Jazz at ESU
Performance * Studies * History * Outreach * Appreciation
They're all a part of the rich jazz experience at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the music degrees offered at ESU, including concentrations in jazz, students have access to a robust jazz research archive, jazz studies courses and ensembles, and can enjoy numerous "up close and personal" experiences with both regional and world-renowned jazz professionals.
ESU Jazz Synergy Series
Established in 2008, the ESU Jazz Synergy Series brings internationally acclaimed jazz artists to the Poconos for the education and enjoyment of both students and the general public. Concerts are presented both on the ESU campus and at nearby venues such as the Sherman Theater and the Deer Head Inn.
Click on ESU Jazz Synergy Series at the top of this page to view a list of upcoming events.
Zoot Fest is a major annual fundraising event to benefit the Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection and its important outreach initiatives, particularly the ESU Jazz Synergy Series and Library Alive Concerts. A portion of the ticket proceeds will also benefit COTA CampJazz via a donation to the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts Fund for Young Musicians.
For more information about the lineup and schedule for Zoot Fest, click here.
To become a Zoot Fest sponsor, go to www.esufoundation.org/zootfestsponsor
Library Alive Concerts
Established in 2008, "Library Alive" concerts are presented twice a year to showcase the music of Al Cohn and the works of the many other composers and arrangers represented in ESU's Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection. The concerts feature the Grammy-nominated COTA Festival Orchestra, often with Phil Woods, performing classic Al Cohn and other charts made popular by the bands of such leaders as Woody Herman, Elliot Lawrence, Gerry Mulligan and Quincy Jones, among others. The Library Alive concerts are community collaborations among the ACMJC, COTA CampJazz, and the Sherman Theater, and serve as fundraising events for these important local arts organizations.
Each spring, the Library Alive series presents a "Scholastic Swing" for several Pocono-area student jazz ensembles, featuring an afternoon workshop with a guest artist such as "Blue Lou" Marini and clinicians from the COTA Festival Orchestra. Each student ensemble rehearses two tunes, one an Al Cohn chart and one of their own choosing. Then, in the opening set of the evening, the students get to perform on the stage of the historic Sherman Theater with the guest clinician as their soloist.
Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection
The Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection was established in 1988 to honor the life and legacy of "Mr. Music," Al Cohn – saxophonist, arranger, composer and Pocono neighbor. The collection is located on the ground level of ESU's Kemp Library and consists of donated jazz recordings, books, periodicals, oral histories, sheet music manuscripts and digital engravings, art, photographs, memorabilia and ephemera. All styles and eras of jazz are represented in the Collection, with a special emphasis on the preservation and documentation of Al Cohn's music, his long-time association with Zoot Sims, and the contributions of the many jazz musicians considered to be influences, colleagues, disciples, admirers and friends of Al.
Materials in the collections are available year-round to students, researchers, musicians, journalists, educators and jazz enthusiasts, and are used as part of the ACMJC's outreach activities, such as the publication and world-wide distribution of The NOTE magazine three times per year.
For more information, visit the ACMJC pages on the Kemp Library website at www.esu.edu/alcohncollection.
The NOTE, launched in September 1989, is published two times a year by the Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection as part of its educational outreach program. Featuring regular columns by Phil Woods ("Phil in The Gap") and David Liebman, oral history interviews, essays, photographs, humor and much more, The NOTE is distributed free to a worldwide readership which, in turn, helps to support its publication via voluntary donations.
ESU Jazz Masters Seminar & Mentor Concert Series
Both the ESU Jazz Masters Seminar and the Mentor Concert Series were developed and taught by Patrick Dorian, Distinguished Professor of Music. Lectures and concerts, open to the public and free of charge, have been conducted since 2000 featuring more than 110 professionals presenting their music, lives and careers to students and the public in an informal classroom setting. Each artist has appeared as a guest speaker and performer, interacting with the class and audience. Each concert in the Mentor Concert Series pairs two musicians who are peer mentors or who once had a mentor-student relationship, now complimenting each other's performance.
To date, the list of lecturer-performers has included: David Liebman, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Phil Woods, Eric Doney, Steve Gilmore, Bill Goodwin, Lou Marini, Kim Parker, Phil Markowitz, Marco Marcinko, Jerry Harris, Nancy & Spencer Reed, Mulgrew Miller, Hal Galper, Donna Antonow, Nelson Hill, Mark Murphy, Terell Stafford, Vic Juris, Sherrie Maricle & Stanley Kay, Bill Mays, John Coates, Jr., Dave Tofani and many more!
Over the years, students playing in the University Jazz Ensemble have had the unique privilege to accompany top-flight guest artists in concerts on campus. These performers, some with multiple appearances, have included: Phil Woods, Clark Terry, David Liebman, Al Grey, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Carter, Jimmy Heath, Steve Turre, Robin Eubanks, Stanley Turrentine, Marvin Stamm, Lou Marini, Lou Del Gatto, Jim Pugh and Terell Stafford.
Audio and video tapes of the Jazz Masters Seminar, Mentor Concert Series and University Jazz Ensemble concerts are preserved in the Pocono Jazz Heritage Collection of the Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection.
Selected from members of Concert Choir, University Singers is an auditioned group of 10-14 singers with rhythm section specializing in jazz and pop music. It is under the direction of Dr. James Maroney. In addition to concerts on campus every semester, the group performs at numerous community functions.
For more information, visit Dr. Maroney's website at www.esu.edu/jmaroney
David Liebman's Saxophone Master Class and Workshop
NEA Jazz Master David Liebman's teaching activities at universities and in clinic settings have taken him literally around the world as a result of his varied musical directions and expertise on several instruments, along with his ability to articulate the intricacies of the jazz language, aesthetic and technique. In 1989, he founded the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), an organization dedicated to networking educators and students from international jazz schools through periodic meetings, exchange programs and newsletters. Liebman serves as the Artistic Director of the IASJ. Since 1987, Dave has conducted a week-long workshop every summer at East Stroudsburg University, alternating each year between a Saxophone Master Class and a week spent entirely on the concepts described in his book, A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody (Advance Music). Both classes attract seriously motivated, high-caliber jazz performers from around the globe to come to ESU to study with this respected saxophonist and master musician.
For more information, visit Dave Liebman's website at www.daveliebman.com
Jazz Programs on WESS 90.3 FM
8 A.M. to 9 A.M.
Hosted by Steve Krawitz, a sonic exploration of creative acoustic, electronic, new age, ambient, world and space music.
Jazz for the Common Man
9 A.M. to Noon
Hosted by Steve Krawitz, spotlighting regional, national and international jazz artists and groups with occasional interviews, topical sets, the Complete Jazz Album, Artist's Choice specials, listener requests and the Live Jazz Performance Calendar.
WESS 90.3 FM can be heard on the web