The Alison Margaret Jazz Quartet
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The Alison Margaret Jazz Quartet

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Press


"Restaurant Magnus"

"Her heartbreakingly beautiful voice will both stun you and wash your cares away at the same time. She's also a wonderful band leader and her shows are utterly captivating."

- Prentice Berg
Restaurant Magnus
(Madison, WI)
- Prentice Berg


"Columbia College"

“….such a seamless quality between registers, really tasteful use of vibrato, lots of timbres, great scatting. Ms. Margaret is a real artist and will be successful at whatever she does!

-Carol Loverde
Columbia College Chicago
(Chicago, IL)
- Carol Loverde


"Shakti Books"

"Thanks for bringing your CD to Shakti Books! It's incredible! I'm blown away by the spirituals, the duet with the bassist, and the scatting on "While We're Young". This is quickly becoming one of my favorite jazz discs.

-Nick Kokoshis
Owner of Shakti Books
(Madison WI)
- Nick Kokoshis


"Isthmus: The Daily Page"

MAD TRACKS REVIEW

"Up Jump Spring" (Freddie Hubbard')

"...Ms. Margaret essays the entire tune with only Eric Hochberg's dancing acoustic bass for accompaniment. Her interaction with Hochberg is light and free and very much a mutual conversation. Margaret shows her mettle by following up with some impressionistic scatting that allows the tune to deliquesce very naturally.""

-Tom Laskin (Dec. 14, 2007 The Daily Page)
- Tom Laskin


"Jazz musicians jam for a degree"

CHICAGO (AP) - Up-and-coming jazz musicians here don't miss a beat when it comes to a college degree.

"For me, there was never any question of not going to college. Higher education has always been a goal," said Nick Alvarez, a percussionist with a newly minted jazz studies degree from Columbia College Chicago.

Another new graduate of the program, singer Allison Belleville(Margaret), had a different perspective, if the result was the same.

Belleville(Margaret) signed up for a few courses in vocal jazz concentration. "I actually planned to drop out after a year or so and move to New Orleans and 'just do it,"' she said. "I changed my mind because the further I got into the serious study of jazz, the more I wanted to learn."

Jazz as an American musical art form no doubt started on the streets, and developing performers can still learn the craft that way, concedes Shelton Berg, chairman of jazz studies at the Thornton School of Music at the University of California. "A jazz degree can be very beneficial to the right kind of student - those who embody the essence of being a jazz artist on a visceral level and who marry that feeling to the underlying theoretical considerations," he said. "However, the student I look for is bright and perceptive enough to understand the value of tapping into all the academic resources and will emerge with a feeling for the context of the music in history as well as today's society.

"Also, he or she will have learned about the business of being a professional musician."

At Columbia College Chicago, the jazz student, while studying, can participate in touring programs, accept professional gigs, and build a network of useful professional contacts, all in a mentoring environment provided by established professionals and professors.

And some students want more than just a professional entry into their specialty. "I wanted to go to a performing arts school that had all disciplines, not just music," said pianist Alex Burke. "I wanted a major urban area, I wanted to be in the central city, and I wanted a liberal, but still structured program."

Scott Hall, coordinator of Columbia's jazz studies program and artist-in-residence, also cites the opportunity to collaborate with other arts disciplines.

"Our recent concert saw our student band, the Columbia College Jazz Ensemble, working with students from the dance department in a multi-disciplinary concert of Duke Ellington's 'Black, Brown and Beige.' Plus, being in a jazz-crazy town like Chicago is certainly a bonus for our students."

That environment was a factor for bassist Kevin Martinez from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. "Cuyahoga Falls doesn't exactly have a thriving jazz scene," he said. "I chose Chicago as an ideal city to come and hone my skills."

Hall added that the study of jazz is about the country itself. "Jazz is a legitimate indigenous American art form, and the development of jazz speaks to our cultural and political history."
- Greater Philidelphia Newspapers


Discography

"Prime Elements" 2001
"Live In Roscoe" 2005
"Come Sunday" 2007
New Disk to be released Dec. 2009

Photos

Bio

Ms. Alison Margaret Ruppenthal is a widely known jazz artist, music educator, and pianist based in Madison, WI. She began her career in Chicago, studying and performing with artists such as Orbert Davis, William Russo, Frank Dawson and Frank Parker Jr.

After attaining her undergraduate degree in Vocal Jazz Performance from Columbia College-Chicago, she collaborated with renowned pianist and composer, Laurence Hobgood, to record her debut CD "Come Sunday" in November, 2007 (Violet Records LLC).

Currently, Ms. Margaret leads the "Alison Margaret Jazz Quartet" featuring vibraphonist Geoff Brady, upright bassist John Christensen, and drummer Michael Brenneis. The quartet is preparing to release their first album together that will highlight English, American, and Irish folk standards, original tunes, and jazz classics.

Paralleling her performing career Ms. Margaret will be graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Fall 2009 with her masters in Music Education, specializing in jazz education. Likewise, Ms. Margaret is an accomplished pianist and maintains a substantial teaching studio at Ward-Brodt Music Mall.
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SELECT PERFORMANCE VENUES:

-CBS Studios is Los Angeles, California (Spirit of Chicago Award presented to Jim Belushi)
-The Green Mill (Chicago, IL)
-The Hot House (Chicago, IL)
-Jazz Showcase (Chicago, IL)
-The Metro (Chicago, IL)
-Park West (Chicago, IL)
-The Sears Tower (Chicago, IL)
-Navy Pier (Chicago, IL)
-IAJE Festival (The Civic Center in Toronto, Canada)
-The Brink Lounge (Madison, WI)
-WORT 89.9 (Madison, WI)
-Restaurant Magnus (Madison, WI)
-Monona Terrace (Madison, WI)
-Ward-Brodt Music Mall (Madison, WI)
-Concourse Hotel (Madison, WI)
-Jazz at 5 (Madison, WI)
-The Mic 92.1 (Madison's Progressive Talk)