The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton as associate professor of music in jazz studies, effective Aug. 1.An eight-time Grammy nominee, Sutton has received a Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy nomination for every project she has released in the last decade. Known for her impeccable voice and imaginative treatments of the Great American Songbook, she is heralded for her abilities as both a jazz storyteller and using her voice as an instrument.
“Her visit to IU was electric,” said Gwyn Richards, David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean. “She performed with faculty and students, and they were struck by her talent, her connection with the text and to her audience, and by the breadth of her knowledge. The fall semester cannot arrive soon enough for students and faculty alike.”
“We could not be more pleased to have Tierney Sutton joining the Jazz Studies faculty,” said Tom Walsh, chair of the Jazz Studies Department. “Tierney is a world-class jazz vocalist, and there is so much she will bring to the Jacobs School—not only her incredible musicianship and wealth of experience, but also her creative values and new ideas for our students.”
Sutton’s 12 recordings as leader have addressed themes such as materialism (“Desire,” 2009) and the pursuit of happiness (“On the Other Side,” 2007), as well as paying tribute to the music of Bill Evans (“Blue in Green,” 2002), Frank Sinatra (“Dancing in the Dark,” 2004) and Sting (“The Sting Variations,” 2016). Her 2013 Joni Mitchell tribute, “After Blue,” featured keyboardist Larry Goldings, drummer Peter Erskine, jazz vocal legend Al Jarreau and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master flutist Hubert Laws.
Since 1993 Sutton has fronted The Tierney Sutton Band, featuring Christian Jacob, Trey Henry, Kevin Axt and Ray Brinker. On stage the band exhibits a truly ethereal connection, a tribute to having the same world-class personnel for over 20 years—a virtually unheard-of accomplishment in today’s music business. Incorporated partners, all decisions—musical or business—are made by the band as a unit. In 2011, the members received a Grammy nomination for their collaborative arranging, the only band ever to receive this honor.
Sutton was approached by actor/director Clint Eastwood in May 2016, resulting in the score to his box-office smash “Sully” being created by him, pianist Jacob and the rest of the band members. The end-title song, “Flying Home,” featuring music by Eastwood and lyrics by Sutton and J.B. Eckl, is performed by Sutton and her band.
When not performing, Sutton is in demand as a studio vocal producer and a vocal educator. In 2016, she worked with lyric soprano Natalie Dessay for Sony Classics’ “Pictures of America” and the soon-to-be released “Between Yesterday and Tomorrow.”
Sutton taught for over a decade at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and spent six years as head of the vocal department at Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena, California. She has taught and mentored some of the finest singers of the new generation, including Gretchen Parlato and Sara Gazarek.
“I am thrilled to be joining the faculty of the legendary Jacobs School of Music,” said Sutton. “I’ve been bowled over by the skill, vision and character of every person I have met who is part of the Jacobs family and look forward to this next, surprising, chapter.”