February 28, 2023

GRAMMY-Award Winning Guest Artists Headline WCU’s 33rd Annual Jazz Festival March 22 – 25Jazz Fest

The Wells School of Music at West Chester University will bring world-class entertainment and free live jazz to the surrounding community during the 33rd annual Jazz Festival from March 22 – 25, 2023. All performances except for the High School Jazz Festival are free and open to the public in the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street, West Chester. Full listings and details for all programming can be found at www.wcupa.edu/jazzfest.

“I think this year’s Jazz Fest. is one of our finest,” says Director of Jazz Studies Jonathan Ragonese. “We invite local audiences to take advantage of these FREE offerings and to hear and enjoy some of today’s finest jazz artists.”

GRAMMY Award-Winner Nicholas Peyton, who sells out concert venues around the world, will perform with WCU’s beloved Criterions Jazz Ensemble; GRAMMY Award-winner Alex Brown will present a solo piano concert as well as perform with WCU’s Latin Jazz Ensemble; the faculty jazz concert returns; as well as a performance by  Tony Micelli and Diane Monroe. On Saturday, more than a dozen schools from around the region will perform short set for WCU faculty judges. This event only is ticketed and tickets can be purchased at www.wcupatix.com/schoolofmusic.

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, March 22 - 12 p.m. – Diane Monroe and Tony Miceli - FREE, Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre

Two of Philadelphia’s most revered jazz artists unite for an intimate, exploratory duo! Violinist Diane Monroe and vibraphonist Tony Miceli have been playing together since the mid-1980s, and the fruits of that three-decade relationship will be on display. Both Monroe and Miceli have long histories of forging rich collaborations in Philadelphia and beyond. Monroe has bridged the jazz and classical traditions for most of her career. Miceli has been a force on the Philly jazz scene since 1980 while touring the world and mentoring young players as an educator.

Wednesday, March 22 - 8 p.m. – WCU Faculty Jazz Group - FREE, Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre

Featuring Jonathan Ragonese (Saxophone), John Swana (Trumpet/EVI), Jeremy Jordan (Piano), Devin Arne (Guitar), David Cullen (Guitar), Marc Jacoby (Vibraphone), Dan Cherry (Trombone), Peter Paulsen (Bass), Christopher Hanning (Drums).

Thursday, March 23 - 12 p.m. – Alex Brown - FREE, Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre

Alex Brown performs an intimate solo piano concert. The New York Times says he plays “with a crystalline touch and a worldly approach.” Brown frequently performs with his own group, and Downbeat Magazine described his 2010 album Pianist as “a really fine record that leaves you wanting more.” Brown has been a member of Paquito D’Rivera’s ensemble since 2007, performing on and contributing arrangements to their Latin GRAMMY award-winning album Jazz Meets the Classics. In 2019, he was the pianist on trumpeter Brian Lynch’s GRAMMY award-winning album The Omni-American Book Club. Brown also collaborates frequently with artists that include Warren Wolf, Dafnis Prieto, Sean Jones, Christian McBride, Imani Winds, Harlem Quartet, Miho Hazama, Cho-Liang Lin, David Shifrin, and has performed with Chris Thile on the American variety show Live From Here (formally known as Prairie Home Companion.) In 2016, he performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as a soloist with the Orquesta Symphonica de Mineria led by conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto in Mexico City.

 Thursday, March 23  - 8 p.m. – Alex Brown with the WCU Latin Jazz Ensemble – FREE!, Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre

GRAMMY-award winning pianist Alex Brown joins Dr. Marc Jacoby and the WCU’s Latin Jazz Ensemble.

Friday, March 24 - 7:30 p.m. – GRAMMY Award-winner Nicholas Peyton with the WCU Criterions Celebrate Alumni - FREE, Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre

The centerpiece of the 33rd Annual Jazz Festival features world-renowned trumpeter, composer, and essayist Nicholas Payton. Payton has released over 20 recordings as a leader, pushing musical boundaries and showcasing a variety of contemporary and traditional styles, while displaying his ambidextrous ability to play both the trumpet and keyboard at the same time when he’s inspired to do so. He has collaborated with numerous mentors and contemporaries alike, ranging from Common and Cassandra Wilson to Trey Anastasio, MonoNeon, and Jill Scott, to Dr. John, Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste of The Meters, Allen Toussaint, and Abbey Lincoln to name a few. His most recent albums are Quarantined with Nick and Maestro Rhythm King, both released in 2020.

Saturday, March 25 - 10 a.m. – High School Jazz Ensemble Showcase – TICKETED EVENT, Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre

More than a dozen of the finest jazz ensembles from high schools around the region will perform in half-hour sets. Student ensembles will receive feedback from WCU clinicians. Tickets are $12/$7 students at www.wcupatix.com/schoolofmusic.   



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