The Studio Jazz Ensemble, led by Fred Radke, performs big band arrangements and repertory selections. The Modern Band, led by Cuong Vu, performs innovative arrangements of jazz standards, selections from the outer limits of the genre, and new original compositions.
Fred Radke joins the School of Music faculty in Fall 2011 as a part-time lecturer in the Jazz Studies program. A well-known big-band conductor and authority on big-band history, Radke directs the University of Washington's big band, the UW Studio Jazz Ensemble.
A professional musician since the age of fifteen, Radke has toured extensively around the world as leader and member of the Harry James Orchestra. He has also performed as lead trumpeter with many other well-known ensembles and performers, including the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Dick Jergens Orchestra, the Modernaires, Johnny Ray, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme and numerous others.
In addition to his professional career as a trumpeter, conductor, recording artist, compose/arranger, and producer, Radke is a musical clinician and educator who most recently has served as the resident instructor of Jazz Studies at North Seattle Community College.
Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a generation of innovative musicians. A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing talents to a wide range of artists including Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Cibo Matto, and Mitchell Froom.
A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Cuong was awarded the Colbert Award for Excellence: The Downtown Arts Project Emerging Artist Award. As an assistant professor in jazz studies, he was recently awarded the University of Washington's prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award and is a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow. In 2002 and 2006, Cuong was a recipient of the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group. He's been recognized as one of the top 50 young Jazz Artists in an article called "The New Masters" from the British magazine, "Classic CD" and in 2006 was named the Best International Jazz Artist by the Italian Jazz Critics' Society. Amazon listed Vu's "Come Play With Me" on their "The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time".