William Paterson University’s 25th Summer Jazz Room Features Legendary Jazz Saxophonist Jimmy Heath on July 20

Jimmy Heath

--Weeklong Summer Jazz Room series line-up also includes the Jazz Workshop Faculty Featuring James Weidman on July 16; Ken Peplowski and Diego Figueiredo on July 17; Pete McGuinness with Big Beat on July 18; the Angelica Sanchez Trio featuring Steve LaSpina and Kevin Norton on July 19; and the Heath Brothers Quartet with Antonio Hart on July 20
--Jazz on the Plaza Series with free concerts before evening program at 6:15 p.m.

Jimmy Heath, saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator, and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, will perform with special guest Antonio Hart and the Heath Brothers Quartet that includes his brother, Albert “Tootie” Heath on drums, David Wong on bass, and pianist Jeb Patton, as part of William Paterson University’s 25th annual weeklong Summer Jazz Room Series on July 20 in the Shea Center for Performing Arts on the campus in Wayne. The series, which runs from July 16 to July 20, has provided the local community with accessible jazz and notable performers for 25 years. This year’s series also includes the Summer Jazz Workshop Quintet featuring James Weidman, the Ken Peplowski and Diego Figueiredo Duo, Pete McGuinness with Big Beat, and the Angelica Sanchez Trio featuring Steve LaSpina and Kevin Norton.

The Summer Jazz Room Series features concerts every evening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for each concert or $40 for a weeklong pass. For tickets visit wppresents.org or call 973.720.2371. The weeklong series, which has drawn thousands of jazz fans to the University’s campus during the past two and a half decades, is designed to make jazz more accessible to the community. The Summer Jazz Room coincides with the University’s 25th annual Summer Jazz Workshop for middle and high school jazz students with Jimmy Heath as artist-in-residence. William Paterson University has been a flagship of jazz education for more than 40 years and is recognized internationally for its Jazz Studies Program and nationally acclaimed Jazz Room Series of concerts each fall and spring.

The series opens on Monday, July 16, with the Summer Jazz Workshop faculty, featuring James Weidman on piano with Tim Newman on bass trombone, David Demsey on saxophone, Marcus McLauraine on bass, and Winard Harper on drums.

Featured on Tuesday, July 17, the duo of jazz guitarist Diego Figueiredo and clarinetist and saxophonist Ken Peplowski on saxophone. From Franca, Brazil, Figueiredo has released 19 albums and performed worldwide. Peplowski, a veteran saxophone and clarinet master, has appeared on nearly 400 CDs with skills in styles from early jazz to avant-garde, and classical to bossa nova.

The mid-week performance on Wednesday, July 18, features trombonist and vocalist Pete McGuinness with the WP alumni-led jazz orchestra, Big Beat. McGuinness, a William Paterson jazz professor, has Grammy nominations for his arrangement of “Smile” from First Flight, and for his second CD, Strength in Numbers.

On Thursday, July 19, pianist and composer Angelica Sanchez will appear with Kevin Norton and Steve LaSpina. Sanchez has performed and recorded as a leader and collaborated with jazz artists including Wadada Leo Smith and Paul Motian. Norton has recorded, performed and composed with a wide array of jazz musicians. LaSpina, a longtime William Paterson jazz faculty member, completes the trio. He is a bassist and composer who has performed and recorded with jazz legends.

On Friday, July 20, the Heath Brothers Quartet returns to the Summer Jazz Room, this time featuring alto saxophonist Antonio Hart. Hart is a jazz educator at his alma mater, Queens College. Blessing, his tenth recording as a leader, was released in 2015. Hart also performed with Jerome Richardson, Jerry Dodgion, and Frank Wess while playing with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band. Food trucks will be available on site for concert goers during this evening’s Jazz on the Plaza concert.

A free Jazz on the Plaza concert precedes each evening performance at 6:15 p.m. on the Shea Center Plaza (weather permitting). The line-up includes the Jon DiFiore Trio on Monday, July 16; the Roxy Coss Trio on Tuesday, July 17; The Lintet on Wednesday, July 18; The Kelly Green Trio on Thursday, July 19; and the Candice Reyes Quintet on Friday, July 20.

William Paterson’s 25th annual Summer Jazz Room Series is funded, in part, by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State. For more information, contact the Shea Center Box Office at 973-720-2371 or visit wppresents.org.