Jazz musicians are blessed with the desire and ability to play a genre that has a history as rich as its sound. All the greats, past and present, know that it's not enough to simply play the notes; one has to live the music and feel it with every breath. When Mack Avenue recording artist, Tia Fuller picks up her sax to play, the two become one and something amazing happens as the notes and reverberations of her musical elixir fill the room. Suddenly, everything in the universe feels right and it's easy to see and hear why this artist and teacher, who has a bachelor of arts degree in music from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, (magna cum Laude) and a master's degree in jazz pedagogy and performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder (summa cum laude), was selected to be a member of the all-female band touring with R&B star, Beyoncé. As part of the I Am. . .Sasha Fierce and Beyoncé Experience World Tour promoting the superstar's CDs, Fuller has played in various venues throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. She is a featured soloist on the Beyoncé Experience DVD (Me, Myself and I) and also appeared on number of major television shows, such as the Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, Good Morning America, BET Awards, American Music Awards, and Total Request Live.
An accomplished performer in her own right, Fuller has recorded three CDs with her quartet. The first, Pillar of Strength (2005/Wambui), received praise as being "an exhilarating work that introduced her as a leader who strives for perfection" (Terrell Holmes, All About Jazz magazine). Her sophomore release, Healing Space (2007/Mack Avenue), is an offering of "melodic medicine" that the wide-eyed optimist sincerely hopes will serve as a healing agent for those who indulge in it. Fuller's third CD Decisive Steps, will be her second offering under the Mack Avenue label. Her quartet was recently featured at Oris Watches/Time Tourneau building for WBGO's jazz festival.
Fuller can also be seen performing regularly with a number of bands, including the Ralph Peterson Septet, the T.S. Monk Septet, the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, the Rufus Reid Septet, the Sean Jones Quintet, the Nancy Wilson Jazz Orchestra, and Wycliffe Gordan Septet.
The dynamic saxophonist has been featured in Jazz Improv Magazine, Rocky Mountain News, the Philadelphia Tribune, the Star Ledger, DownBeat magazine, and many other print and online publications.
Fuller believes her passion for teaching and inspiring students is in her genes because her parents were educators/administrators in the Denver Public School District. As a devoted educator, she presents lectures and teaches ensembles and master classes at some of the most respected institutions in the country, including Stanford University's Jazz Workshop" the University of Idaho's Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, New Mexico State University, the IAJE Jazz Convention, Purchase College, WBGO's Children in Jazz Series, Duquesne University, and Panama Jazz Festival.