“The Making of ‘Momentum Portraits of Women in Motion’”


Media & Studio Arts Symposium

Inventing Oneself Through Art and Technology

The Making of ‘Momentum Portraits of Women in Motion’

February 21, 2020 | 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

Ellen Rowe & David Greenspan

Description A Kaleidoscope view of the creative process…influences, collaboration, communication and love of the art.

Presenter Bios:

Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, is currently Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins. Prior to her appointment at Michigan, she served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut. 

Winner of the Hartford, CT Advocate Readers’ Poll for Best Acoustic Jazz, Ms. Rowe has performed at jazz clubs and on concert series throughout the U.S., as well as touring in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, South Africa and Australia. CDs out under her own name include “Sylvan Way”, “Wishing Well”, “Denali Pass” and “Courage Music.” Her latest project, “Momentum – Portraits of Women In Motion”, featuring Ingrid Jensen, Tia Fuller, Marion Hayden and Allison Miller was released in the fall of 2018. Also active as a clinician, she has given workshops and master classes at the Melbourne Conservatory, Hochshule fur Musik in Cologne, Grieg Academy in Bergen and the Royal Academy of Music in London, in addition to many appearances as a guest artist at festivals and Universities around the country. 

When not leading her own trio, quartet or quintet, she is in demand as a sideman, having performed with a wide variety of jazz artists including Kenny Wheeler, Tim Ries, Tom Harrell, John Clayton, Ingrid Jensen and Steve Turre. She was also a guest on two installments of Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on National Public Radio. 

Ms. Rowe’s compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by jazz ensembles and orchestras around the world, including the Village Vanguard Orchestra, BBC Jazz Orchestra, U.S. Navy Commodores, Berlin and NDR Radio Jazz Orchestras, London Symphony, DIVA and the Perth Jazz Orchestra. Many of these works can be heard on recordings including “Leave It To DIVA”, “The Perth Jazz Orchestra”, “Bingo” (The Bird of Paradise Orchestra) and “I Believe In You” (DIVA). She has recently been a composer-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Recent jazz ensemble commissions include the Minnesota Band Directors Association, Belleville (MI) High School, Illinois Music Educators and Lawrence University’s Fred Sturm Jazz Festival. Her big band compositions are currently published by Sierra Music Publications, Doug Beach Music and Kendor Music. 

Having been selected to conduct the NAfME All-Eastern and All-Northwest Jazz Ensembles as well as All-State jazz ensembles throughout the country, she has also been an invited clinician at the National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Convention, International Society for Jazz Composition and Arranging Symposium and Jazz Education Network conferences. She is on the Board of the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers and also serves as the Coordinator for the JEN Sisters In Jazz Collegiate Combo Competition. Her quintet has performed at the San Jose Jazz Festival, Jazz Education Network Conference, Michigan Jazz Festival, Detroit International Jazz Festival and in jazz clubs around the country.

David (Dave) Greenspan is the managing producer for the audio studios in the Duderstadt Center at the University of Michigan where he is responsible for the design, maintenance and operation of the audio facilities. Prior to Dave’s appointment to U of M, he was the Technical Director (Presentations) and format Production Director (Recording) at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Dave received his BS degree in Telecommunication and Film from Eastern Michigan University where he worked in the Communication and Theatre Arts department as a TA and WEMU as Recording Engineer and remote broadcast engineer. While at WEMU, Dave was invited to attend the (then) NPR Music Recording Workshop. It was at a NPR workshop where Dave met his mentors: Curt Wittig (Grammy nominated) and Paul Blakemore (Grammy winner). Curt and Paul invited Dave to a second recording session with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Folgers Consort and The 20th Century Consort (the latter two groups having been founded by Christopher Kendall, former Dean of the UM School of Music Theatre & Dance). This amazing internship shaped how Dave ‘paints a picture’ with sound.