University News

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa to Perform in William Paterson University’s Spring Jazz Room Series Finale on April 6

--Concert is part of University’s 2014 Cross-Cultural Arts Festival: South Asia

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, whose sound combines progressive jazz and South Indian classical music, will perform in the finale of the spring 2014 Jazz Room Series at William Paterson University in Wayne on Sunday, April 6 at 4 p.m.  The concert, which begins at 4 p.m. in the Shea Center for Performing Arts on campus, is also part of the University’s 2014 Cross-Cultural Arts Festival: South Asia. The festival, which runs from March 23 through April 12, features the impact of the fine arts, music and cinema in facilitating cross-cultural empathy and developing global connections.

Prior to the concert, Mahanthappa will be the guest for “Sittin’ In,” an informal discussion about jazz, at 3 p.m. in Shea Center 101. Admission is free to all Jazz Room ticket holders. Tickets are available in advance at the Shea Center Box Office at 973.720.2371 or for $15 general, $12 for senior citizens and William Paterson faculty, staff and alumni, $8 non-William Paterson students and free for William Paterson students. There will be an additional $3 charge per ticket purchased on show day.

Mahanthappa, who is also a composer, brings an exciting combination of Indian Carnatic music and post-Coltrane jazz in a concert that celebrates his South Asian culture.  His music reflects his own experience as a second-generation Indian-American. He has collaborated with pianist and 2013 MacArthur Award winner Vijay Iyer and he was also asked to join the working group of legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette. A collaboration with the renowned Carnatic saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath resulted in Mahanthappa’s critically acclaimed 2008 CD Kinsmen (Pi).

He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, Chamber Music America and the American Composers Forum. He has been named alto saxophonist of the year in DownBeat’s 2011, 2012 and 2013 International Critics Poll and for four years running by the Jazz Journalists’ Association (2009-2012).

Launched in 1978, The Jazz Room is one of the largest and most prestigious college-sponsored jazz events in the country. Performers include renowned professionals who encompass the complete spectrum of jazz, as well as William Paterson’s own student ensembles. The series has won numerous grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for its innovative programming.