Jazz Studies & Performance Faculty
Full-time Jazz Studies Faculty
Bill Charlap (Director of Jazz Studies)
Bill Charlap, who was named Director of Jazz Studies beginning in September 2015, is considered one of the world’s premiere jazz pianists. He has performed with many leading artists, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. His 2015 all-Jerome Kern CD with Tony Bennett was nominated for a Grammy Award.
In 1997, Charlap formed the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, which is now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz. He has received two Grammy Award nominations: for Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein and The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard. A Blue Note Records recording artist since 2000, Charlap was pianist and musical director for The Blue Note 7, an all-star jazz septet celebrating the legacy of Blue Note Records on its 70th anniversary. The septet performed a 50-city tour and released the CD, Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records. Charlap also serves as the artistic director of New York City’s Jazz in July Festival at the 92nd Street Y and has produced several concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Born in New York City, Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy nomination for her recording of “My Coloring Book.” In 2005, Charlap and Stewart released the acclaimed CD, Love Is Here To Stay (Blue Note). He is married to renowned jazz pianist Renee Rosnes, with whom he often collaborates in a duo piano setting.
David Demsey (Coordinator of Jazz Studies, Transcription and Analysis, Improvisation I-III, Saxophone)
Education: D.M.A., Eastman School of Music; M.M., The Juilliard School, B.M University of Maine. Metropolitan Opera under James Levine and John Adams, including national broadcast of Adams' "Nixon in China;" New York Philharmonic since 1995, including 1997 Latin American and 2000 Europe Tours; US national tour with Kirov Orchestra/Valery Gergiev; American Saxophone Quartet for over a decade; New Hudson Saxophone Quartet. Performances with Clark Terry, Milt Hinton, Rufus Reid, Jim McNeely, Alan Dawson, John Riley, Steve Smith. Two solo recordings, of music by Alec Wilder and interactive computer music. Author: Alec Wilder Biobibliography, John Coltrane Plays "Giant Steps" (Hal Leonard Artist Transcription Series); chapter essay in Oxford Companion to Jazz. Contributing editor: Saxophone Journal, Jazz Player. Five Verve CD liner notes. Selmer saxophone clinician; workshops at over 90 colleges, festivals, including WP tours of Nanjing and Hangzhou, China, and Edward Said National Music Conservatory, Jerusalem/Ramallah. Curator, William Paterson Living Jazz Archives, containing archives of Clark Terry, Thad Jones and James Williams.
Timothy Newman (Jazz History, Ensemble, Thesis advisor)
Education: Ph.D. composition, New York University; M.M. Jazz Studies, Manhattan School of Music; bachelors in Jazz from William Paterson. Regular member of Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra for 10 years, plays regularly with Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. His Amosaya CD Altered Ego features his compositions and arrangements, also featured on Jim Snidero's Advance CD/Book Jazz Conception for Bass Trombone. Recorded, appeared with Slide Hampton and Buddy Morrow, Luis "Perico" Ortiz and Joe Magnarelli, Mel Torme, Scott Robinson, Mike Holober, Jack McDuff; The Mario Bauza Afro-Cuban Orchestra, Bill Mobley Jazz Orchestra, They Might Be Giants. Compositions and arrangements have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, North Sea, Montreux Jazz Festivals, NYU's Loewe Theater, and Yaddo, artists colony where he is a fellow. Presented papers and articles at conferences of the College Music Society and International Association of Jazz Educators. Current research involves an investigation into the process of music composition.
Pete McGuinness (Jazz Arranging)
Active professional New York City jazz trombonist/composer-arranger since 1987, has performed as trombonist with such groups as The Woody Herman Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Heath, and The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, and appears on numerous jazz CDs. He has led or co-led several of his own jazz groups, including The New York Trombone Conspiracy, and the Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra, his 16-piece big band which performs regularly in the NYC area with a debut CD “First Flight” (Summit Records), including McGuinness’s Grammy-nominated arrangement of the Charlie Chaplin classic song “Smile” and received two more Grammy nominations in 2014 for two arrangements on his big band CD "Strength in Numbers" (Summit). Awarded numerous commission grants, including awards from the NEA; music performed by Dave Liebman, Marvin Stamm, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and The Westchester Jazz Orchestra. As a vocalist, he is a past semi-finalist of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for vocalists and in 2010, won 1st prize in Jazzmobile Vocal Competition. Member of the New Jersey City University jazz studies faculty since 1994, and in 2011, was appointed professor of jazz arranging at William Paterson University. His published compositions/arrangements are available through Otter Music Distributors and Kendor Music, Pete’s educational degrees include Bachelor of Music (University of Miami, 1986), and Master of Music (Manhattan School of Music, 1987).
