Summer Jazz Room Series (July 17 – 21)
All concerts are at 7:30 p.m. and take place in Shea Center for the Performing Arts.General Admission: $10 per evening concert • $40 for weeklong pass (on sale through Thursday, July 13)
A $5 per ticket fee is added to all ticket sales the night of the event. We strongly encourage buying tickets in advance online or by calling the box office at 973.720.2371.
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In 1923, many seminal jazz musicians of the 20th century were born. In this 30th year of the Summer Jazz Room, the Workshop Faculty Ensemble pays tribute to a selected group of musicians: Milt Jackson, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, Thad Jones, Fats Navarro, and Sam Rivers. The program will feature selections from the abundant and vital body of work of these great musicians. The ensemble includes Tim Newman, bass trombone; David Demsey, saxophones; Mike LeDonne, piano, Marcus McLaurine, bass; and Jon DiFiore, drums. This combined anniversary celebration is not to be missed!
Ticket Prices: $10 per evening concert | $40 for weeklong pass (on sale through Thursday, July 13).
A $5 per ticket fee is added to all ticket sales the night of the event.
This concert brings together two dynamic family duos and a jazz orchestra! Trombonist, arranger, and band leader Caleb Rumley and singer Allison McKenzie, partners in life, have been making music with the Big Beat Big Band since 2014. With its funky, groove-filled repertoire, the band has become a regular mainstay of Summer Jazz Room Wednesday night programs. Featured with Big Beat this year are two extraordinary brothers from an extraordinary musical family. Trombonist Robin Eubanks has played with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Elvin Jones, Slide Hampton, Dave Holland, Son Ra, Stevie Wonder, and the SF Jazz Collective, and is a founding member of the M-Base cooperative. Trumpeter Duane Eubanks has performed with the Dave Holland Big Band, Mulgrew Miller, Oliver Lake, and the Wu-Tang Clan, among others. Be there to experience and enjoy this grand aggregation of musical talent!
A $5 per ticket fee is added to all ticket sales the night of the event.
Acclaimed pianist and composer Helen Sung’s desire to write for larger ensembles received a high-octane boost when she had the opportunity to arrange a piece for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) in 2016. Since then, she has honed her craft at the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, winning the 2022 BMI Charlie Parker Prize for big band composition. Receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2021 afforded her the chance to create Portraits in Jazz, a suite of big band musical tributes to the jazz masters she studied with at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (now the Herbie Hancock Institute). Sung will unveil her large ensemble, Big Band & Beyond, for WP’s Summer Jazz Room closing concert, presenting selections from Portraits in Jazz and more, including the JLCO arrangement that started it all.
Duke Ellington’s music lives on through the exuberant trombonist Art Baron, who joined the Ellington Orchestra during the last year Duke led the band and was the last trombonist Ellington hired. With his distinctive musical voice, Baron continues in a long line of unique trombone stylists like “Tricky Sam” Nanton, Lawrence Brown, and Tyree Glenn. Baron has performed and/or recorded with a wide spectrum of world-famous musicians such as Buddy Rich, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, James Taylor, IIlinois Jacquet, and Mel Tormé, among countless others. For this performance, Baron leads The Duke's Men, a band comprised of Ellington alumni. It is sure to be a rollicking night of classic Ellingtonia!
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 Stan Getz, Benny Carter, Dave Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, and Al Cohn, and with singers Morganna King, Suzanna McCorkle, and Chris Conner. He has been one of the most recorded artists on Steeplechase Records since the 1990s. This concert reunites an all-star group which has recorded 11 CDs together since 1992, and includes alto saxophonist Billy Drews, trumpeter Dave Ballou, pianist Marc Copeland, and drummer Jeff Hirshfield. This is bound to be adventurous and cutting-edge music!
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