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Wharton Music Center Presents New Jersey Youth Symphony Faculty Jazz Quartet

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NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) Faculty Jazz Quartet, led by Jazz Studies program director Dave Schumacher, will perform as part of Wharton Music Center’s Community Concert Series on February 22 at 3:00 p.m. at the New Providence Memorial Library located at 377 Elkwood Avenue in New Providence. The concert, which features classic jazz compositions and selections from the American Songbook, is free and open to the public.

Baritone saxophonist and NJYS Jazz Studies program director Dave Schumacher is joined by guitarist Joel Perry, bassist Calvin Jones, and drummer Bernard Linnette with guest appearances by students of the NJYS jazz studies program.

Chicago native Dave Schumacher has been a key player in the New York jazz scene for more than three decades, touring throughout the United States and internationally with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Art Blakely Big Band, T.S. Monk on Monk Ensemble, Nicholas Payton's Louis Armstrong Tribute Big Band, and as an original member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra. 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 and Mel Torme.

As an educator, Schumacher is the Director of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz Studies program and teaches saxophone, music theory, and Intro to Jazz Workshop at Wharton Music Center. A recent addition to programming at Wharton, the Intro to Jazz Workshop is for teens and adults of all instruments with a budding interest in jazz. The 15-week class, which begins on Wednesday, February 18, meets weekly from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.

One of the premier guitarists of our time, Joel Perry has performed and recorded with a veritable Who’s Who list of the music world, traveling to over fifteen countries and appearing in venues from Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall to The Rainbow Room, The Blue Note, and Sounds of Brazil. Highlights of Mr. Perry’s musical journeys include collaboration with the late blues great Johnny Copeland during a U.S. Department of State tour of West Africa in 1982. Mr. Perry has appeared with Papa John Creach, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Lavern Baker, Joni Mitchel, Herb Ellis, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Gore, James Cotton, Percy France, Leon Thomas, Jimmy Dawkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Frank Foster, and Al Hibbler among others. Mr. Perry has released three recordings: Rainbow Skylight, Perry Airs, and Sonata to the Blues.

Acoustic and electric bassist Calvin Jones was born in North Carolina. Featured on over 40 recordings, Mr. Jones has toured and performed with Ray Anderson, Patti Austin, Don Braden, Cecil Brooks, Tom Brown, Alex Bugnon, Donald Byrd, Steve Coleman, Carla Cook, Ted Curson, Chico Freeman, Darrell Grant, Craig Harris, Jon Hendricks, Andrew Hill, Javon Jackson, Angela Johnson, Ronny Jordan, Eartha Kitt, Dave Koz, Les McCann, Greg Osby, Max Roach, Pharoah Sanders and James "Blood" Ulmer. Mr. Jones has performed on Broadway in the shows Bring 'N Da Noise, Bring 'N Da Funk, including its first national tour, Aint Nothin' But The Blues, and All Shook Up. Touring and performing has taken Mr. Jones to over 31 countries and 43 states.

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Bernard Linnette’s fascination with the resounding thunder of the drum set began at an early age. His legacy of playing percussion is rooted in his childhood, where he was performing as the drummer for his church choir by the age of 9. Mr. Linnette names such greats as Elvin Jones, Art Blakely, Steve Ellington, and Billy Higgins as major influences in his style.

A graduate of Rutgers University, Mr. Linnette is a frequent jazz clinician and has performed with such greats as Little Jimmy Scott, Junior Cook, Cedar Walton, Donald Harrison, and Abbey Lincoln. His sextet, inspired by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, strives for a well-arranged blend of straight-ahead, latin, and avant-garde grooves.

Wharton Music Center, where creativity and expression converge with exploration, provides a diverse range of classes and programs as New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts center. Serving nearly 1,200 students with high quality instruction in all instruments and voice, musical theatre, drama, and dance, Wharton and its esteemed faculty of talented professionals offer instruction for beginners of all ages, as well as an in-depth, sequential course of study through its Achievement Program, and orchestral and ensemble training with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, its orchestral and ensemble affiliate. New Jersey Youth Symphony features fourteen ensembles, available by audition for students in grades 3 – 12. Its premiere ensemble, Youth Symphony, was awarded first place in the prestigious 2014 Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival and has appeared in such internationally renowned concert halls as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.

Innovative programming and over 500 classes taught weekly, from Early Childhood Music, music theory, and audio recording to Introduction to Instruments, ensures that there is something for all ages and interests.

Part of our mission as a community school for the performing arts is to engage, educate, and enrich our community with a broad spectrum of accessible programming. Dedicated to serving the community, WMC provides instruction at local public, private and charter schools in after-school settings and during the school day. From an assembly program to a full-year residency, our outstanding faculty collaborates with school principals and staff to offer customized curriculum to meet the needs for music, drama, and musical theatre instruction for each school or organization. One of the highlights of our community programs is the Paterson Music Project, an El Sistema-inspired program that provides intensive music instruction to elementary school students attending the Community Charter School of Paterson.

Wharton Music Center builds personal connections in the community through an array of faculty and student performances, many of which are free and allow community members to become more involved with WMC. These often interactive Community Concerts include classical, jazz and family programs and are held at a variety of venues throughout the region. New Jersey Youth Symphony ensembles, both large and small, perform throughout the community.

Located in Berkeley Heights and New Providence, New Jersey, Wharton Music Center and New Jersey Youth Symphony serve students from thirteen counties.

For additional information about our community programs and class offerings visit our website www.WhartonMusicCenter.org or call 908-790-0700.

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