34th Annual Jazz Festival

March 20 – 23, 2024
All concerts free and open to the public.

Join all of the school’s ensembles, faculty and guests artists in a celebration of improvisatory music.

Sponsored by our friends at WRTI 90.1

Ritual Auras: Phil Haynes / Herb Robertson

Ritual Auras: Phil Haynes / Herb Robertson

MARCH 20, 2024 | 12:00 PM | Madeleine Wing Adler Theater

Opening the festival is a catalyzing duo with drummer Phil Haynes and trumpeter Herb Robertson. Don’t miss this exploration of possibilities, celebrating all things joyful. Phil Haynes has performed and recorded with a Who’s Who of international creative artists including Anthony Braxton, David Liebman, Drew Gress, Frank Lacy and Dave Douglas. Herb Robertson boasts an expansive recording catalog, performing regularly with Tim Berne, Bill Frisell, Paul Motian, Joe Lovano, John Zorn, and Gerry Hemingway.



WCU Faculty Jazz Group

WCU Faculty Jazz Concert

MARCH 20, 2024 | 8:00 PM | Madeleine Wing Adler Theater

Join the Faculty of the Wells School of Music for an evening of standards and original music!


Student Showcase

Student Showcase: Kitchen Sink

MARCH 21, 2024 | 12:00 PM | Madeleine Wing Adler Theater

Join us for the first featured concert of a student ensemble. Chosen through a rigorous audition process, our Thursday afternoon concert will feature a student-led, student-conceived, and all student-performing ensemble.

Kitchen Sink is a band of like-minded composers, improvisors, and musicians dedicated to the creation and performance of new works by emerging composers. Originally formed by composer Nathan Hansen to premier a series of new works, Kitchen Sink has since served as a creative space for several other composers at West Chester University, showcasing their music to the community. Containing a wide variety of instrument families and versatile musicians, Kitchen Sink seeks engage with soloistic and collective improvisational experiences.



Ron Thomas Trio

Ron Thomas Trio

MARCH 21, 2024 | 8:00 PM | Madeleine Wing Adler Theater

Featuring Steve Meashey and Chris Lōser. The culmination of the series And now: a word from our friends. Lecturer Ron Thomas invites two close friends for an evening of piano trio. Ron Thomas is recognized for the scope and breadth of his influences and interests. He entered the Manhattan School of Music in 1959 where he studied composition with Vittorio Gianinni, Nicolas Flagello, and Ludmila Ulehla. During that time, he also studied privately with M. William Karlins and later with Karlheinz Stockhausen at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Heavily influenced by the music of Miles Davis and Bill Evans, Ron continued his studies in Composition with Stefan Wolpe and Raoul Pleskow at C.W.Post College, Long Island University where he received his Master's Degree. The years since have been an extended elaboration upon these foundational elements through composing, jazz performance, recording, teaching and writing about music.


Bob Mintzer & The Criterions

Bob Mintzer & The Criterions

MARCH 22, 2024 | 7:30 PM | Madeleine Wing Adler Theater

Festival Headliner concert not to be missed! The Criterions play an entire evening of Bob Mintzer’s music, with the composer/arranger/saxophonist himself. Bob currently holds the Barbara and Buzz McCoy endowed chair at the USC Thornton School of Music. Bob is a 30-year member as saxophonist with the Yellowjackets. He is also the chief conductor of the WDR Big Band in Cologne Germany. Bob has written over 500 big band arrangements, several jazz study books, orchestral and chamber works. He has played on over 1000 recordings and has performed with Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones Mel Lewis Big Band, Eddie Palmieri, Jaco Pastorius, Mike Manieri, Randy Brecker, and the New York Philharmonic.



High School Jazz Festival

High School Jazz Festival

MARCH 23, 2024 | 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Madeleine Wing Adler Theater

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Many of the finest high school jazz ensembles from around the region will be performing and working with the WCU faculty at this day-long festival. These young musicians demonstrate that the future of jazz is in good hands.