All Jazz Room Series concerts take place in Shea Center for Performing Arts (unless otherwise noted)
ADVANCE SALES Admission: Public $15 • William Paterson Community and Seniors $12 • Non-William Paterson students $8 • William Paterson students free with ID (unless otherwise noted)
DAY OF EVENT SALES Admission: Public $18 • William Paterson Community and Seniors $15 • Non-William Paterson students $11 • William Paterson students free with ID (unless otherwise noted)
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)
Shea Center for Performing Arts
Admission: $15 general; $12 faculty/staff/seniors;
WP students free
100 percent of the ticket receipts and donations for this event go to the Mulgrew Miller Scholarship Fund
This special concert will feature Mulgrew Miller's students and colleagues, including Armen Donelian, David Demsey, Bill Goodwin, Vincent Herring, Steve LaSpina, Marcu McLaurine, Chico Mendoza, Paul Meyers, Bill Mobley, Tim Newman, Pete McGuinness, David Rogers and James Weidman, with special guests.
Veteran guitarist Gene Bertoncini has been a mainstay on the jazz scene since the 1960s, and a member of the WP jazz faculty for a decade. He was a member of the NBC Tonight Show band, was with Buddy Rich along with Mike Mainieri and Sam Most, and performed with Tony Bennett, Morgana King, Lena Horne, Lalo Schiffrin, Michel Legrand, Clark Terry, Paul Desmond, Paul Winter, and co-led a longtime duo with bassist Michael Moore. His latest collaborations have been with the young jazz violin star Sara Caswell, who joins him on this concert. Caswell has earned wide recognition for her work with Grammy-winning bassist Esperanza Spaulding in her Chamber Music Society, and has collaborated with John Clayton, Charlie Byrd and many others. This string quartet setting featuring Bertoncini and Caswell is sure to be a highlight of the Jazz Room season.
Pianist Joanne Brackeen was the very first Jazz Room artist, over 35 years ago in April 1978. Her adventurous spirit and landmark career serve as a model for William Paterson’s programming and its students. She was the first and only female member of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and performed extensively with saxophonists Joe Henderson and Stan Getz in the seventies. Since that time, she continues to have a stellar solo career, leading her own trios, composing over 300 pieces, and maintaining her original solo voice. In this concert, she collaborated with groundbreaking saxophonist Greg Osby, who is a veteran of bands led by Jack DeJohnette, Andrew Hill, Herbie Hancock, Steve Coleman and many others. His innovative approach and truly unique saxophone voice make this duo partnership a memorable concert event.
Vocalist Gregory Porter continues to make a huge impact on the international jazz scene, Although he appears as a “new artist” he has an old soul, combining a deep jazz and blues sensibility with a 70s soul-R&B sound - Nat King Cole meets Bill Withers and Donny Hathaway. Born in Los Angeles and now based in Brooklyn, Porter’s first major exposure was his powerful work in the Broadway show, “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues.” His second CD, “Be Good” earned a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance, solidifying his unique crossover status, and has been recognized worldwide, garnering awards and airplay in the UK, Germany, and Norway, earning a Dutch Edison award. Porter’s exciting, evocative vocal depth will bring an exciting vibration to the Shea stage.
Legendary saxophonist and composer Jimmy Heath joins David Demsey and the WPU Jazz Orchestra. Now a regular artist in residence during the summer jazz series, this concert showcases Heath’s very different side, as a veteran big band leader and arranger. Jimmy Heath is one of the true original voices of modern jazz, having a worldwide reputation since the late 1940s, sitting with John Coltrane in the sax section of Dizzy Gillespie’s big band in the fifties, maintaining a huge solo career, and gaining critical acclaim for his co-leadership of The Heath Brothers with his brothers, drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath and the late bassist, Percy Heath. He also has a huge reputation as an arranger, and this concert features Heath not only as a soloist, but also as the composer and arranger of much of the program.
Ken Peplowski is a true clarinet virtuoso who has recorded, collaborated or toured with such diverse artists as James Moody, Cedar Walton, Leon Redbone, Steve Allen, Benny Goodman, Madonna, Bill Charlap, the Cincinnati Pops, and on Woody Allen movie soundtracks. With over 40 CDs as a leader, and over 400 as a sideman, his lyrical sound is heard in all corners of American music. He has headlined at the Hollywood Bowl and at numerous New York jazz clubs, and his eclectic approach and widely varied stylistic palette have led him to be described as “sounding the way Benny Goodman might if he had kept evolving and listening to new music.” Peplowski’s quartet for this concert will be comprised of three major New York players: pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson.
Trumpeter Eddie Henderson continues to have remarkable career. A member of Herbie Hancock’s legendary Mwandishi band in the early seventies, he was on the forefront of a number of fusion projects. He came to his music through his mother, who was a Cotton Club dancer with the likes of Bojangles Robinson and the Nicholas Brothers. More recently in his career, Henderson has returned to his more traditional hard bop jazz roots – at the same time as he has maintained his long career as a physician, with degrees from UC Berkeley and Howard University, as well as musical studies at the San Francisco Conservatory. His first Jazz Room appearance promises to be as fascinating and varied as his career and life.
Eddie Henderson on YouTube
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.
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.