In 2005, critics praised Dollison's self-released debut CD "Observatory" as “rare, fresh and substantive” (JazzTimes Magazine), “richly imaginative" (Wall Street Journal) and “a deeply musical virtuoso" (Washington Post). In 2010, Dollison and husband Kerry Marsh released their ArtistShare® recording project "Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider." The album received an abundance of critical praise, including DownBeat Magazine's Best Albums of 2010 and Jazziz Magazine's Top 3 Vocal Groups of the year, along with Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices. Soon after, Dollison and Marsh joined forces with alto Jennifer Barnes and bass Greg Jasperse to form a vocal quartet called Vertical Voices, which continues to perform across the USA and Canada.
Since winning the DownBeat Magazine Student Music Award for Best Collegiate Jazz Vocal Soloist in 2000, Dollison’s uniquely personal brand of solo vocal jazz has been 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) for the past twenty years.
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 Sara Bareilles, Ben Folds and Imogen Heap.
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, and The Rockettes' Radio City Music Hall "Christmas Spectacular" in New York City.
From 2015 to 2019, Dollison served on the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado, teaching applied jazz voice and overseeing the solo vocal jazz major degrees component. Julia's private voice students from UNC earned four DownBeat Awards in that time. Previously, Dollison and Marsh directed the vocal jazz program at Sacramento State, during which time the students and ensembles also earned many DownBeat Awards. 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.
Kerry Marsh is an arranger and publisher specializing in music for vocal jazz ensembles. Terry Teachout, arts critic and contributing reviewer to the Wall Street Journal, said that “Kerry’s gorgeous charts, with their wide-spaced harmonies and tingling dissonances, are as good as postmodern vocal group writing gets.” In high demand as a commissioned arranger for many of the nation's top educational vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles, Marsh has a large and varied catalog of music performed regularly around the world. Kerry publishes over 200 compositions and arrangements at KerryMarsh.com, and also has published arrangements through UNC Jazz Press and Sound Music Publications.
For six years, Kerry was a member of the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he directed two advanced vocal jazz ensembles and taught applied jazz voice. Under his direction, the UNCs Vocal Lab and Northern Colorado Voices earned six Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards in the Large Graduate Level Vocal Jazz Ensemble Category. In 2016 and 2018, Vocal Lab performed at conferences of The Jazz Education Network. Previously, Kerry served for ten years as the director of vocal jazz ensembles at Sacramento State, during which time his ensembles earned nine Down Beat Awards and were invited twice to perform at conferences of the International Association for Jazz Education.
Along with his wife and musical collaborator Julia Dollison, Kerry released his highly ambitious debut album, Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider, in March 2010 through ArtistShare. Endorsed by the Grammy-winning composer herself and funded largely through fan contributions, the album features Schneider's music as written for her jazz orchestra, but with the horn parts entirely sung, and the rhythm section consisting of Frank Kimbrough, Ben Monder, Jay Anderson and Clarence Penn (of The Maria Schneider Orchestra). Vertical Voices was met with great critical praise, earning a four-star review in Down Beat Magazine. Since 2010, Dollison and Marsh have performed regularly with the vocal quartet called Vertical Voices, also featuring Greg Jasperse and Jennifer Barnes. The quartet performs the music of Schneider as well as Pat Metheny, Nando Lauria and more, including original compositions by the group.
Marsh is busy year-round as an adjudicator and clinician for jazz festivals and workshops. Kerry has directed all-state jazz choirs in California, Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, Arizona, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Illinois, New York, Maine, Iowa, New Hampshire All State Jazz Choirs as well as the Nassau County (NY) Honor Jazz Choir. Since 2009, Kerry has worked with singer/songwriter Ben Folds as a vocal arranger and background singers director in numerous performances with major symphony orchestras, including the Boston Pops, The Washington National Symphony and The LA Philharmonic in performances at The Hollywood Bowl.
Kerry graduated in 2000 from the University of Kansas with a B.M.E. in Music Education and in 2003 with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas.