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May 29, 2013, volume 3, number 18

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To the William Paterson University Community

I am deeply saddened to inform the University community about the death of our colleague and faculty member Mulgrew Miller, who served as professor of music and director of the University’s Jazz Studies Program. He was 57.

Mulgrew brought his vast array of musical and life experiences to our campus each day. He was an incredibly talented musician whose impact on our students is immeasurable, and we are grateful for how generously he shared his talents and knowledge in engaging with these budding musicians.  He was a wonderful member of our University community and we will miss him.

Mulgrew was appointed director of jazz studies in 2005.  An internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, he began his professional career at age 20 with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, led by the late Mercer Ellington, and was a veteran of tours and recordings with many jazz greats, including Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the Woody Shaw Quintet, and the Tony Williams Quintet. He was featured on more than 400 recordings, and continued to perform worldwide with his own Trio, with his five-piece group Wingspan, and with the groups of bassists Ron Carter and Dave Holland. A native of Greenwood, Mississippi, Mulgrew studied at the University of Memphis during the 1970s, where one of his mentors was a fellow student, James Williams, who preceded him as William Paterson’s jazz studies director from 1999 until his death in 2004.

On behalf of the University, I offer our condolences to Mulgrew’s family. We will update the University community when information is available on funeral and memorial arrangements.


Kathleen Waldron



William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road, Wayne, New Jersey 07470     973-720-2222     president@wpunj.edu