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Todd A. Buffa Memorial Annual Scholarship for Vocal Jazz



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Todd Allyn Buffa was a beautiful spirit with an engaging smile, zest for life and love of friends and family. Born in Wisconsin, Todd spent his childhood living around the world, notably in the Middle East and Canada, until his family settled in Green Bay during his high school years. He began his formal music education at UW-Green Bay. A celebrated jazz vocalist and arranger, Todd was a three-time Grammy nominee and rose to national acclaim as a member of the group, Rare Silk. His work has been recognized in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. After a decade of international touring and recording, Todd taught at the University of Colorado at Denver. Todd later returned to Green Bay where he immersed himself in teaching, performing, writing music and adjudicating at music clinics. He released his first solo album, 'Curious Orchids', in 2011 and he also participated in a children's jazz album recorded in Boulder, Colorado that received a Grammy nomination shortly after his passing.

He was a perfectionist when it came to his music. Todd liked to think of his creations as being artisanal, crafted with great care and love, and they were. But, while he was hard on himself, he was always generous to others, and kind enough to be patient with his students and critics as they struggled to keep up with him. Todd was a wonderful artist, a great thinker and a natural philosopher. He had greatly enjoyed the last year recording, writing and planning his resurgence and working alongside his friends. Todd loved to spend hours discussing music and business and just about anything. He was a wonderful conversationalist and an equally good listener, and as long as there was great coffee nearby, he was happily both.

In Todd's memory, this scholarship was established at UWGB by Lynn Beardsley and John Salerno with the support of Todd's friends to support talented and dedicated vocal jazz students.