Article in Rebel Yell: Meet UNLV professor, Jennifer Bellor

Visit article here:

Video, Audio, and Photos from Performance of “Noir” by Grace Kelly and Seattle Women’s Jazz orchestra, Nov. 4, 2014

Here is an audio recording of “Noir” on the SWOJO website:

Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra performs “Noir” in November


I am thrilled to announce that I will have the opportunity to share my music with the Seattle Jazz Women’s Orchestra November 3rd and 4th, featuring Grace Kelly on alto saxophone! My composition Noir was selected as the 2014 winner of the annual SWOJO Composition Contest. The honorable mention went to Jihye Lee for her composition “Deep Blue Sea.”

The judges were SWOJO’s guest artist, Grace Kelly, Juno award winning jazz composer Christine Jensen, and our music director, Daniel Barry:

Here is some feedback from the judges on “Noir”:

– “Strongest compositionally. This piece reminds me of Ornette’s collaboration with Howard Shore for the film Naked Lunch.”

– “Really beautiful and haunting. Reminded me of some Maria Schneider pieces and Billy Childs arrangements I’ve heard.”

– “Strongest compositionally with a contemporary big band approach to it.”

Here is a link to the recording “Noir” that I submitted for this contest. “Noir” was premiered by the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble.


The Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra will perform it as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival. The concert is on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at the Triple Door in Seattle, WA.

Aaron Staebell performs “AfterHours” at Rochester Fringe Festival

At the 2014 Rochester Fringe Festival, Aaron Staebell will feature world premieres by 15 contemporary composers who were commissioned to write new works for the drum set. Written works will be interspersed with improvisations by Staebell, who is known for his unique, engaging performances – this presentation of brand new music should be no different.


When Aaron approached me about writing a drumset solo for him to perform at the Fringe Festival, he told me his goal was to collect a number of pieces for solo drumset that are NOT stylized in a jazz, rock or latin context, learn them, perform them, submit them to workshops/conferences and maybe eventually publish a collection of these works. I jumped at the opportunity to write a piece him him, not only because I have felt honored to collaborate with him on so many of my composition projects, but also because I continually want to learn more about writing for drumset.

Solo Drum Solo
Aaron Staebell, drums
Bernunzio Uptown Music
September 21st and 22nd, 6pm
Rochester, NY
Tickets: $10

Visit the Fringe Festival page:

Eastman Saxophone Project Performs “Skylark Lullaby” at NASA Conference

NAZRS138175_Jennifer Bellor_061SkylarkLullaby
The Eastman Saxophone Project (ESP) premiered Skylark Lullaby at the NASA Conference March 2014 at the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign, and also performed it at the Eastman School of Music in April 2014. Chien-Kwan Lin asked me to compose a piece for ESP last August, and I was extremely excited for the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group!


1947927_10101545245043396_1203564550_nThe main material of Skylark Lullaby came from a melody at the beginning of my opera Duffy’s Cut. I often like to create different versions of a piece, since I usually it in different ways. While I was writing the opera, I knew I wanted to reuse some of this material to create a new piece for saxophone choir.
For more information on purchasing the score and parts, please contact me.

Naz Wind Symphony and Eastman Wind Orchestra Premiere of “Electric Vortex”

This is a live recording of my composition Electric Vortex performed by the Eastman Wind Orchestra, December 13, 2013, under the direction of Jared Chase, featuring the jazz band “Bending and Breaking” based in Rochester, NY:

ElectricVortexWills McKenna, tenor saxophone
Wendy Eisenberg, electric guitar
Matt Krols, electric bass
Aaron Staebell, drums
I enjoy writing music for both jazz and classical musicians, and many of my compositions over the last three years have showcased these musicians performing together. When conductor Jared Chase approached me over the summer about writing a piece for both the Eastman Wind Orchestra and the Nazareth Wind Symphony to perform, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to write a piece for wind ensemble featuring the local jazz band, Bending and Breaking led by drummer Aaron Staebell. I envisioned writing a wind ensemble piece featuring Aaron’s band ever since he premiered my composition Uprising (2012) with the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
I wrote Electric Vortex to showcase this collaboration. I was inspired by powerful images I found online of an electric vortex, and envisioned the improvisation group to be the ‘eye’ in this powerful whirlwind.

ElectricVortex-NYSSMAElectric Vortex was written for a consortium of 10 ensembles, and was premiered by the Nazareth Wind Symphony under the direction of Jared Chase. For the premiere at Nazareth, I created a special version of the piece, where I wrote specific parts for students in the wind symphony who also played jazz: Jake Wark, tenor sax; Matt Bevan-Perkins, vibraphone; Tori Valente, congas.

Bending and Breaking at Rochester Fringe Festival 2013

Jennifer Bellor and Aaron Staebell present Bending and Breaking: A Collaboration between Composers, Performers, and Dancers. Aaron Staebell’s band Bending and Breaking performs new works by Jennifer Bellor, Dave Chisholm, Colin Gordon, and Staebell. Joining Bending and Breaking are dancers from Rochester City Ballet, Eastman, and Nazareth College.

Tickets are $10 and are available via, and at the door.
See the facebook event page for more info:
Bending and Breaking
Colin Gordon, saxophone
Dave Chisholm, trumpet
Wendy Eisenberg, guitar
Matt Krol, bass
Aaron Staebell, drums


A View from Above by Colin Gordon
Chris Collins and Megan Kalmer, dancers from the Rochester City Ballet

NoirFringeCircles by Jennifer Bellor
Dancers from Eastman School of Music:
Keenan McKoy – Senior (Saxophone Performance)
Ainsley Kilgo – Junior (Saxophone Performance)

Strange Loop by Aaron Staebell
#ProjectMovement dance company, Nazareth College
Angelo Jasa – Senior (Marketing major)
Hillary Faulkner – Alumni Class of 2013 (Psychology)
Jaynie Ventura – Senior (Education major)
Kristina Jewell – Sophomore (Music Therapy major)

555443_10101256075207066_2001754711_nCloud City by Dave Chisholm
Rheah, choreographer
Brette Benedict and Elisabeth Martin, dancers from the Rochester City Ballet

Interlude – free improvisation
Gloria Gambino, choreographer

Peace Bridge by Aaron Staebell
Brette Benedict, choreographer
dancers from the the Rochester City Ballet
Serpentine by Dave Chisholm
Dancers from Eastman School of Music:
Keenan McKoy – Senior (Saxophone Performance)
Ainsley Kilgo – Junior (Saxophone Performance)

Open Water by Colin Gordon
#ProjectMovement dance company, Nazareth College
Angelo Jasa – Senior (Marketing major)
Hillary Faulkner – Alumni Class of 2013 (Psychology)
Jaynie Ventura – Senior (Education major)
Kristina Jewell – Sophomore (Music Therapy major)

NoirDancersNoir by Jennifer Bellor
Elisabeth Martin, choreographer
Chris Collins and Elisabeth Martin, dancers from the Rochester City Ballet
Special Thanks to:
Jamey Leverett, Artistic Director of the Rochester City Ballet
Heather Roffe, Assistant Professor of Dance, Nazareth College
Alexa Tarantino, saxophone