MONICA SHRIVER is a musician, clinician and teaching artist based in Phoenix, Arizona. She has a diverse and creative professional career performing in big bands, jazz combos, pit orchestras, rock bands, chamber ensembles and orchestras, playing saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, and bari), flute, alto flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet and bassoon. Monica has performed in the pit orchestra for over 40 musicals. In addition to freelancing, Monica leads three of her own groups: Doublers Collective, the Monica Shriver Jazz Project and the Monica Shriver and Stan Smith Be Free Ensemble, with Columbus-based guitarist Stan Smith. She currently serves as the saxophone professor and adjunct faculty at Phoenix College, where she teaches humanities courses on the History of Jazz and Popular Music, History of Rock & Roll, and Hip Hop Music and Culture.
In 2010, she created and founded Doublers Collective, a doubling saxophone quintet with rhythm section, out of a desire to perform on multiple woodwind instruments in a progressive jazz setting. She now works both as its Artistic Director and performing artist. Doublers Collective (www.doublerscollective.com) has performed throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, at the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference and the 2013 Jazz Education Network Conference. In addition, new jazz works have been commissioned from Michael Abene, Alan Baylock, Michael Collins, and Mike Crotty for the groups unique instrumentation.
Monica has had the opportunity to perform with great artists such as Michael Buble’, David Foster, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Mel Brown, Andy Martin, Ronnie Cuber, Chris Vadala, and opened for Gil Scott-Heron, Joan Jett, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, among others.
In 2015, Monica teamed up with Service Design Guru, Marina Terteryan, to create The Brave Musician. Brave Musician is a place for musicians, students, and educators to learn to Be Brave. Focusing on “soft skills” needed to be a successful musician such as confidence, networking, creativity, promotion, business savvy, bravery, finding your own unique voice, asking for help, overcoming self-doubt, building a community, and more, Brave Musician offers courses, coaching, and a Brave community.
Monica is an active and sought-after jazz improvisation teacher and clinician for all instruments and ages. She has an active private studio of students taking lessons in-person and online. She has developed and presented clinics at schools and jazz festivals and for state and national conferences on jazz improvisation, doubling, saxophone, flute, clarinet and the business of music. Clinic topics have included:
- Being Brave and Finding Your Creative Confidence
- Interacting Within a Jazz Ensemble
- Finding Your Voice on Multiple Instruments: Techniques and Strategies for Playing and Improvising on More Than One Instrument (with Mike Crotty)
- Music Technology Tools for Jazz Musicians
- Beginning Approach to Doubling in Jazz (with Mike Crotty)
- Jazz for the Classical Musician
- Easy Ways to Start Improvising – No Experience Needed
- Playing the Changes: How to Improvise Over Major and Minor ii/V7/I’s.
- Panel Discussion: Self-Promotion, Social Media and Fundraising (Panelists: Monica Shriver, Doron Orenstein, Greg Fishman and Hart Linker)
Monica has presented clinics in a variety of settings, including middle schools, high schools, community colleges, and universities, as well as adjudicating jazz festivals for a variety of ages. In addition, she has presented clinics at the following:
- Mountainside Jazz Festival Clinician/Judge – 2017
- Capital University Jazz & World Music Festival Guest Artist and Clinician, Columbus OH – 2016
- Jazz Education Network Conference 2015, 2018
- Jazz Education Network Outreach Clinician – San Diego Conference 2015
- Arizona Music Educators Association Conference 2013, 2015
- Highland/ASU Jazz Festival 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Catalina Foothills Jazz Festival Clinician, Tucson, AZ – 2013, 2014
- North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference 2012
- Arizona Area Jazz Band Festival Clinician/Judge – 2013, 2014, 2015
- Arizona All-State Jazz Festival Judge – 2013
In addition to music, Monica is an abstract artist who specializes in combining abstract art and original compositions featuring jazz improvisation. For her art, Monica uses acrylics, paint pens, and sharpies on canvas and wood. She also sketches and self-published her first coloring book of her sketches in 2017. She produces the Abstract Art Creative Music Experience, which is an unique event that is half art show, half experimental jazz concert, both created by Monica. It’s a multi-sensory experience designed to stimulate the senses where the audience views colorful abstract art pieces on canvas, wood, and other found objects while listening to improvised and experimental jazz, much of it inspired by the art itself.
Monica is a successful grant writer, fundraiser, blogger, web designer, and active on social media. Monica earned the prestigious SURDNA Arts Teachers Fellowship Grant in 2010 to study jazz improvisation and a Professional Growth Grant from the Arizona Commission for the Arts in 2011. Monica is an artist with United States Artists Projects and a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas