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NKU hosting multi-day diversity event with award-winning vocalist René Marie

Feb. 25, 2022
Rene Marie

Credit: John Abbott


Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts (NKU SOTA), in association with LAG Productions, LLC and Jazz Alive, Inc with support from Ohio Arts Council, will be hosting a four-day long event from March 23-26, 2022, entitled “Sistahs Who Swing.” The event will celebrate and highlight African American women artists, educators, and businesswomen. There will be discussion and reflection on a variety of issues that all women in business and the arts face in the pursuit of successful careers and lives.

A panel of successful African American women will present issues relating to careers in the arts, education, and business. Internationally renowned and award-winning jazz vocalist René Marie will be the guest artist-in-residence/clinician for this event. The celebration will conclude on Saturday, March 26 with a performance by René Marie and the NKU Jazz Faculty. The event is supported by the NKU SOTA Tom and Christine Neyer Family Visiting Artist Fund and NKU College of Arts and Sciences Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fellowship. All events are free and open to the public.

About René Marie:

In a span of two decades, 11 recordings and countless stage performances, vocalist René Marie has cemented her reputation as not only a singer but also a composer, arranger, theatrical performer, and teacher. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and rooted in jazz traditions laid down by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other leading ladies of past generations, she borrows various elements of folk, R&B and even classical and country to create a captivating hybrid style. Her body of work is musical, but it’s more than just music. It’s an exploration of the bright and dark corners of the human experience, and an affirmation of the power of the human spirit.

René has been twice Grammy-nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2017 for Sound of Red and 2015 for I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt. Perhaps more than most artists, René understands music’s capacity to heal and inspire. Part of her musical philosophy has been focused on giving back.

“I have never forgotten the early lessons learned about the power of music,” she says. “Today, I try to imbue that feeling of emotion into every song I write and every song I sing – every time. I am very happy to be alive today, doing the things I love to do – singing, composing, writing, teaching and arranging.”

Event Details:

Thursday, March 24

Sistahs Who Swing Panel Discussion
“Staking your Place: African American Women in Business, Education & the Arts”
10:30 a.m.-noon // Otto Budig Theater – NKU University Center, UC 270

The panel is composed of successful African American women in the Greater Cincinnati area:

  • Panelist Moderator: Laura Gentry, President, Jazz Alive
  • Music: Kathy Wade, Jazz Vocalist and CEO, Learning Through Art, Inc.
  • Education/Music: Angela Powell Walker, Artistic Director, SCPA
  • Business/Culinary: Taren Plesinger-Kenebrew, Local Business Entrepreneur
  • Community: Virinda Garland Doddy, NKU Alum - Southgate School Alum, 2nd Vice President Northern Kentucky Branch NAACP
  • Artist/Educator/Business: Adoria L. Maxberry, Artist and Owner, Most outGROWing, LLC
  • Literature: Shelia Williams, Author

Keynote Speaker / Art & Design Speaker Series: Josie Love Roebuck
1-2 p.m. // Otto Budig Theater – NKU University Center, UC 270

Friday, March 25

Guest Speaker: René Marie
10:30 a.m.-noon // NKU Greaves Concert Hall

Saturday, March 26

René Marie performance with NKU Jazz Faculty
8 p.m. // NKU Greaves Concert Hall

For more information and to make reservations for select events, please visit