Parker Welcomes Award-Winning Jazz Vocalist to Morning Ex

On Monday, Parker welcomed Julia Danielle Smulson for a top-tapping, head-swaying Morning Ex for grades 3 through 12.

Smulson is an up-and-coming vocalist, arranger, educator and composer based in the heart of Chicago’s vibrant jazz scene. As the 2022 International Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition Winner, Smulson, as part of her prize, performed alongside The Tierney Sutton Band at the infamous Blues Alley Jazz Club in Washington D.C. Smulson has performed alongside staples of the scene, including bassists Clark Sommers and Dennis Carroll, drummers George Fludas and Isaiah Spencer, pianist Jeremy Kahn and saxophonists Sharel Cassity and Isaiah Collier.

During her time at Morning Ex, Smulson performed a number of songs along with accompaniment on piano from Upper School Chorus Director Justin de la Cruz. Interspersed throughout the performances, Smulson and de la Cruz took questions from the audience and gave more information about being a professional jazz vocalist.

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.