William Paterson University


300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
County: Passaic


Ms. Joy Epting

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

To support William Paterson University's Summer Jazz Workshop program for high school students and its Jazz Institute for Music Educators.

Organization Background

William Paterson University (WPU) is a public institution of higher education in Wayne, New Jersey. It serves more than 11,400 full- and part-time students through five colleges: College of the Arts and Communication, Cotsakos College of Business, College of Education, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Health. Its mission incorporates teaching, research and creative activity, and service, and it is committed to promoting student success, academic excellence, and community outreach with opportunities for lifelong learning. WPU offers baccalaureate, graduate degree, and certification programs for both traditional and nontraditional students. Its distinguished teachers, scholars, and professionals challenge students to high levels of intellectual and professional accomplishment and personal growth in preparation for careers, advanced studies, and productive citizenship.

The mission of the William Paterson University of New Jersey Foundation, Inc., a

501(c)(3) entity, is dedicated to secure philanthropic funding for the University through the identification and pursuit of private gifts, grants, and endowments. As the steward of these funds, the Foundation helps William Paterson progress as a preeminent public institution of higher learning.

WPU's renowned Jazz Studies Program provides the organizational and philosophical model for the Summer Jazz Workshop. One of the five oldest in the nation, the Jazz Studies Program was first to put world-class jazz artists on its tenured faculty, including the arranger/cornetist Thad Jones, bassist/composer Rufus Reid, pianist/bandleader James Williams, and the pianist Mulgrew Miller. Its adjunct artist faculty is also made up of New York and New Jersey professionals. The program focuses on small groups and improvisation, providing a jazz environment in which students learn firsthand about the requirements for becoming a successful, professional musician. Although highly selective, WPU's Jazz Studies Program keeps an open admission policy and serves students at all experience levels.

The Summer Jazz Workshop allows younger students to experience the intensity and high artistic goals of the college-level program. Judging from high enrollment figures and from responses of students, parents, and teachers, this goal has been accomplished. Students experience the techniques and history of jazz from world-class performers on WPU's resident faculty and receive master classes from Visiting Artists, as well as meet-and-greet sessions with Performing Artists every afternoon prior to their evening performances of the concurrently running Summer Jazz concert series.

Resident faculty musicians associated with the 2016 Summer Jazz Workshop include David Demsey, Steve La Spina, Marcus McLaurine, Jim McNeely, Tim Newman, and James Weidman. Previous artists have included Dr. Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Mulgrew Miller, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Lou Donaldson, David Newman, Curtis Fuller, Byron Stripling, Bob Mintzer, Paquito D'Rivera, Renee Rosnes, Chris Potter, Billy Drummond, Al Grey, Jimmy Heath, and Frank Wess.

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