30 Years of Immersive Jazz Training: William Paterson University’s Weeklong Summer Jazz Workshop in Full Swing from July 16-22

--Acclaimed pianist and composer Helen Sung is artist-in-residence

Marcus McLaurine (right), one of the workshop faculty members, works with students during the 2022 weeklong program

William Paterson University’s 30th annual Summer Jazz Workshop, which provides a weeklong immersive jazz experience for those ages 14 and older, will be held from July 16 to July 22, 2023 on the institution’s campus in Wayne, N.J.

Acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Helen Sung, the recipient of a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship as well as numerous other honors, will serve as artist-in-residence for the workshop. Other workshop faculty include William Paterson jazz professors Tim Newman, Steve LaSpina and Marcus McLaurine, along with William Paterson alumni Angelica Sanchez and Jon DiFiore.

An award-winning jazz tradition, the seven-day Summer Jazz Workshop offers an intense jazz experience for beginner, intermediate, and advanced instrumentalists or vocalists. In-depth knowledge of jazz or jazz improvisation is not required.

The program includes daily small jazz group rehearsals; classes in improvisation, arranging, and jazz history with outstanding faculty and staff; private lessons and master classes; and nightly concerts by world-renowned jazz artists. The workshop culminates in a final performance by participant ensembles with faculty on July 22.

The Summer Jazz Workshop coincides with the University’s weeklong Summer Jazz Room concert series, which features five evenings of jazz music in Shea Center. The annual concert series, also celebrating its 30th anniversary, has drawn thousands of jazz fans to the William Paterson campus.

Commuters and residents are welcome for the Summer Jazz Workshop. Scholarship funding is available through the Woody Shapiro Endowed Summer Jazz Scholarship, geared toward inner-city students who have musical dedication and financial need.

Registration is still open. For information and to register, visit https://www.wpunj.edu/Summerjazzworkshop.

About Helen Sung, Artist-in-Residence:

Helen Sung is a major force in the jazz world. She has recorded nine albums as a leader, and she and her band have performed at festivals in Newport, Monterey, and Sydney, and at major venues like SFJAZZ, Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, and Blue Note Beijing. As a sidewoman, she has performed with Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Regina Carter, Terri Lynne Carrington, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and the Mingus Big Band. She has arranged works for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and honed her craft at the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, winning the 2022 BMI Charlie Parker Prize for big band composition.

In addition to serving as artist-in-residence, Sung and her large ensemble, Big Band & Beyond, will perform in the closing Summer Jazz Room concert on Friday, July 21. Composed of leading voices on the jazz scene, the ensemble will perform include selections from Sung’s Portraits in Jazz, a suite of musical tributes to the jazz masters she studied with at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (renamed the Herbie Hancock Institute). Portraits in Jazz is made possible by Sung’s 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship with additional support from New York State Council on the Arts 2022 Composer Commissions grant program.