Faculty and Staff

Jimmy Heath

Jimmy Heath

Artist In Residence

Saxoponist Jimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist and a magnificent composer and arranger. Jimmy is the middle brother of the legendary Heath Brothers (Percy Heath/bass and Tootie Heath/drums), and is the father of Mtume. He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis. In 1948 at the age of 21, he performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins, Slam Stewart, and Erroll Garner. One of Heath’s earliest big bands (1947-1948) in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd. Charlie Parker and Max Roach sat in on one occasion.

Jimmy Heath

Cecil Bridgewater

Trumpet, Small Ensemble, Arranging

Tours and recordings with the Max Roach Quartet and Double Quartet, Horace Silver, The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. Played with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne, Art Blakey, and Wynton Marsalis. Compositions and arrangements recorded and performed by Lena Horne, Vanessa Rubin, the Uptown String Quartet, the Count Basie Orchestra, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Received commissions from the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Atlanta Arts Festival, University of Illinois, Jazzmobile, and Meet the Composer. Releases as a leader include I Love Your Smile and Mean What You Say. Studies at the University of Illinois. WP Jazz Studies faculty since 2005.

Jimmy Heath

Steve La Spina

Bass, Small Ensemble

Tours and recordings with Jim Hall, Stan Getz, Toots Thielemans, Joe Williams, Benny Carter, Chet Baker, Pat Martino, Zoot Sims, Tommy Flanagan, Richie Bierach, and Marian McPartland. Five solo recordings with own group on Steeplechase Records, one on Italy’s Ram label; sideman on more than 90 recordings. BM, University of Illinois. William Paterson jazz instructor since 1999.

Jimmy Heath

Marcus McLaurine

Bass, Small Ensemble

Studied with Jack Kulawich of the American Symphony while in the 590th Air Force band. He has studied at The University of Nebraska at Omaha, Queens College and Empire State College. Regular bassist in Clark Terry’s Quintet for thirty years, with numerous tours and recordings to his credit. Performed with Kenny Burrell, Jon Hendricks, McCoy Tyner, Abbey Lincoln, Cleo Laine, Lou Donaldson, Abdullah Ibrahim, Joe Williams and the Count Basie Orchestra. Recorded with Kenny Burrell, Abbey Lincoln, Michael Cochrane, Grover Mitchell, John Hicks, Hank Jones, Vincent Herring, Bob Trowers, Jay Hoggard, Nancy Monroe, and the Spirit of Life Ensemble, and has appeared in the motion pictures, Cotton Club and Sweet and Lowdown. Has been a William Paterson University Jazz instructor since 1997.

Jimmy Heath

Timothy Newman

Workshop Director, Trombone, Small Ensemble

Associate Professor, William Paterson University Jazz Studies program. Veteran of New York’s big-band and freelance scene. Performed and recorded with, among others, the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Slide Hampton’s World of Trombones, the Mario Bauza Afro-Cuban Orchestra, the Bill Mobley Jazz Orchestra, the Manhattan Bones, They Might Be Giants, as well as numerous Broadway show orchestras. PhD, New York University; MM, Manhattan School of Music; BM William Paterson. Full-time faculty member at WP since 2004.

Jimmy Heath

James Weidman

Piano, Small Ensemble

Played and recorded with Max Roach, Woody Herman, Archie Shepp, James Moody, Greg Osby, Bobby Hutcherson, Slide Hampton, Jay Hoggard, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Gloria Lynne, and blues diva Dakota Staton. Appears internationally with saxophonists Joe Lovano and Marty Ehrlich, and trombonist Ray Anderson. Accompanist for some of the world’s most celebrated singers, including legendary jazz vocalists Abbey Lincoln and Cassandra Wilson. Performed at major venues and festivals, including the Montreux, Monterey, Newport, North Sea, and JVC Jazz Festivals, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Blue Note, Sweet Basil, Village Vanguard, Iridium, and Jazz Standard. William Paterson University jazz instructor since 2000.

Jimmy Heath

Charlie Dougherty

Assistant Director, Bass, Arranging

Charlie Dougherty is a bassist, composer, arranger and educator. He is the co-founder and co-leader of Big Beat, a 19-piece big band, and conductor and arranger for PJ Rasmussen's Boardwalk Jazz Band. He has performed with Duane Eubanks, Bill Mobley, Scott Robinson, Lewis Porter, Mauricio de Souza's Bossa Brasil, and written music for Joe Lovano, Diane Moser's Composers Big Band, and the Williams College Jazz Ensemble. M.M. William Paterson; B.A. Williams College. William Paterson Summer Jazz Camp instructor since 2012.

Jimmy Heath

Jon DiFiore

Head Counselor, Drum Set

Jon Di Fiore is a drummer/composer performing throughout New York City. Major projects include two albums of his own compositions: Yellow Petals (2014, Third Freedom Music) featuring the Jon Di Fiore Trio, and Patience (2012) for mixed ensemble featuring saxophonist Rich Perry and trumpeter Joe Magnarelli. The Jon Di Fiore Trio is completed by Adrian Moring, bass, and Billy Text, piano. His music is a fresh yet insightful take on the jazz tradition, influenced by jazz, classical, and world music. Both of his albums have received critical acclaim from major publications, and can be heard on radio stations across the United States, Europe and Japan.

Jimmy Heath

Eric Zolan

Staff, Guitar

Eric Zolan is a guitarist who resides in NYC and works throughout the tristate area. He has a B.M. in Jazz Studies from William Paterson and has performed with Jimmy Heath, Winard Harper, Akiko Tsruga, Brian Charette, and Bennie Wallace. He is also an experienced teacher having been a faculty member at the Back Country Jazz camp in Bridgeport, CT 2012-2017 as well as teaching at MindBuilders in the Bronx. His biggest musical influences include Grant Green, Miles Davis, and his mother.

Jimmy Heath

Kelly Green

Staff, Piano, Voice

Kelly Green is a pianist and vocalist from Central Florida currently residing in New York City. She attended University of North Florida for her B.M and William Paterson University for her M.M., both in Jazz Piano performance. She studied with Lynne Arriale, Mulgrew Miller, Harold Mabern, and James Weidman. Throughout the past two years she has performed with, among others, Bill Goodwin, Philip Harper, Winard Harper, Rich Perry, Todd Herbert, Paolo Benedettini, Andrea Brachfeld, Josh Evans, Stacy Dillard, and Jonathan Barber. She currently performs weekly in NYC and the surrounding area at venues such as Cleopatra's Needle, Rue B, and the 9th Note Her next project is recording her first jazz album in the fall of 2016.

Jimmy Heath

Ben Kovacs

Saxophone, Piano, Flute, Clarinet

Benjamin Kovacs is a professional musician who can be heard playing saxophone, piano, flute, and clarinet throughout the Tri-State area. After an early exposure to Barry Harris sparked a love for jazz, he spent his collegiate years at William Paterson University, which provided him the opportunity to learn from Mulgrew Miller, Benny Golson, Vincent Herring, Cecil Bridgewater, Rich Perry and James Weidman. While in school, Benjamin played professionally in pit bands, wedding ensembles, New Orleans style funerals, and jazz venues such as Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre, and Symphony Space. He shares his passion for music by teaching at institutions that include Jazz House Kids, Andy’s Family Music Center, and the William Paterson Summer Jazz Workshop.

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