Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University to offer Duke Ellington Jazz Workshops

CONTACT: Troy Watkins,, 413.572.5523


WestfieldThe College of Graduate and Continuing Education will be offering two series of Duke Ellington Jazz Workshops on the campus of Westfield State University. The youth ensemble (ages 13-18) will be held on Sundays, April 21–June 30, 10 a.m.–noon. The adult ensemble will be held on Mondays, April 22–July 1, 6–8 p.m.

In this series of 10 workshops, participants will rehearse and perform the music of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra with lead sheets, solos, and arrangements transcribed by the director, Wayne Roberts. Workshops will cover jazz improvisation, sight reading, practical music theory, stylistic analysis and interpretation, listening sessions, and jazz history. Improvisational skills are not required.

The cost for this series is $250. To register online, visit For more information, contact Brandon Fredette at or call 413-572-8033.  

About the instructor
Wayne Roberts is a visiting lecturer and bass professor at Westfield State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory and master’s degree from the Juilliard School, after which he worked with many notable musicians. In 1998, Roberts formed the Onyx Club Sextet, featuring the music of the John Kirby Sextet, which gained him international acclaim. In 2015, he was a member of the faculty for “Jazz in July” at UMass Amherst.

Founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public co-educational college in America to offer an education without barrier to race, gender or economic status. This spirit of innovative thinking and social responsibility is forged in a curriculum of liberal arts and professional studies that creates a vital community of engaged learners who become confident, capable individuals prepared for leadership and service to society.

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