WCU’s Wells School of Music to Host Virtual Jazz Fest Next Week

Image via West Chester University.
Rudresh Mahanthappa's Hero Trio will perform on March 25 at 8 PM.

The Wells School of Music at West Chester University will again bring world-class entertainment and free jazz to the community in the form of the 30th Annual Jazz Festival.

From March 24-27, students, educators, and audiences alike are invited to enjoy virtual jazz concerts and participate in live and pre-recorded master classes with jazz ensembles and experts.

Click here for a full listing and details.

Jonathan Ragonese is the Director of Jazz Studies at WCU and the curator for this year’s festival.

“West Chester University has enjoyed a long history and commitment to great jazz programming,” he said. “Our own faculty jazz group, as well as our beloved student jazz ensembles, the Criterions and the Statesman, are among the many points of pride for the Wells School of Music. This year’s virtual festival is a little different, but still offers many opportunities for members of the community to enjoy jazz music from some of the finest artists in our region and beyond for free, and to participate in master classes. We hope students, teachers, and audiences in our community will take full advantage of these offerings and will share in our excitement for this fantastic programming.”

New this year is a website portal specific to teachers and their students.

“The portal will allow a relaxed access point for Zoom-exhausted teachers and their students to view concerts and master classes at their leisure,” said Ragonese. “The portal will include teaching and learning tools created by West Chester University professors and the guest artists and will be live from the start of the festival through mid-May.”

In a typical year, a festival highlight is welcoming area high school jazz bands to the WCU campus to make music together. This year, students will still be able to engage with WCU professors and students in the form of four live, big band master classes hosted by the Criterions on Saturday, March 27. The classes are specific to section and will include demonstrations, Q&A, and discussion.

E-mail Jonathan Ragonese at Jragonese@wcupa.edu for information and to register for portal and master class access.