(WAYNE, NJ) -- William Paterson University will present Summer Jazz Room at Home, a special week of free online evening jazz concerts from July 21 through July 24, 2020 – performed live in Shea Center that week.
The series, which has provided the local community with accessible jazz and notable performers for 27 years, is going virtual this year. Jazz fans will enjoy four nights of world-class jazz from the comfort of their home by viewing each concert on their computer, tablet, smart TV, or phone. For more information and to register for these free virtual events, please visit wp-presents.org.
Performances will include The Tardo Hammer Trio, Alexis Cole and Friends, the Akiko Tsuruga Quintet, and Steve Turre and Friends. Concerts will be pre-recorded in Shea Center for Performing Arts and will be streaming at 7:30 p.m. each night. Sittin ‘In “meet the artist” sessions with the artist will be prerecorded and available for viewers to watch at their convenience.
Concerts are free. Donations are welcome at wpunj.edu/giving to help support scholarships for WP jazz students, the Jazz Room Series, or the 88 Keys Campaign to fund the purchase of a new Steinway piano for the University’s Shea Center for Performing Arts.
The series begins on Monday, July 21, with the The Tardo Hammer Trio. Pianist Richard “Tardo” Hammer will perform with Lee Hudson on bass and Steve Williams on drums. Tardo has worked with numerous top artists and is a choice accompanist for jazz vocalists. His sixth and most recent album is Swinging on a Star, recorded for Celler Live.
Featured on Tuesday, July 22, is Alexis Cole and Friends. WP alumna Alexis Cole has been called "one of the great voices of today" by Jonathan Schwartz, and has performed with the Boston Pops and New York Philharmonic and at venues from Avery Fisher Hall to the Kennedy Center. She will perform with Don Braden on saxophone and flute; David Finck on bass; WP alumnus Joe Spinelli on drums and Ted Rosenthal on piano; jazz faculty member Jeremy Pelt on trumpet and faculty member and WP alumnus Tim Newman on trombone.
On Wednesday, July 23, the Akiko Tsuruga Quintet will feature Akiko Tsuruga on organ, with WP alumni Joe Farnsworth on drums and Charlie Sigler on guitar; Joe Magnarelli on trumpet; and Jerry Weldon on tenor sax. Tsuruga has performed with Frank Wess, Jimmy Cobb, among many top artists, and was a member of the Lou Donaldson quartet. She has 10 albums as a leader, with her first album selected as a “Best album of 2007” in Downbeat Magazine. Hot House Magazine named her 'Best Organ" in a 2017 Readers Poll.
Closing out the series on Thursday, July 24, is Steve Turre and Friends with Dezron Douglas on bass; Emilio Modeste on saxophone; Wallace Roney Jr. on trumpet; Isaiah Thompson on piano; and Orion Turre on drums. Steve Turre is considered one of the finest jazz trombonists alive today and has consistently won Readers’ and Critics’ polls in JazzTimes, Downbeat, and Jazziz for Best Trombone and Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist (shells).
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.
William Paterson’s 27th 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, visit wppresents.org.