ALISON POTERACKE is a jazz composer, arranger, and social activist from Petaluma, California. Poteracke received her B.M. in Jazz Studies from Sonoma State University where she studied with Dr. Douglas Leibinger and Ken Cook. She also received her M.A. in Composition from Washington State University where she studied with Grammy Award Winner Brian Ward, Pulitzer Prize Nominee Dr. Greg Yasinitsky, Dr. Scott Blasco, and Dr. Melissa Parkhurst.
Sonoma State University was where she first discovered her passion for jazz writing under the study of Dr. Douglas Leibinger, Director of Jazz Studies. There, Poteracke was able to develop her voice as a jazz arranger and composer. Incorporating jazz and classical idioms, Poteracke cultivated a representation of big band writing that allowed her to explore both worlds simultaneously. She graduated cum laude from SSU in 2014.
While studying at Washington State University, Poteracke earned incredible opportunities as a composer and educator. As a Teaching Assistant, Poteracke directed the WSU Jazz Big Band II, garnering an Honorable Mention at the Lionel-Hampton Jazz Festival in 2017. Additionally, studying with renowned composers Brian Ward and Dr. Greg Yasinitsky, she explored Third Stream writing for big band in two different socio-political projects: We the People and The Humanity Project: A Jazz Suite. She has presented each of her completed suites at the ISJAC Conference in 2017 and the WSU GPSA Research Exposition in 2018. Poteracke graduated with her M.A. in 2018 receiving several awards including the Association for Faculty Women Founders' Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Master's Student Achievement Award in the Arts, and the Mu Phi Epsilon Jazz Study Grant.
Now, Poteracke is working towards her debut album as a professional composer and jazz vocalist. This project is entitled Real People: Conversations Nationwide and features similar socio-political themes as her previous projects. She is also currently working on another suite entitled The Innocence Project: A Suite which is a combination of works for small jazz ensemble and jazz big band.
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