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WMU pianist chosen for Kennedy Center workshop

by Mark Schwerin

May 2, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of pianist Laura Dubin.
WMU alumna Laura Dubin
KALAMAZOO--A recent graduate of Western Michigan University's jazz studies program has been selected as one of eight artists to participate in a coveted workshop for emerging jazz artists at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

Laura Dubin, a pianist from Rochester, N.Y., will attend the 2011 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artist Workshop May 18-21, giving her and seven other female jazz artists an opportunity to explore and develop their jazz artistry under the guidance of leading jazz artists and instructors. All expenses, including travel, lodging at a hotel and a food allowance, are included.

Workshop participants get tickets each night to attend the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival and perform on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage as part of a workshop showcase.

"This is a huge honor and I expect it will be an incredible experience," says Dubin, who graduated Saturday, April 30, from WMU. "I'm looking forward to meeting and working with the other artists at the festival and being surrounded by so many other women who share my passion for this music."

Dubin has been a student of Dr. Stephen Zegree, the WMU Bobby McFerrin Professor of Jazz, since her freshman year and is a two-year member of Gold Company, the vocal jazz ensemble Zegree directs.

"There is not a more deserving student for this honor on our campus," Zegree says.

The four-day intensive workshop is dedicated to the spirit and style of American pianist, composer and arranger Mary Lou Williams. It provides instruction, insight and tools rooted in the foundations of jazz: swing, melody and harmony.

For more information about the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, visit