February 5, 2024

MSM Spotlight: MSM Jazz Arts singer June Cavlan is a featured artist in Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Wayne Shorter on February 7

This story was published prior to the FEB 7 MSM Jazz Orchestra tribute to Wayne Shorter.

June Cavlan (MM ’25) is a first-year graduate jazz voice student at MSM.  She’s a featured performer in the MSM Jazz Orchestra concert Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Wayne Shorter (HonDMA ’21) taking place on FEB 7 at 7:30 PM in Neidorff-Karpati Hall.

June speaks with us about her time at MSM, the upcoming MSM Jazz Orchestra performance, and her musical influences!


June Cavlan is an award-winning vocalist, arranger, and teacher from Santa Cruz, California. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Jazz Voice at Manhattan School of Music. Having previously studied at The University of Miami’s prestigious Frost School of Music in Miami, Florida, she now resides in Manhattan, balancing her roles as a full-time performer, student, and teacher. At Frost School of Music, June studied under Dr. Kate Reid and other renowned educators such as Dafnis Prieto, John Daversa, Grammy-winning artist Luciana Souza, and Grammy-nominated artist Cyrille Aimee. Her talent has earned her numerous awards including being named a 2019 YoungArts winner in solo voice, multiple DownBeat magazine accolades, and a prestigious 2022 DownBeat Magazine Award for Best Undergraduate Jazz Vocalist. Along with her studies, June is an active member of the vocal trio The Sunhouse Singers and frequently takes on the role of bandleader. Her debut album slated for release in spring 2024 promises to further solidify her position as a rising star in the jazz scene.

MSM Jazz Orchestra
Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Wayne Shorter (HonDMA ’21)

7:30 PM

Jim Saltzman, Conductor

With guest artists Melissa Aldana, saxophone, and Ingrid Jensen, trumpet

Free, no tickets required 

Neidorff Karpati Hall 

Tell us about the upcoming MSM Jazz Orchestra concert —  what makes it special?

June: I’m so excited to be a part of the Wayne Shorter tribute concert. Wayne Shorter is an artist the jazz community lost recently, and his impact is one of the greatest in history. I feel lucky to celebrate his music with this band led by the incredible Jim Saltzman. There are also many student arrangements involved on the concert which makes it extra special. You are really hearing Wayne through the voices of the students.

How has your first year at MSM been so far?

June: It’s been really great. I absolutely love living in New York, and MSM has been the perfect place for me. The classes and professors are very involved and allow us to explore new things. Being in a Brazilian ensemble and taking lessons with Jean Baylor have been a couple of major highlights for me.

What is your advice for those who are preparing to audition for jazz voice studies with MSM Jazz Arts?

June: I advise those auditioning for jazz voice studies at MSM to prepare as much as they can for these auditions. Practice with real humans, not just IRealpro robots! I also think a really important part of this audition process is showing your joy and expression in this music. Make sure your love, respect, and appreciation for the material is at the forefront of what you display to the panel.

Why did you decide to study jazz voice at MSM?

June: I decided to attend MSM for multiple reasons. Some of these professors really stood out to me as people I’d love to work with — performers such as MSM Dean of Jazz Arts Ingrid Jensen, Jean Baylor, Theo Bleckmann, Jon Faddis, and many more. I also really wanted to prioritize living in New York, the place I knew I’d grow the most as a young jazz vocalist. Living in this city has brought me so many opportunities. I also knew that the course load and class content at MSM is what I was looking for in my education — from studying chromatic solo approach’s with Phil Markowitz to singing great music with the big bands.

“A really important part of this audition process is showing your joy and expression in this music. Make sure your love, respect, and appreciation for the material is at the forefront of what you display to the panel.”

Who are your musical influences?

June: I have many musical influences — my parents had good taste! Vocally my main influences are Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Horn, Anita O’Day, Cass Elliot, and Cécile McLorin Salvant. When it comes to arranging and writing, I take a lot of inspiration from musicians like Fred Hersch, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, and Oscar Peterson.

You have 75,000 followers on TikTok — how has your social media presence impacted your life and artistry?

June: The social media music stuff is still something kind of new in my life. It has brought me a lot of great opportunities. It’s nice to have an audience who enjoys the music I make. There are hard parts of it, too, of course. Constantly focusing on pleasing an online audience and a finicky algorithm makes its hard to always sing what I want to sing. I definitely treat the social media videos like a job and try to make sure I prioritize doing what I want as well. I’m extremely thankful for the audience I’ve reached and I’m especially excited because my debut album is coming out this year! I know that TikTok will be super important with promoting the album!

Follow June (@JuneCavlanJazz) on TikTok!

Watch June Cavlan perform the jazz standard Pennies From Heaven on PIX11 News.

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