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)


Barry & Larry

Barry and Larry:
Pianist Barry Harris and Saxophonist Larry McKenna

Sunday, February 8, 2015, 4:00 pm

Piano legend Barry Harris returns to the Jazz Room stage, joined by the veteran tenorist Larry McKenna in a night of bebop and standards. Barry’s legacy comes as much from his decades of teaching as from his historic playing career, and his return represents a much-awaited reconnection to William Paterson’s talented jazz students. Saxophonist McKenna is a veteran of Woody Herman’s band and a legend in his own right, having played for decades with Buddy DeFranco, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis and many more.

Barry Harris
Larry McKenna


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Oscar Hernandez

Pianist/Composer Oscar Hernandez
w/William Paterson Latin Jazz Ensemble

Sunday, February 22, 2015, 4:00 pm

Oscar Hernandez, pianist, leader and founder of the Grammy-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra, joins Chico Mendoza and this year’s small-group version of the WP Latin Jazz Ensemble in a concert of Latin standards and original compositions that will create a powerful set. Hernandez has performed with such Latin music giants as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Julio Iglesias, Willie Colón, and has produced best-selling recordings for Rubén Blades, Daniel Ponce, Eddie Torres and others, while his piano has been heard on a number of albums with the great Ray Barretto and many more.

Oscar Hernandez


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Anat Cohen

Clarinetist/Saxophonist Anat Cohen

Sunday, March 1, 2015, 4:00 pm

Anat Cohen’s music has no boundaries. Her clarinet and saxophone adapt easily to the worlds of swing, jazz, klezmer, Brazilian music, and more. Her performance showcases her versatility and wonderful stage presence, making Anat one of the most in-demand artists on the New York Jazz scene.

Anat Cohen


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Bria Skonberg

Trumpeter Bria Skonberg

Friday, March 5, 2015, 8:00 pm

The young trumpeter Bria Skonberg has created something of a jazz sensation through her early dedication and modern interpretation to the music and style of Louis Armstrong. She has collaborated with Wycliffe Gordon, Warren Vaché, Victor Goines, John Pizzarelli and others, and has been hailed as “one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” by the Wall Street Journal.

Bria Skonberg


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Lou Donaldson

The Lou Donaldson Quartet

Sunday, March 29, 2015*, 4:00 pm
*Makeup date from November 23, 2014-Tickets from that date will be honored.

Lou Donaldson is one of the living legends of the alto saxophone, gaining a well-deserved reputation for being one of the leaders in blending the great traditions of blues and bebop. Donaldson’s career includes a long list of collaborations, tours and recordings with a who’s-who of major jazz artists including Philly Joe Jones, Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, and Milt Jackson. His exciting, long-awaited Jazz Room concert will demonstrate that his technical prowess and blues power have not lessened by age.

Lou Donaldson


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Rhoda Scott

Organist Rhoda Scott
with the William Paterson Jazz Orchestra

Sunday, April 12, 2015, 7:30 pm

Newark native and historic organist Rhoda Scott combines with the exciting WP Jazz Orchestra to re-create Rhoda’s historic 1976 collaboration with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, In New York. This legendary recording featured an album’s worth of original arrangements by Thad Jones, many based on Rhoda’s wonderful original compositions. These long-lost arrangements were donated several years ago by Scott to the Thad Jones Archive at William Paterson University, and the high-energy band will be playing from those rarely heard manuscripts.

Rhoda Scott


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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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