamie’s pacy solo following her notes. These four women fly, their sonic union levitates, as it does on Windsoar, where Jones’s soft-toned trumpet joins the swooping, swallow-like sound.

Thompson’s emphatic drumbeat and McBride’s electric bass ground Tia’s dug-in notes in Ebb and Flow, where she sounds full of the earth before Jones’s soaring chorus. The old standard I Can’t Get Started gets a soulful unaccompanied intro by Tia before McBride’s acoustic bass throbs out into its heart and Wolf’s mallets put it into a new age. Kissed by the Sun has some groovy Shamie and a beautifully filigreeing soprano saxophone chorus from her sister, while Night Glow, written by Shamie’s husband Rudy Royston, gives Sullivan her moment, her bass sound ancestral but still palpitating.

Wolf’s lucid vibes match Tia’s luminous clarity and McBridge’s cavernous notes in Clear Mind, and in My Shining Hour it is the quartet pulsating out with a vibrant sisterly swing, Tia’s saxophone song full of verve.

In 2012 she released the album Angelic Warrior with Royston on drums. On the opener, Royston Rumble, Shamie and she set up a rapid pace before Tia’s alto comes leaping in and guest John Patitucci’s piccolo bass is also sprinting. The more sultry Ralphie’s Groove (dedicated to Peterson) features Tia’s lithe soprano and another virtuoso drummer, Terri Lyne Carrington, guests on the title tune, her complex drum patterns scattering under Tia’s melodic lead. The saxophone test-piece ballad, Body and Soul, is given a bass-emphatic performance in honour of Tia’s bass-playing father, while Dianne Reeves’s expressive vocal is a tribute to her singing mother. Tia’s horn bleeds with feeling, and in Descend to Barbados, a tribute to her bass player Mimi Jones and her Barbadian parents, her cadences fall like Caribbean rain.

Back to urban reality in Simpli-City, her horn, full of the streets, struts over Jones’s walking bass, and she ends with her salute to Beyonce, Ode to B, showing that her artistry finds no barriers between the very different genres that she plays within — “beyond category,” as Ellington used to say. And as Tia herself declares: “I think musicians are taking a step forward on both sides; we’re moving forward with combining all forms, and more people are accepting that concept, because it’s all interconnected. We, as people, are taking decisive steps.”

This music video from California in the USA says about itself:

12 January 2012

The Tia Fuller Quartet play the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre Cabaret at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on the UC Davis Campus.

Tia Fuller Quartet: Tia Fuller, Alto and Soprano Saxophones; Mimi Jones, Bass; Rudy Royston, Drum; Rachel Eckroth, Piano.

5 thoughts on “Beyoncé’s jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller

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