Faculty and Staff

Rufus Reid

Rufus Reid

Artist In Residence

For the last 50 years, Rufus Reid has been a consistent, formidable, and influential presence in the jazz world as a bassist and educator. His performances and recordings with Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon, Andrew Hill, The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra and Quartet, Kenny Barron, Stan Getz, J. J. Johnson, Lee Konitz, Jack DeJohnette, to name but a few, has cemented his stature as one of the great living deans of the jazz bass. A distinguished educator as well, for 20 years Rufus was Director of the Jazz Studies Program at William Paterson University and was instrumental in building the program’s international reputation as one of the leading jazz schools in the world. He has recorded more than a dozen albums as a leader, and authored a seminal text for bass methodology, The Evolving Bassist. Rufus’ reputation continues to evolve as a composer; he has written for strings, jazz ensembles of varying sizes, solo bass, symphony orchestras, and has received two Grammy Nominations for his compositions.

Cecil Bridgewater

Cecil Bridgewater

Trumpet, Small Ensemble, Arranging

Tours and recordings with the Max Roach Quartet and Double Quartet, Horace Silver, The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. Played with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne, Art Blakey, and Wynton Marsalis. Compositions and arrangements recorded and performed by Lena Horne, Vanessa Rubin, the Uptown String Quartet, the Count Basie Orchestra, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Received commissions from the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Atlanta Arts Festival, University of Illinois, Jazzmobile, and Meet the Composer. Releases as a leader include I Love Your Smile and Mean What You Say. Studies at the University of Illinois. WP Jazz Studies faculty since 2005.

Steve La Spina

Steve La Spina

Bass, Small Ensemble

Tours and recordings with Jim Hall, Stan Getz, Toots Thielemans, Joe Williams, Benny Carter, Chet Baker, Pat Martino, Zoot Sims, Tommy Flanagan, Richie Bierach, and Marian McPartland. Five solo recordings with own group on Steeplechase Records, one on Italy’s Ram label; sideman on more than 90 recordings. BM, University of Illinois. William Paterson jazz instructor since 1999.

Marcus McLaurine

Marcus McLaurine

Bass, Small Ensemble

Studied with Jack Kulawich of the American Symphony while in the 590th Air Force band. He has studied at The University of Nebraska at Omaha, Queens College and Empire State College. Regular bassist in Clark Terry’s Quintet for thirty years, with numerous tours and recordings to his credit. Performed with Kenny Burrell, Jon Hendricks, McCoy Tyner, Abbey Lincoln, Cleo Laine, Lou Donaldson, Abdullah Ibrahim, Joe Williams and the Count Basie Orchestra. Recorded with Kenny Burrell, Abbey Lincoln, Michael Cochrane, Grover Mitchell, John Hicks, Hank Jones, Vincent Herring, Bob Trowers, Jay Hoggard, Nancy Monroe, and the Spirit of Life Ensemble, and has appeared in the motion pictures, Cotton Club and Sweet and Lowdown. Has been a William Paterson University Jazz instructor since 1997.

Timothy Newman

Timothy Newman

Workshop Director, Trombone, Small Ensemble

Associate Professor, William Paterson University Jazz Studies program. Veteran of New York’s big-band and freelance scene. Performed and recorded with, among others, the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Slide Hampton’s World of Trombones, the Mario Bauza Afro-Cuban Orchestra, the Bill Mobley Jazz Orchestra, the Manhattan Bones, They Might Be Giants, as well as numerous Broadway show orchestras. PhD, New York University; MM, Manhattan School of Music; BM William Paterson. Full-time faculty member at WP since 2004.

James Weidman

James Weidman

Piano, Small Ensemble

Played and recorded with Max Roach, Woody Herman, Archie Shepp, James Moody, Greg Osby, Bobby Hutcherson, Slide Hampton, Jay Hoggard, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Gloria Lynne, and blues diva Dakota Staton. Appears internationally with saxophonists Joe Lovano and Marty Ehrlich, and trombonist Ray Anderson. Accompanist for some of the world’s most celebrated singers, including legendary jazz vocalists Abbey Lincoln and Cassandra Wilson. Performed at major venues and festivals, including the Montreux, Monterey, Newport, North Sea, and JVC Jazz Festivals, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Blue Note, Sweet Basil, Village Vanguard, Iridium, and Jazz Standard. William Paterson University jazz instructor since 2000.

