The Summer Jazz Room Series

Cecil Bridgewater

The Jazz Workshop Faculty
featuring Cecil Bridgewater

Monday, July 20, 2015, 7:30 pm

Opening night of the Summer Jazz Room features the Summer Jazz Workshop faculty, with Tim Newman on trombone, James Weidman on piano, Steve LaSpina on bass, and a special surprise guest on drums. Joining the group for this performance is a new Workshop faculty member—Cecil Bridgewater. Bridgewater, a veteran trumpeter, composer, arranger and teacher, has been on the adjunct faculty of the WP jazz studies program since 2005. He has toured and recorded with Max Roach, Horace Silver, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, and has played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne, and Art Blakey. His music has been played by Lena Horne, Vanessa Rubin, the Uptown String Quartet, the Count Basie Orchestra, and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Cecil Bridgewater


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Warren Vaché

The Warren Vaché Quartet

Tuesday, July 21 2015, 7:30 pm

New Jersey native Warren Vaché’s swinging cornet moves from the familiar to the unpredictable within the turn of a phrase. Through a synthesis of influences across the spectrum of jazz history, Vaché has established an emotive style that resists classification. In the 1970s he was in the Benny Goodman Band, played in the house band at Condon’s in New York City, and recorded and toured worldwide with players affiliated with the Concord record label. Vaché has many recordings as a leader, most recently Warren Vaché: Ballads and Other Cautionary Tales on Arbors Records.

Warren Vaché


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Dena DeRose

Dena DeRose and the
WP Summer Jazz Orchestra,
directed by Stephen Marcone

Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 7:30 pm

Dena DeRose’s music is innovative, direct, and swinging. Like the iconic singer-pianists Nat King Cole and Shirley Horn, DeRose is recognized among the best artists in both areas, with acclaim from DownBeat and other major jazz publications. In 2010, she participated in Marian McPartland’s live 30th Anniversary Piano Jazz radio program, playing alongside piano legends Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, and Mulgrew Miller. An educator as well, DeRose is professor of jazz voice at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. Her latest release, We Won’t Forget You…An Homage To Shirley Horn on HighNote Records, features bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson. She is joined on this performance by the Summer Jazz Orchestra directed by Stephen Marcone.

Dena DeRose


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Steve LaSpina

The Steve LaSpina Quartet

Thursday, July 23, 2015, 7:30 pm

A longtime member of the William Paterson University jazz community, bassist and composer Steve LaSpina appears with his quartet, comprised of some of the New York’s most creative musicians. LaSpina is a skillful instrumentalist, known for his big sound, irrepressible swing, and exciting solo work. An in-demand sideman, he has worked with Jim Hall, Stan Getz, Benny Carter, Marian McPartland, Jerry Bergonzi, and Fred Hirsch, to name a few. He has released more than a dozen CDs as a leader. Appearing with him on this concert will be Billy Drews on saxes, Matthew Fries on piano, and WP alumnus Jon DiFiore on drums.

Steve LaSpina


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Heath Brothers/Tony Purrone

The Heath Brothers Reunion Quintet
with Tony Purrone

Friday, July 24, 2015, 7:30 pm

The Heath Brothers Quintet returns to the Jazz Room, this time featuring Tony Purrone on guitar. From 1978 until 1982, Purrone toured and recorded as a regular member of the original Heath Brothers Band. He then went on to a wide-ranging career playing with a veritable “who’s who” of jazz, making important recordings with the Heaths, Lenny White, Grover Washington, and Ed Thigpen, among others. Purrone joins co-leader Jimmy Heath, 2015 Summer Workshop Artist-in-Residence and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. Heath has performed with just about every leading jazz musician from the 1950s onward, and his compositions and arrangements have been in the regular repertoire of Clark Terry, James Moody, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, and numerous others. Co-leader Albert “Tootie” Heath will appear on drums, along with regular members Jeb Patton on piano and David Wong on bass.

Jimmy Heath
Albert Heath
Tony Purrone


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Jazz Room Series - Fall 2015

Sundays at 4:00 pm in Shea Center Auditorium (unless otherwise noted)

Admission: Public $15 • William Paterson Community and Seniors $12 • Non-William Paterson students $8 • William Paterson students free with ID. (unless otherwise noted)
$3 fee added on tickets purchased on show day

Each Jazz Room concert is preceded by a “Sittin’ In” meet-the-artist session one hour prior to performance. Free to all ticket holders. Audience members have a chance to meet and interact with that day’s artist in a question-answer format. (unless otherwise noted)


Allen and Sportiello

Pianist Rossano Sportiello Quartet
featuring saxophonist Harry Allen

Sunday, October 18, 2015, 4:00pm

This opening Jazz Room event promises to be memorable, featuring the much talked-about Italian pianist Rossano Sportiello as he recalls the spirit and clarity of Oscar Peterson and Dave McKenna, displaying some truly world-class stride piano chops. He will be joined on this concert by the swinging tenor saxist Harry Allen, a fixture on the New Jersey swing scene and increasingly heard at international jazz festivals and cruises.

