College of Musical Arts
Adjunct Instructor (vocal jazz)
1070A Moore Musical Arts Center
Morgen seeks moments of connection in her music—with her students, the audience, and the musicians she performs with. Having come to thinking of herself as a singer somewhat late in her musical life after focusing on the piano, she has dedicated the last dozen years to shaping her voice into a versatile instrument for building genuine musical relationships.
“Morgen Stiegler sees herself as a storyteller, and the story she tells on her debut recording Reaching for the Moon is her own” (David Dupont—Sentinel Tribune). The songs on the recording—a collaboration with guitarist and mentor Chris Buzzelli that seeks to honor the duo recordings of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass—are ‘snapshots’ of her musical development that include songs from her childhood alongside familiar standards. One of two original compositions on the album is Better than This, a song Morgen wrote in response to the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. Recorded by Jay Dudt at Audible Images in Pittsburgh, the record also prominently features the album’s four-time Grammy-winning producer Jay Ashby (Nancy Wilson, Paquito D’Rivera, Count Basie Orchestra) on trombone as well as Olman Piedra (Nomo, Patrizio Buanne) on percussion. The record receives regular airplay on several radio stations and was number 2 on WBGU’s Jazz Top 10. Says Kim Nazarian of New York Voices: "Reaching for the Moon is a heart-to-heart conversation—an innocent dialogue of pure, sweet music!"
The album as well as Morgen's performances feature a mixture of jazz standards, pop tunes and intriguing singer-songwriter originals acknowledging influences from Carmen McRae to Norah Jones and Tori Amos. Morgen performs regularly in duo settings (with guitar or piano) as well as with her quartet (adding bass and drums), trio, or even larger ensembles. Over the past several years, favorite venues have included New Orleans’ Snug Harbor, Das Schlot in Berlin, Birdland in Hamburg, Chios Casino in Cluj (Romania), Rusty’s Jazz Café in Toledo, and the beautiful setting of the Sunset Jazz Festival in Grand Rapids, Ohio.
Morgen has appeared with members of the New York Voices and the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, accompanied by such fine sidemen as Marcello Pellittieri (Joe Henderson, Gypsy Kings), Klaus Mueller (Kenny Garrett, Joan Osbourne), Kip Reed (Donna Summers, Tania Maria), Roger Schupp (Chuck Berry, Amy Grant), Jeff Halsey (Tommy Flanagan, Clark Terry), and Doug Neel (The Student Loan, Aretha Franklin). As a member of vocal ensembles she has shared the stage with blues legend Robert Lockwood Jr. and a cappella groups m-pact and Naturally 7 among others.
Morgen has studied voice with New York Voices' soprano Kim Nazarian, and is co-founder and faculty at the BGSU’s New York Voices vocal jazz camp. She has had the opportunity to grow as a vocalist in lessons, master classes and workshops with Peter Eldridge, Jennifer Barnes and SJ Hasman-Selby, among others. She has directed and arranged for vocal jazz/ a cappella ensembles at Bowling Green State University and Tiffin University. As instructor for applied jazz voice and ethnomusicology at BGSU, where she also graduated with a Master’s in Ethnomusicology, her research has focused on the Native American connections to Jazz—an effort rooted in the heritage she shares and seeks in her music.