The WP Jazz Room Series is going virtual! All performances will be live-streamed in Shea Center and broadcast on select dates. Enjoy world-class jazz from the comfort of your home, watching and listening on your computer, tablet, smart TV, or phone. See the concert listings below for dates/times.
Sittin’ In, the series of concert previews, presents featured interviews with jazz artists and guest speakers. This informal discussion is free to the public.Sittin' In Meet–the–Artist sessions are one hour prior to each concert (3:00 p.m.) and broadcast on the WP Presents! You Tube channel. Subscribe to the channel here. Submit questions in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ticket prices are “pay what you want” - $25 • $20 • $15 • $10 Public$8 Non-William Paterson students and WP CommunityWP Students FREE via a weekly code emailed from facultyTickets must be purchased in advance on our internet ticketing site
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In an effort to provide the tools necessary for student success in the music program and for the University to continue to provide outstanding public performances, The WP 88 Keys Campaign is being launched to generate support for the purchase of a new Steinway piano for the Shea Center for the Performing Arts. You are invited to join in this campaign with a purchase of a piano key. If you are interested, please contact Maureen O’Connor at email@example.com or 973.720.3990. General support of the campaign is welcome by visiting wpunj.edu/giving, click on the giving form, and choose WP 88 Keys Campaign as your gift designation.
This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The silky and versatile baritone voice of Marion Cowings has been a major part of the vocal jazz world since the 1960s. A native New Yorker with early mentorship from Jon Hendricks and a LaGuardia High School education that included performing with Leonard Bernstein, he has gone on to perform at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington, and was the lead in the Duke Ellington opera Queenie Pie directed by Mercer Ellington at Lincoln Center. He has been active at the 92nd Street Y Jazz in July series, and is heard often at New York’s more intimate clubs like Small’s and Mezzrow. He has collaborated with such jazz giants as Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Ron Carter, Gary Bartz and Bobby Watson, and is a co-founder of the jazz vocal department at New York University, where he taught for years.
Admission: Pay what you choose - $25 • $20 • $15 • $10 Public$8 Non-William Paterson students and WP CommunityWP Students FREE via a weekly code emailed from facultyAll tickets must be purchased in advance via the internet ticketing systems for this performance.
Drummer Johnathan Blake has built a major career since his graduation from William Paterson’s jazz program in the 1990s, appearing on more than 50 albums and touring and with multiple generations of artists, including a trio with Dave Holland and Kenny Barron, Michael Brecker, Oliver Lake, Roy Hargrove, rapper Q Tip, Tom Harrell, and more. Winner of the 2006 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award and an experienced bandleader, his versatility has made him one of the most in-demand drummers on today’s scene. This concert features his band, together with saxophonist Emmanuel Wilkins, vibraphonist Joel Ross, exciting pianist David Virelles, and the busy bassist Dezron Douglas. Son of the great jazz violinist John Blake, Johnathan has become a master at combining the jazz tradition with modernism.
John Fedchock is one of the veteran stars of the jazz trombone world. He spent a number of years with the Woody Herman Orchestra, not only as one of the band’s main soloists but also as one of its most widely known arrangers. An Eastman School of Music graduate and student of the great Rayburn Wright, he went on to tour with Gerry Mulligan, Louis Bellson, and Rosemary Clooney. His New York Big Band, featuring his great arrangements, is well known in Manhattan’s jazz clubs. Today’s concert features a six-piece group that includes such wonderful performers as saxophonist and Steely Dan veteran Walt Weiskopf, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra trumpeter Scott Wendholt, pianist Allen Farnham, first-call bassist David Finck, and drummer Eric Halvorson.
Bassist Ron Naspo continues to be one of the mainstays of the New York and New Jersey jazz scenes. Naspo played for many years with Dick Meldonian and with the great Bucky Pizzarelli, he is the regular bassist with the widely acclaimed Diane Moser Orchestra, and he is one of the foremost bassists on the latin jazz scene. He is also a veteran teacher, having been on William Paterson’s faculty in the 90s, and gaining a wide reputation as one of the go-to teachers around New York. In this concert, he joins forces with the powerful William Paterson Latin Jazz Ensemble led by veteran WP faculty member and latin jazz impresario Chico Mendoza. Mendoza is well known for his longtime “Salsa Meets Jazz” series at New York’s Village Gate Theater, and a WBGO radio program by the same name.
Ron Naspo at All Music
Bassist and longtime WP jazz faculty member Steve LaSpina is one of the most respected and versatile bassists in jazz. A Chicago native, he has spent years on the road and in recording studios with such diverse artists as Stan Getz, Marian McPartland, Jim Hall, Benny Carter, Dave Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, and Al Cohn, and he is known as the perfect singers’ bassist, having performed for years with Morganna King, Suzanna McCorkle, and Chris Conner. He has been one of the most recorded artists on Steeplechase Records since the 1990s. This concert celebrates his new CD on that label, A Change in the Weather, and this all-star quartet is the group from that album, including the great saxophonist Joel Frahm, exciting pianist Luis Perdomo, and powerful drummer Eric McPherson.
Steve LaSpina at All About Jazz
This spring’s Jazz Room Series ends with a true all-star duo, a special Mother’s Day concert featuring the Grammy-winning pianist and WP Jazz Studies Director Bill Charlap in a lyrical and blues-drenched duo with the veteran tenor saxophonist Houston Person. Person’s long recording career includes dozens of solo albums on the Prestige label and others, and he has recorded collaborations and features with saxophonist Gene Ammons and guitarist Grant Green. His many recordings with longtime partner, singer Etta Jones, and his duo album with the legendary bassist Ron Carter are among his best-known music. Charlap’s trio for over 20 years is considered to be among the finest ensembles in jazz, he recently collaborated on an award-winning CD with vocalists Tony Bennett and Diana Krall, and he has led the 92nd Street Y’s Jazz in July series for many years. Charlap’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Great American Songbook and Person’s bluesy melodicism will create a memorable and swinging event.
Houston Person at All MusicBill Charlap
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