In 2005, critics praised Julia Dollison's self-released debut CD "Observatory" as “rare, fresh and substantive” (JazzTimes Magazine), "richly imaginative" (Wall Street Journal) and "subtle to a degree rarely found among the present generation of once-over-lightly jazz singers" (Washington Post).
In 2010, Dollison released her ArtistShare® recording project "Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider." Here, she and her husband Kerry Marsh, vocalist and award-winning arranger, pay tribute to their mentor and ArtistShare's multi-Grammy Award-winning flagship artist Maria Schneider, recreating compositions written for her own jazz orchestra by multi-tracking the horn parts with their own two voices. The album received an abundance of critical praise, including JazzTimes' and DownBeat Magazine's Best Albums of 2010, and Jazziz Magazine's Top 3 Vocal Groups of the year along with Manhattan Transfer and the New York Voices.
This year, Dollison and Marsh are touring to promote their newly released Vertical Voices CD "Fourward" as as a vocal quartet also featuring Jennifer Barnes (alto) and Greg Jasperse (bass), Directors of Vocal Jazz at the Universities of North Texas and Western Michigan, respectively. The group will be headlining the 2015 Reno Jazz Festival and their own 2nd Annual Vertical Voices Vocal Jazz Festival in Rochelle, IL. Julia has also been selected to direct the 2015 Colorado and North Dakota All-State Vocal Jazz Choirs.
Meanwhile, Dollison's uniquely personal brand of solo vocal jazz is delighting club-goers, concert and festival audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe. She's performed with the Maria Schneider Orchestra at New York's Jazz Standard, appeared by invitation at several jazz conferences, namely IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), CMEA (California Music Educators Association) and JEN (Jazz Education Network). Dollison premiered a concerto written for her by Grammy-nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer, then headlined with him at the Brubeck Festival. As a performing vocalist and educator, Julia also regularly appears as a featured guest artist performer, clinician and adjudicator.
Since winning the DownBeat Magazine Student Music Award for Best Collegiate Jazz Vocal Soloist in 2000, Dollison has been heard at such New York clubs as Tavern on the Green, Jazz Standard, Sweet Rhythm and Cornelia Street Cafe. She's shared the stage with Jamey Aebersold, Bob Dorough, Kurt Elling, Christian McBride, Mark Murphy, Dianne Reeves, and Kenny Wheeler. She has also performed with pop artists such as Imogen Heap and Ben Folds. Dollison and Marsh have most recently appeared with Folds (from NBC's "The Sing Off") with sold out audiences at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, Boston Pops Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
A classically trained soprano, Dollison has performed as a guest soloist under the direction of symphony conductors Michael Tilson Thomas with the New World Symphony as the featured soloist in Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and Erich Kunzel with the Naples Philharmonic's Duke Ellington / Hoagy Carmichael Centennial Concert Series. Most recently, Julia was the featured soloist with the Sacramento Master Singers in "Come Sunday: The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington" and has played the title role in Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors." Julia also performed as a lead soprano in the "Voices of Liberty" Americana show at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center, where she was featured as a main park attraction.
An experienced studio singer, Dollison can be heard as the soprano soloist in the Academy Award-winning "Vera Drake" film trailer (Fine Line Cinema 2004) and in film scores from "The Stepford Wives" (DreamWorks 2004) and "The Corpse Bride" (Warner Brothers Pictures 2005). She has also recorded commercials for Disney, Fox, Coca Cola, Pier One Imports, Go Girl Energy Drinks and Mattress Discounters, and has pre-recorded vocal tracks for the Florida Orange Bowl's "New Year's Event" halftime shows and parades, the 9/11 First Anniversary Memorial Service and The Rockettes' Radio City Music Hall "Christmas Spectacular" in New York.
In Fall 2015, Dollison will join the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado as they launch their new Vocal Jazz Degree Programs. Her role will include teaching applied jazz voice and overseeing the solo vocal jazz major component. From 2005 to 2013, Dollison and Marsh directed the vocal jazz program at Sacramento State, during which time the students and ensembles earned thirteen Down Beat Student Music Awards for Best Collegiate Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Best Collegiate Jazz Arrangement and Outstanding Jazz Vocal Soloist. Dollison has been an adjunct jazz studies faculty member at eight other universities including Metropolitan State University in Denver, The New School University in New York and at Florida's University of Miami, where she also earned her B.M. and M.M. degrees in studio music and jazz vocal performance, teaching with a full assistantship while earning her graduate degree.