Charlie Dougherty

Charlie Dougherty

Assistant Director, Bass, Arranging

Charlie Dougherty is a bassist, composer, arranger and educator. He is the co-founder and co-leader of Big Beat, a 19-piece big band, and conductor and arranger for PJ Rasmussen's Boardwalk Jazz Band. He has performed with Duane Eubanks, Bill Mobley, Scott Robinson, Lewis Porter, Mauricio de Souza's Bossa Brasil, and written music for Joe Lovano, Diane Moser's Composers Big Band, and the Williams College Jazz Ensemble. M.M. William Paterson; B.A. Williams College. William Paterson Summer Jazz Camp instructor since 2012.

Jon DiFiore

Jon DiFiore

Head Counselor, Drum Set

Jon Di Fiore is a drummer/composer performing throughout New York City. Major projects include two albums of his own compositions: Yellow Petals (2014, Third Freedom Music) featuring the Jon Di Fiore Trio, and Patience (2012) for mixed ensemble featuring saxophonist Rich Perry and trumpeter Joe Magnarelli. The Jon Di Fiore Trio is completed by Adrian Moring, bass, and Billy Text, piano. His music is a fresh yet insightful take on the jazz tradition, influenced by jazz, classical, and world music. Both of his albums have received critical acclaim from major publications, and can be heard on radio stations across the United States, Europe and Japan.

Cecil Alexander

Cecil Alexander

Staff, Guitar

Cecil Alexander is a guitarist, composer, and arranger from Muskegon, Michigan. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2016 with a B.M. in Jazz Composition, and from William Paterson University in 2019 with a M.M. in Jazz Performance. In 2016, he co-founded the group Visen, which released it's first EP, Shoulder Deep, in 2017. Cecil was the 1st place winner of the the 2017 Wilson Center Jazz Guitar Competition, as well as the 2018 Lee Ritenour Six String Theory Competition in the jazz category. Some of his greatest influences include Peter Bernstein, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Vince Staples. Cecil is currently recording music for his first album, as well as a new full-length album by Visen.

Kelly Green

Kelly Green

Staff, Piano, Voice

Kelly Green is a pianist and vocalist from Central Florida currently residing in New York City. She attended University of North Florida for her B.M and William Paterson University for her M.M., both in Jazz Piano performance. She studied with Lynne Arriale, Mulgrew Miller, Harold Mabern, and James Weidman. Throughout the past two years she has performed with, among others, Bill Goodwin, Philip Harper, Winard Harper, Rich Perry, Todd Herbert, Paolo Benedettini, Andrea Brachfeld, Josh Evans, Stacy Dillard, and Jonathan Barber. She currently performs weekly in NYC and the surrounding area at venues such as Cleopatra's Needle, Rue B, and the 9th Note Her next project is recording her first jazz album in the fall of 2016.

Abel Mireles

Abel Mireles

Saxophone

Abel Mireles is rapidly gaining a reputation as an up-and-coming saxophonist. He recently obtained a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University where he studied with Bill Charlap, Cecil Bridgewater, James Weidman, Armen Donelian, Rich Perry and Vincent Herring. Abel has performed as leader and sideman in Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theater, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Jazz Club, Smalls Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz Club, City Winery, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill NYC. He has appeared on national TV working for NBC under music director and producer Ray Chew at “Showtime at the Apollo” and “Christmas at Rockefeller Center” working with artists such as John Legend, Martina McBride, Auli’i Cravalho, Christian McBride, Bell Biv DeVoe, Brandy, Anthony Hamilton, Naturally 7, Otis Redding III, Vernon Reid, Sonia Sanchez, Valerie Simpson, Dionne Warwick, Leela James, Bebe Winans, and Paul Shaffer. Abel has toured the southwest region in the U.S., and given clinics at Western New Mexico University, University of Juarez in Mexico, and performed at The Outpost Performance Space in New Mexico, and the Festival de Jazz Chihuahua in 2013 and 2014.

Register for the Summer Jazz Workshop Now!

You can live on campus or commute to the program. Note: participants 19 years old and older must commute. Please choose your application status below: