Doug Talley featuring Millie Edwards
Doug Talley has performed with such jazz luminaries as Jay McShann, Clark Terry, Bob Mintzer, Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Bobby Watson, Karrin Allyson, Byron Stripling, Ignacio Berroa, Randy Brecker, Scott Robinson and Gary Foster. He is a familiar face throughout the Midwest as a jazz performer and educator. Talley has also appeared at the 18th & Vine Festival, the Kansas Jazz and Blues Festival, the Kansas City Spirit Festival, the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival, Mayport Jazz Festival, and in Las Vegas with The Four Freshman, The Platters and The Diamonds.
Doug Talley is the recipient of the 2010 Kansas Governor's Arts Award and the 2009 Johnson County Library Pinnacle Award for arts in education. Talley is a Selmer saxophone artist and clinician and has served as a clinician with numerous college and high school musicians, including the University of Minnesota, Coe College, Kalamazoo College, Kansas State University, University of Nebraska, University of South Dakota, Central Missouri State, Emporia State and Kansas University, among many others. Talley was a faculty member of the Great Plains Jazz Camp for twelve years, and was featured at the 1996 MENC convention in Kansas City directing the Shawnee Mission (Kansas) Honors Jazz Band. He was a clinician at the 1997 International Association of Jazz Educators conference and a faculty member of the 2003 IAJE Teacher Training Institute.
Honored by Kansas City magazine as one of the "40 Under 40 Who Move and Shake Kansas City in Business, Politics and the Arts," Talley was also recognized in Downbeat magazine "Auditions" in 1986. His discography includes four recordings on the Sea Breeze label for the Trilogy and Boulevard Big Bands as well as the Doug Talley Quartet's four CDs, Town Topic -- "...reminiscent of the Modern Jazz Quartet." (Jam magazine), Night and Day – which received national airplay, Kansas City Suite – a musical depiction of the quartet’s hometown, and By Request, an offering of the quartet's most requested music.
Millie Edwards is quoted as saying she was destined to be a singer/musician. She started playing piano at only four, and the viola at ten. She credits Elton John’s “Your Song” for helping her shift into high gear with her music. “It was rock with a classical feel, and I said, ‘I could do that.’ I purchased every Elton John songbook I could and started doing coffee houses.”
Edwards is known in Kansas City for her big voice and wide vocal range. She has been a regular on the Kansas City jazz and blues circuit, performing at the best clubs and in radio and television spots. Music critics have praised her as revealing “a confident, full-range voice that has no doubt been heard in church on many a Sunday.” Her singing has been characterized as being both honest and dynamic, and her phrasing is credited for finding new reflections from old, familiar words.