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 three series of Duke Ellington Jazz Workshops on the Westfield State University campus during the fall 2019 semester. First, the Vocal Jazz workshops will be held on Thursdays, September 19–November 21, 6–8 p.m. The Youth Ensemble (ages 13–18) will be held on Sundays, September 22–December 8, 10 a.m. to noon. The Adult Ensemble will be held on Mondays, September 23–December 9, 6–8 p.m.

In each of these 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. Vocal direction for the Vocal Jazz workshop will be given by Ellen Cogen. Improvisational skills are not required and no audition is necessary.

The cost for each series of workshops is $250. For more information or to register online, visit

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 went on to work 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.  For more information, visit,, or


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