MTSU jazz faculty welcome 2 new colleagues to swin...

MTSU jazz faculty welcome 2 new colleagues to swing into 2022-23 Jazz Artist Series

New MTSU School of Music jazz faculty pianist Pat Coil, left, and vocalist Julia Rich are shown with the MTSU Jazz Artist Series and Jazz Studies Program logos in this promotional graphic for their Thursday, Sept. 29, concert with five other university jazz faculty members.

Middle Tennessee State University‘s School of Music will celebrate its own jazz greats Thursday, Sept. 29, when professors step onstage to swing into the 23rd year of the popular Jazz Artist Series.

A quintet of the school’s veteran faculty musicians will perform with two of their newest colleagues, pianist Pat Coil and vocalist Julia Rich, Sept. 29 in Hinton Hall inside the Wright Music Building.

Pat Coil

Coil, who’s currently the keyboardist for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Michael McDonald, is joining the MTSU faculty from the University of North Texas and will showcase his skills as an accompanist, soloist and composer.

Julia Rich

Rich, an MTSU alumna who’s working toward her master’s degree in music at the university, has toured the world as the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s vocalist and performed with renowned artists ranging from the Mills Brothers to Rosemary Clooney.

“Each one of these colleagues of mine has a special approach to the music, whether it’s playing, composing or arranging,” says Jamey Simmons, professor of jazz trumpet and director of MTSU’s Jazz Studies Program.

“It’s exciting to play with such a diverse set of people and make good music.”

Tickets for the Sept. 29 concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hinton Hall inside the Wright Music Building at 1439 Faulkinberry Drive, are $12 each. Admission is free for MTSU students, faculty and staff with a current ID.

Discounts also are available for area band students and educators.

Concertgoers can buy tickets online at Tickets also will be for available for purchase, with a debit or credit card only, in the Wright Music Building lobby from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29.

Jazz Artist Series logo web

The newcomers will take the stage for the performance with Simmons and their fellow MTSU faculty jazz artists Don Aliquo on saxophone, Chip Henderson on guitar, Brian Mueller on drums and Jonathan Wires on bass.

“Pat will bring his unique voice to the group as an accompanist, soloist and composer in this special concert,” said Simmons. “You’ll hear firsthand why Pat is one of the most in-demand players in Nashville and why we’re thrilled to have him here.” 

Jamey Simmons, MTSU Jazz Studies professor
Jamey Simmons

The late Buddy DeFranco, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master clarinetist who played with Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie and served as music director for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, praised vocalist Rich’s mastery of the Great American Songbook’s 20th-century jazz standards, pop songs and show tunes.

“I’ve had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Julia perform on many different occasions through the years, and she’s always the consummate pro,” he said. “Her distinctive style comes from her varied experiences, and her ability to communicate with an audience is truly expert.”

Jazz Studies Program logo

The MTSU Jazz Artist Series in the university’s School of Music brings internationally renowned jazz artists to campus for performances and educational workshops every semester.

Past guest artists have included some of the most important musicians and educators in jazz history alongside MTSU alumni on their way to making jazz history, too.

For more information about MTSU’s Jazz Artist Series, please visit

For details on programs of study and special events in the MTSU School of Music in the College of Liberal Arts, visit or call 615-898-2493.

— Gina E. Fann (

Click on the image for tickets.