Morgen Stiegler — vocalist
Morgen Stiegler [pronounced 'Steegler'] seeks moments of connection—with her students, the audience, and the musicians she performs with. Having come to thinking of herself as a singer somewhat late in her musical life, which began at the piano, she has dedicated the last dozen years to shaping her voice into a versatile instrument for building genuine musical relationships.
"Morgen sees herself as a storyteller, and the story she tells on her debut recording Reaching for the Moon is her own” (David Dupont—Sentinel Tribune). The songs on this collaboration with guitarist Chris Buzzelli that seeks to honor the duo recordings of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass—are ‘snapshots’ of her musical development that include songs from her childhood alongside familiar standards. One of two original compositions on the album is Better than This, a song Morgen wrote in response to the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. Recorded by Jay Dudt at Audible Images in Pittsburgh, the record also prominently features the album’s four time Grammy-winning producer Jay Ashby (Nancy Wilson, Paquito D’Rivera, Paul Simon) on trombone as well as Olman Piedra (Nomo, Patrizio Buanne) on percussion. The record receives regular airplay on radio stations throughout the US and was number 2 on WBGUs Jazz Top 10. Says Kim Nazarian of New York Voices: "Reaching for the Moon is a heart to heart conversation—an innocent dialogue of pure, sweet music!"
The album — as well as Morgen's performances feature a mixture of jazz standards, pop tunes and intriguing singer-songwriter originals acknowledging influences from Carmen McRae to Norah Jones and Tori Amos. Morgen performs regularly in duo settings as well as with her trio and quartet. Over the last several years, favorite venues have included New Orleans’ Snug Harbor, das Schlot in Berlin, Birdland in Hamburg, Chios Casino in Cluj, Rusty’s Jazz Café in Toledo, and the beautiful setting of the Sunset Jazz Festival in Grand Rapids, Ohio.
Morgen has had the honor to sing with members of the New York Voices, Brian Auger, the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, and Balawan. She has been accompanied by such fine sidemen as Ray Parker, Gene Parker, Paul Keller, Roger Schupp, Jeff Halsey, Klaus Mueller, and Doug Neel to name a few. As a member of vocal ensembles she has shared the stage with blues legend Robert Lockwood Jr. and a cappella groups m-pact and Naturally 7 among others.
Morgen has studied voice with New York Voices' soprano Kim Nazarian, and is a co-founder and faculty member of the BGSU NYV vocal jazz camp. She has had the opportunity to grow as a vocalist in lessons, master classes and workshops with Peter Eldridge, Jennifer Barnes and SJ Hasman-Selby among others. Morgen has directed and arranged for vocal jazz/ a cappella ensembles at Bowling Green State University, Tiffin Univeristy and Terra Community College. She has extensive experience as accompanist for choral ensembles, including the multi-ethnic Balkan Youth Link Chorus that performed for the United Nations in New York in 2000. As instructor for applied jazz voice and ethnomusicology at BGSU, where she graduated with a MM in Ethnomusicology, her research has focused on the Native American connections to Jazz—an effort rooted in the heritage she shares and seeks in her music.