The Jazz Room Series

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)

Tickets for Fall 2014 events will go on sale in July, please check back often! - Thank you!
For more information and pre-orders, please call the Box Office at 973-720-2371

Russell Malone

Russell Malone Quartet

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm

Russell Malone’s first Jazz Room appearance comes at the height of a long career that began with the great organist Jimmy Smith. Together, they recorded three Grammy-nominated albums. He was a member of the Ron Carter’s Golden Striker Trio (along side the late WP jazz director Mulgrew Miller) and a current member of the Sonny Rollins’ Band as well as his own quartet.

Russell Malone

Fred Hersch

Fred Hersch Trio

Sunday, November 2, 2014, 4:00 pm

The respected status of this great pianist is not only evidenced by his slew of prestigious awards, but the fact that he was the first pianist in the Village Vanguard jazz club’s 75-year history to play week-long engagements. Hersch has collaborated with a wide array of major musicians, including Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, and Bill Frisell, as well as sopranos Renee Fleming and Dawn Upshaw.

Fred Hersch

Marlene VerPlanck

Marlene VerPlanck Meets Scott Robinson and The Saxes

Sunday, November 9, 2014, 4:00 pm

Jazz vocalist Marlene Verplanck has maintained a career that features jazz, the American Songbook and a huge studio vocal recording career that included background vocal dates with Frank Sinatra – and famous jingles for Campbell’s Soup® “Mmm Mmm Good” and Winston™ “…tastes good like a cigarette should.” Marlene’s Jazz Room performance features her regular all-star rhythm section plus a four-saxophone section led by master saxophonist Al Regni, with arrangements by the great arranger Billy VerPlanck.

Part of the proceeds will go toward the J. Billy VerPlanck Scholarship Fund for trombonists at William Paterson University.

Marlene VerPlanck


Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Sunday, November 16, 2014, 4:00 pm

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (VJO) is a 16-piece powerhouse that shares a close history and mission with the WP jazz studies program. Both were founded by trumpeter/arranger Thad Jones, and both are involved with the performance and preservation of Thad’s music. VJO includes three WP faculty members: tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, pianist Jim McNeely and trombonist/spokesperson John Mosca. This concert promises a good representation of Thad’s genius including some rarities.

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Lou Donaldson

Lou Donaldson Quartet

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 4:00 pm

Lou Donaldson is one of the living legends of the alto saxophone, gaining a well-deserved reputation for being a leader in blending the great traditions of blues and bebop. Lou has collaborated, toured and recorded with a who’s-who of major jazz artists including Philly Joe Jones, Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson, and was a member of Art Blakey’s group. His long-awaited Jazz Room concert will demonstrate his technical prowess and blues power.

Lou Donaldson

New York Voices

New York Voices
with the William Paterson Jazz Orchestra

Sunday, December 7, 2014, 4:00 pm

The multi-talented New York Voices are one of today’s premiere jazz vocal groups with styles ranging from doo-wop to swing to modern jazz. This exciting concert will feature the Voices foursome (Kim Nazarian, Darmon Meader, Lauren Kinhan and Peter Eldridge) in collaboration with the William Paterson Jazz Orchestra. The show will feature some of the Voices’ holiday arrangements set for this very special time of year.

New York Voices

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.


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.