BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) kicks off its 2017-2018 Salon Series featuring the Dave Schumacher Quartet on Thursday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Wine and cheese will be served. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for seniors, and free for Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts students. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 908-790-0700.

The Dave Schumacher Quartet, featuring Dave Schumacher on baritone saxophone, Charlie Sigler on guitar, Jamale D. Deshon on bass, and J. Taylor Leach on drums, will perform compositions from jazz masters including Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, and John Coltrane as well as selections from the Great American Songbook.  They will also be performing original music composed by Schumacher.

Chicago native Dave Schumacher has been on the New York jazz scene for more than three decades, touring throughout the United States and internationally with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, T.S. Monk on Monk Ensemble, Tom Harrell Octet and Big Band and as an original member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra for 19 years. Highlights of his international career include an appearance at Mount Fuji Jazz Festival in Japan with the Art Blakely Big Band. Schumacher can be heard on nearly a dozen Columbia Records recordings with the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra and with such jazz greats as Lionel Hampton, Mel Torme, and Tom Harrell. Schumacher received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University/Livingston College and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Performance from New Jersey City University. He is currently Director of Jazz Studies at the The New Jersey Youth Symphony and faculty member at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts.

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Guitarist Charlie Sigler has been active member of the music community since his high school years studying and performing in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. A recent graduate of William Paterson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Performance, Sigler has performed with Winard Harper, Harold Mabern, Eric Alexander, Myron Walden, Akiko Tsurga, Pat Bianci, Jared Gold, Vince Ector, Bruce Williams, Radam Schwartz, Kyle Koehler, and Dave Stryker. He has performed at clubs and festivals including the Montclair Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, AFRAM and the Berks Jazz Festival.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Jamale Davis Deshon is a largely self-taught bassist who credits jazz clubs such as Smalls and Fat Cat as inspiration in the cultivation of his particular aesthetics for performance: the acoustic, non-microphone approach, gut string setup with a concentrated lean towards more straight-ahead bebop idioms, translated in his repertoire and approach to everything musical. Deshon is known for his tenure with tenor saxophonist Ned Goold, where he has held the position of resident bassist for over five years and recorded a number of albums. Since 2012 Deshon has led his own group of talented musicians and released his debut album, Workers' Comp, on Gut String Records in October 2015.

Born in Plano, Texas, J. Taylor Leach attended Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, NJ where he obtained a liberal arts degree and was actively involved with the music department, including performing with the jazz faculty. Upon graduating, Leach studied jazz performance and music education at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. Leach performs in numerous styles including jazz, blues, funk, rock, pop, experimental, R&B, country, neo-soul, big band, and DJ's with live drums. Leach has performed with world-renowned artists including Johnny O' Neal, Gene Perla, Rich Perry, Bill Mobley, Jared Gold, Steve LaSpina, Duane Eubanks, Bernie Worrell, Tim Newman, Julius Tolentino, Paul Meyers, Dave Schumacher, Chris Berger, Mike Lee, David Williams, Adam J Brenner, Jerry Weldon, Tim Hegarty,  Oscar Williams II, Adam Niewood, Danielle Illario, Steve Hudson, Nicole Glover, and DJ Wombo. He has performed at venues such as Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Mezzrow Jazz Club, Ginny Super Club, The Garage, and Cleopatra's Needle.

The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.

Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,400 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 14 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony which serve 500 students in grades 3 - 12. Beginning with Early Childhood music classes for infants and toddlers, WIPA offers private lessons, group classes and ensembles for all ages and all abilities. We believe in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and believe that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay. We teach all instruments and voice and have a robust musical theatre program.

The Paterson Music Project is Wharton’s El Sistema-inspired program held at the Community Charter School of Paterson and Paterson Public School 1/26. Students receive 6 hours of intensive music instruction each week with the goal of creating social change through the ambitious pursuit of musical excellence.

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 13 counties. All of WIPA’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.