Adjunct Jazz Studies Faculty
Horacee Arnold (Percussion, Small Ensemble)
Performances: Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, Chick Corea, Don Cherry, Bud Powell, Billy Harper, Sonny Fortune, Hugh Masakela, tour of Europe with Billy Harper Quintet; tour of U.S. and Canada with Kenny Burrell Trio. Festivals: appearance with own group at 1990 JVC Festival, Saratoga, NY. Recordings: original compositions on Columbia records. Coordinator of New York's Jazzmobile program; coordinator of Jazz Division, New Jersey Summer Artist Teachers Institute.
Gene Bertoncini (Guitar, Ensemble)
Education: Notre Dame University. Performances: regular duo with Michael Moore, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich with Mike Mainieri and Sam Most, Tony Bennett, Margana King, Lena Horne, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws, Clark Terry, Paul Desmond, Paul Winter, Gerry Mulligan, Lalo Schifrin, Michel LeGrand, Tonight Show Orchestra. Solo albums, four duo recordings with Michael Moore, numerous New York studio recording credits. Latest releases are Quiet Now and Concerti on Ambient Records. Summer faculty at Eastman School of Music, Banff School of Fine Arts. Former NEC faculty member.
Cecil Bridgewater (Arranging, Ensemble)
Education: University of Illinois. Performed, toured and recorded with Horace Silver, co-led Bridgewater Brothers Quintet. Member, soloist with Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra from 1970-76. Performances with Max Roach from 1971 and into the 90s, Art Blakey, Randy Weston, Harold Vick, Jimmy Heath, Joe Henderson, Muhal Richard Abrams Orchestra, Frank Wess, Sam Rivers, Dizzy Gillespie, and recorded with Abdullah Ibrahim. Active as producer, arranger, composer for Muse record label, including sessions with Michael Carvin, Houston Person, Brother Jack McDuff. Ongoing involvement with Jazzmobile education efforts.
Armen Donelian (Piano, Ensemble)
Education: Columbia University, studies with Carl Bamberger (conducting), Ludmila Ulehla (harmonic analysis), Harold Seletsky (Schoenberg theory and counterpoint) and Richie Beirach (jazz piano). Performances and recordings with with Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Paquito D'Rivera, Mongo Santamaria and Billy Harper, and his own quintet and trio. Composer of more than 90 works, and producer of ten critically acclaimed recordings for the Sunnyside, Playscape, Odin and Atlas labels. His most recent CD release, All Or Nothing At All (Sunnyside), is a live concert with Dutch saxophonist/composer Marc Mommaas. A Fulbright Senior Scholar for work in Armenia, Finland and Switzerland, and recipient of six Jazz Performance Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Author of the two-volume book/CD set Training the Ear (Advance Music). WP faculty since 1993.
Bill Goodwin (Drums, Ensemble)
Performances: member of Phil Woods Quintet since 1974; tours and performances as member of Gary Burton Quartet for three years; with Bill Evans, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Jim Hall, George Shearing, Bobby Hutcherson, singers June Christy, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and the Manhattan Transfer. Four solo recordings, also with Hal Galper, Tom Waits, Tom Harrell; performer/producer on all Phil Woods' recordings since 1980; producer of recordings by Tom Harrell, Dave Frishberg, Keith Jarrett.
Vincent Herring (Saxophone, Small Ensemble)
Early studies at California State University, then member of U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point. First tours with Lionel Hampton's big band, worked with Nat Adderley, Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, The Horace Silver Quintet, Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, Larry Coryell, Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, The Mingus Big Band, Nancy Wilson, The Roy Hargrove Big Band, Arthur Taylor, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carla Bley, Phil Woods Sax Machine, with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center, as guest soloist with John Faddis and The Carnegie Hall Big Band. Has made 14 CDs as a leader, and on over 200 recordings as a sideman.