Rossano Sportiello
Harry Allen


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Adnet and DaFonseca

Maucha Adnet with Duduka DaFonseca

Sunday, October 25, 2015, 4:00pm

Vocalist Maucha Adnet has become known as one of the world’s leading purveyors of Brazilian song, through her appearances with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, and on trumpeter Randy Brecker’s award-winning CD Into the Sun. She is joined by the renowned Grammy-winning Brazilian drummer Duduka DaFonseca, who is a veteran of performances with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gerry Mulligan, John Scofield, Wayne Shorter, Tom Harrell, and is a member of Rufus Reid’s Trio.

Maucha Adnet on Facebook
Duduka DaFonseca


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Vince Giordano/Nighthawks

Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks

Sunday, November 7, 2015, 8:00pm

Vince Giordano’s lifelong passion for early swing has led him to become one of the most world’s most authentic, high-energy voices of this style. Giordano’s eleven-piece band, the Nighthawks, is a gathering of stellar soloists who have spent years honing their tight ensemble to perfection. The band has appeared in such movies as The Cotton Club, the Howard Hughes-based The Aviator, and won a Grammy for their work in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. In the last six months, WP alumnus Paul Wells has joined as the band’s featured drummer, adding his voice to an already powerfully swinging band.

Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks


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Jerry Dodgion

The Big Band with
Saxophonist/Composer Jerry Dodgion

Sunday, November 15, 2015, 4:00pm

Although many will recognize Dodgion’s membership in the original Thad Jones Mel Lewis sax section in 1966, he has also had a number of other historic roles, including his 1962 Soviet Union tour with Benny Goodman’s band, his longterm accompaniment of Billie Holliday as a member of the Vernon Alley quintet, and his featured role on one of Frank Sinatra’s few small-group recordings. This concert will showcase Dodgion’s saxophone and his compositions, including his widely played composition “Thank You” and his arrangement of Marian McPartland’s “Ambience.”

Jerry Dodgion on Facebook


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Davis/Kaneko/Sanchez

Richard Davis with Aska Kaneko and Angelica Sanchez
CD recording session co-produced with Seed Artists

Sunday, November 22, 2015, 4:00pm

This live CD recording session will feature the iconic bass of Richard Davis, heard on such landmark recordings as Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunchand others with Kenny Dorham, James Moody, Booker Ervin, and Pat Martino – and as the original bassist of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra in their 1966 debut. He will be joined by composer/violinist Aksa Kaneko, internationally known and in demand as a new-music pioneer; and pianist and WP jazz alumnus Angelica Sanchez who has performed with Joe Lovano, Dave Ballou, Tim Berne and Mark Dresser.

Richard Davis
Aska Kaneko
Angelica Sanchez on All About Jazz


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Charles McPherson

Charles McPherson

Sunday, December 6, 2015, 4:00pm

A product of Detroit’s musical environment, saxophonist Charles McPherson is deservedly known as one of the great speakers of the bebop language. A veteran of performances with Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Phil Woods, and guest appearances on recordings with Charles Mingus, Barry Harris, Art Farmer, Kenny Drew and most recently with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis, McPherson was the featured saxophonist in the Clint Eastwood film Bird. His iconic saxophone voice will provide and exciting finale to this fall’s Jazz Room Series.

Charles McPherson


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Clark Terry sits in with students

Clark Terry performs with the WP Jazz Orchestra onstage at the Jazz Room in Shea Auditorium.

About the Jazz Room Series

Unique among college and university programs, the William Paterson University Jazz Studies program is one of the few in the nation with an emphasis on small-group playing, improvisation, and a genuine commitment to the jazz tradition. Founded by music faculty member Martin Krivin and joined by trumpeter/arranger Thad Jones in 1973, the program was led by bassist Rufus Reid for twenty years, and by the late jazz pianist James Williams until 2004. The influential jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller was appointed director in 2005, and the program is co-led and coordinated by David Demsey. The artist/teacher faculty is made up of world-class New York area professionals.


William Paterson University is home to the Living Jazz Archive, which includes the personal music archive of legendary trumpeter and educator Clark Terry, as well as the archives of Thad Jones and James Williams. The Living Jazz Archive provides students, researchers, and visitors with the opportunity to explore original jazz manuscripts and other materials that are an important part of jazz history.


The program is a true jazz environment in which students learn firsthand about the jazz world and the requirements for becoming a successful professional musician. Jazz majors come to William Paterson this year from twenty-six states and six foreign countries.


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The University also presents the Summer Jazz Workshop for high school students, as well as the popular Jazz Room Series. Now entering its thirty-fourth year, the Jazz Room Series is the longest-running campus-based jazz concert series in the nation. With a tradition of encompassing the complete spectrum of jazz from New Orleans to the avant-garde, it features world-class professionals and William Paterson student ensembles. The University's Summer Jazz Workshop, active since 1994, is a week-long intensive program in late July, featuring classes, small-group rehearsals and performances, and clinics taught by William Paterson resident faculty and special guest clinicians.


The Jazz Room has received over two decades of continuous grant support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, as well as numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The series has been featured on national and metropolitan-area media, including recorded broadcasts.

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