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Sittin’ In, the series of concert previews, presents featured interviews with jazz artists and guest speakers. This informal discussion is free to the ticketed patrons.Sittin' In Meet–the–Artist sessions are one hour prior to each concert (3:00 p.m.) in Shea Recital Hall 101.
Admission:General Public $15 • WP faculty, staff, alumni, and senior citizens $12 • Non-William Paterson students $8WP students are admitted free • All tickets are an additional $3 on show day
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One of today’s leading jazz vocalists, Jazzmeia Horn grew up in Dallas and went from the famous Booker T. Washington Arts High School to the New School in New York, and was soon mentored by jazz vocal legends Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, and Bobby McFerrin. After remarkably winning both the 2013 Sarah Vaughn Vocal Competition, and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition, she was signed to Concord Records. She has been nominated for Grammy Awards for two of her solo albums, and brings her emotionally powerful voice and music to open this spring’s Jazz Room Series.
Admission: General Public $15 • WP faculty, staff, alumni, and senior citizens $12 • Non-William Paterson students $8WP students are admitted free. • All tickets are an additional $3 on show day.
Each Jazz Room concert is preceded by a “Sittin’ In” meet-the-artist session one hour prior to performance in Shea Recital Hall. Free to all ticket holders. Audience members have a chance to meet and interact with that day’s artist in a question-answer format.
Legendary trumpeter Randy Brecker combines forces with the powerful WP Jazz Orchestra. The concert will feature music spanning Brecker’s well-known career, which includes his virtuoso playing on bebop, standards, funk, and R&B from the historic Brecker Brothers repertoire with his late brother, master saxophonist Michael Brecker, whose archive is housed on campus. This concert will feature premieres of two new arrangements of Brecker originals by WP graduate arranging students, and new arrangements from Brecker’s recent CD with the Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra. The concert is certain to be memorable, with Brecker’s long association with the WP students and our program.
Voted the #1 jazz vocal group in the country in the 2021 Jazz Times Critics’ Poll, this virtuoso jazz vocal quartet, formed in 2012, bring a new and refreshing approach to the art of vocal jazz. Amy London, Jeanne O’Connor, Dylan Pramuk, and our own WP faculty member and Jazz Room co-producer Pete McGuinness, pay tribute to their jazz heroes through intricate harmonies and wonderful energy. The Bopsters delve into vocal improvisation; vocalese, the art of penning lyrics to instrumental jazz solos; and their original songs and arrangements further the tradition of modern jazz, bebop, and the blues. Their latest release, Party of Four, allows them to swing deeply while singing precise vocal harmonies.
The Royal Bopsters
Sands brings his inventive and swinging approach to the Jazz Room stage with his top-level trio. He was mentored by Dr. Billy Taylor, who featured him early on a WP Summer Jazz performance; former WP jazz director Mulgrew Miller also was a great proponent of Sands’ talents. He has been here several times for our students, but this is his first Jazz Room performance, which will be packed with the history of jazz and the blues. Sands has been featured with such jazz giants as Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Ulysses Owens, and vocalist Gregory Porter, and his albums have included saxophonist Craig Handy and drummer Louis Hayes. This five-time Grammy nominee’s creative approach to the piano trio tradition will make for an exciting concert.
Saxophonist Leo Johnson is one of the true elders of the Newark jazz tradition, maintaining a broad career in the Latin and jazz worlds for decades. He has played in the bands of organists Bill Doggett, Rhoda Scott, Jack McDuff, and Jimmy McGriff, and one led by WP Latin jazz director Chico Mendoza. He was musical director for vocalist Jimmy Scott, and has mentored numerous musicians including Cassandra Wilson, Phillip Harper, and Pulitzer Prize winner Terence Blanchard. This concert combines Johnson’s long history with the students of WP’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, an unbeatable combination.
Leo Johnson at Newark Jazz Elders
The fantastic finale of this season brings to our stage a true supergroup, one of the most in-demand ensembles on today’s jazz scene, appearing worldwide and at the top of many reader and critics’ polls. Artemis features arrangements and original compositions by several of the members, which are a vehicle for their unique sound. Their much-acclaimed debut recording is on the prestigious Blue Note label and they were featured at the Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and on NPR’s Jazz Night in America. Each member is a bandleader and unique voice in their own right, and their combined repertoire is reshaping today’s jazz world.
Inaugurated in the spring of 1978, 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. There are three series of concerts each year, including the six-concert Fall and Spring Jazz Room Series, and the weeklong Summer Jazz Room held the third week of July.
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 and live CD recording sessions.
The Jazz Room Series is directly connected to the William Paterson Jazz Studies Program. Unique among college and university programs, the 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, then by the great jazz pianists James Williams, Mulgrew Miller, and most recently Bill Charlap, who accepted the position in fall 2015. The program is co-led and coordinated by David Demsey. The artist/teacher faculty is made up of world-class New York area professionals.
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, including a number of Fulbright Scholars.
The University also presents the Summer Jazz Workshop for high school students. 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.
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, James Williams and Michael Brecker. 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.
WP Presents! and The Jazz Room Series events are made possible in part by a grant from the NJ Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Jazz Room Series Partner
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470