Steve La Spina (Bass, Small Ensembles)
Education: University of Illinois, DePaul University. Tours/recordings with Stan Getz, Toots Thielemans, Joe Williams, Benny Carter, Chet Baker, Pat Martino, Zoot Sims, Tommy Flanagan, Richie Bierach, Jim Hall, and Marian McPartland. Five solo recordings, six with Jim Hall; sideman on over 90 recordings with Pat Martino, Dick Katz, Marian McPartland, Benny Carter, Fred Hersch, Vic Juris, Joe Diorio, Andy LaVerne, and Larry Schneider. Composer of chamber music and jazz; guest composer with NYC Jazz Composers Collective.
Harold Mabern (Piano, Small Ensemble)
Performances: accompanist for Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Dakota Staton, and others. Performed with the Jazztet in the '60s; later with Lionel Hampton, J.J. Johnson and Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Roland Kirk, Lee Morgan, and many others. Currently with the George Coleman Quartet and Octet. Tour of Japan with Joe Newman, Frank Gant and Jamil Nasser, summer 1989. Numerous major U.S. and overseas festivals, recordings on the Prestige, Blue Note, CTI, and Impulse labels.
Nancy Marano (Voice, Ensemble)
Education: BM, Manhattan School of Music. Author of book/CD set “Musicianship for the Jazz Vocalist” (Advance Music). Featured in a New Yorker profile by Whitney Balliett, by Dr.Billy Taylor on CBS Sunday Morning, Wall Street Journal, Jazz Improv Magazine and NPR "Crossover." Named "Top 4 Jazz Vocalists of the Year" by IAJE Journal in recognition of "If You Could See Us Now!" CD with arranger Manny Albam w/ Metropole Orchestra. Eight CDs as leader and two as guests of Benny Carter and Dick Hyman. Performances: North Sea Jazz, JVC, Charlie Parker Festival with Benny Carter, Norway Floating Jazz Festival, IAJE, "Women In Jazz" at Kennedy Center, Alec Wilder Festival, guest soloist with Henry Mancini Institute Big Band, Radio Big Band of Slovenia and WDR Radio Big Band of Koln with Michael Abene. Latest recording: “Magic” w/guests Michel Legrand, Claudio Roditi. Vocal Editor, "Bill Evans Fakebooks, Volumes I and II." Master classes in Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Groningen; Artist in Residence at The Conservatory of Amsterdam. A member of WPU faculty since 1986.
Marcus McLaurine (Bass, Jazz Ensemble)
Education: University of Nebraska, studies with Jack Kulawich. Performances: over a decade of touring with Clark Terry, also Kenny Burrell, Jon Hendricks, McCoy Tyner, Abbey Lincoln, Cleo Laine, Lou Donaldson, Abdulah Ibrahim and the Count Basie Orchestra. Recordings with Clark Terry, Kenny Burrell, Abbey Lincoln, Michael Cochrane, Grover Mitchell, John Hicks, Hank Jones, Vincent Herring, Bob Trowers, Jay Hoggard, Nancy Monroe, Spirit of Life Ensemble and an appearance in the motion piecture "Cotton Club" with the Cab Calloway Band.
Jim McNeely (Arranging, Composition/Arranging, Ensemble)
Education: University of Illinois, early performances, tours, recordings: four years with Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Ted Curson, also with Art Farmer, Rufus Reid. Five years as member of Phil Woods Quintet. Member of Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, 1978-84, 96-present, now musical director of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, with two VJO CDs dedicated solely to his arrangments. Also musical director of Danish Radio Big Band, as well as guest conductorships of German WDR Big Band and Stockholm Jazz Orchestra. Co-director of the BMI Jazz Workshop.
Chico Mendoza (Latin Jazz Ensemble)
Performances: Performances with Latin groups at Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall; with George Benson and Stanley Turrentine at Newark Symphony Hall; at colleges and clubs. Recordings: His fourth album, "El Sonida," received a Latin Grammy Nomination in 1979. Host of "Salsa Meets Jazz" Monday evenings at The Village Gate in New York City. WP faculty since 1980.
Paul Meyers (Guitar, Ensemble, Improvisation)
Education: MM, Manhattan School of Music, BM, New England Conservatory. Performed or recorded with Kenny Barron, Bob Brookmeyer, Gary Burton, Santi Debriano, Eliane Elias, Clare Fischer, Sonny Fortune, Marc Johnson, Mel Lewis, Wynton Marsalis, Donny McCaslin, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Bill Mays, Rufus Reid, Annie Ross, Steve Wilson. Toured with Jon Hendricks since 1993, recorded three CDs and toured with Andy Bey from 1997 to 2006. Critically acclaimed CDs: Paul Meyers Quartet with Frank Wess (Miles High), World on a String (Miles High), Euforia (Mapleshade), Spirit and Samba (Mapleshade), Brasil and Company (Cathexis) and Welcome Home, a highly acclaimed solo guitar CD of Paul’s original music.
Bill Mobley (Jazz Eartraining, Ensemble)
Education: M.M., Manhattan School of Music. Performances: Donald Brown, Marvin "Smitty" Smith Sextet, Goeff Keezer, T.S. Monk, James Williams, George Coleman Octet, Mingus Dynasty Band, big bands led by Clifford Jordan, Maria Schneider and Toshiko Akiyoshi, and his own Space Time Jazz Orchestra. Tours of Europe and Japan. Recordings: recordings as a leader on his own Space Time Records label, and as a sideman with Bill Easley, Harold Mabern, Bill Pierce, James Williams. Teaching: former faculty, Berklee College of Music, conducts composition, arranging and trumpet clinics internationally.
John Mosca (Trombone, Ensemble)
Education: Juilliard School. Performances: co-leader of Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, member of Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Mel Lewis Orchestra since 1975; performances with Pierre Boulez, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams and Stan Getz, Buddy Rich, Jimmy Heath Big Band, concerts at the United Nations with the Barry Harris Sextet. Many recordings as a member of Thad Jones/Mel Lewis/Vanguard Orchestra, two CDs with trumpeter John McNeil.
Kevin Norton (Jazz Eartraining, Vibraphone, Drums, Ensemble)
Education: M.M. Manhattan School of Music; B.S. CUNY. Compositions: Composer of works for The Kevin Norton Ensemble, TILT (Brass band), Vision Festival Orchestra and other various chamber and jazz ensembles. Numerous performances, tours, major festivals with Anthony Braxton, Connie Crothers, Fred Frith, Joëlle Léandre, John Zorn, John Lindberg, Scott Robinson & many others. His recordings include, For Guy Debord (in nine events), Change Dance (Troubled Energy) (For the activist Kathy Change), and other hour long/CD length, through composed, multi-movement compositions. MacDowell Colony fellow and other numerous awards and grants for composition work. WP faculty since 1998.
Rich Perry (Saxophone, Small Ensemble)
Tenor saxophone soloist with Orchestras of Thad Jones-Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Orchestra since 1977. Featured soloist with Maria Schneider Orchestra since 1991, with John Fedchock New York Big Band. Has been a member of groups led by Harold Danko, Fred Hersch, George Mraz, Dave Stryker. Has recorded with Joe Henderson's Big Band in 1992, with Ron McClure, Paul Bley, and Lee Konitz, as well as a number of CDs under his own name on the Steeplechase label.
Janet Reeves (Piano, Jazz Class Piano)
Education: M.M. Western Washington University, B.M. Indiana University. Skilled in both classical and jazz piano, principal keyboardist for the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra since 1992 and an accomplished accompanist. Jazz concerts include accompanying artists such as Clark Terry, Alan Dawson, George Garzone, and Jerry Bergonzi. Has taught at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Shelby State College in Memphis, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and the University of Southern Maine in Portland. WPU faculty since 2000.
David Rogers (Trumpet, Small Ensemble)
Education: M.M., Manhattan School of Music; B.M., University of Louisville. Study with Leon Rapier, William Vacchiano, Allen Dean and Carmine Caruso. Performances: two years with Louisville Orchestra, member of the orchestra for "The Producers", "Bring In Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk," numerous other Broadway shows, with Mel Lewis Orchestra, Radio City Theater Orchestra, Gerry Mulligan, Machito, The New York Salsa All Stars, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Buster Poindexter and others. Performances on TV jingles, movie soundtracks, David Letterman Show.
James Weidman (Piano, Ensemble)
Education: B.M., Youngstown State University. Majored in performance and music education. Performances: currently a member with the Joe Lovano Quartet and Nonet, nine years with Abbey Lincoln, toured extensively with Steve Coleman and Five Elements, and the M-Base Collective Cassandra Wilson, Marty Ehrlich, Ray Anderson and was for many years musical director/pianist with vocalist Kevin Mahogany. Co-leader of ensemble TAJA with T.K. Blue. Producer/Arranger of three critically- acclaimed CD's featuring the vocalist Ruth Naomi Floyd. Has toured internationally and with own trio and Quartet. Latest CD is entitled "All About Time."