In April, the SUNY Purchase Jazz Orchestra (PJO) will continue its tradition of performing at two renowned jazz venues in New York City, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center and The Blue Note.
The PJO is a 17-piece big band comprised of exceedingly talented students from the Conservatory of Music’s jazz studies program. Performing jazz from every era—from staples like Ellington and Basie to more modern works by today’s leading composers and arrangers like McNeely, Clayton, Abene, and Schneider—the PJO always swings.
Playing these venues affords the students invaluable experience, according to Professor of Music Todd Coolman, the Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist who conducts the group. He hopes the students learn that only hard work and preparation lead to excellence.
The gigs also provide instruction not easily replicated in the classroom. “They perform for a real audience of bona fide jazz fans who are there by choice rather than coincidence. That audience is demanding and they expect excellence to be on display at venues of this reputation,” Coolman says.
Since 2009, the Purchase Jazz Orchestra has been performing at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Lincoln Center. On Monday, April 22, the group will again appear for two shows at 7:30 and 9:30 pm, this time with special guest Steve Wilson on alto saxophone. Wilson is also a lecturer in the jazz studies program.
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola is one of the three main performance venues located in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s home, Frederick P. Rose Hall, and produces world-class jazz performances nightly in an intimate 140-seat jazz club set against spectacular views of Central Park. Tony Bennett calls Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola “the best jazz room in the city.”
On Monday, April 29, the group will appear at the legendary Greenwich Village jazz club The Blue Note, a venue that PJO has played every year since 2008. This year, they’ll perform with renowned trumpet player Jon Faddis as a guest soloist, who is also a professor of music here. The Blue Note performances begin at 8 and 10:30 pm.
The Jazz Studies program thrives in the Conservatory of Music, School of the Arts, where students and faculty collaborate on a wide range of projects. Both undergraduate and graduate students are mentored by an accomplished professional faculty and take private lessons with some of the most renowned musicians based in New York City. The students also record on state-of-the-art equipment and perform in a variety of venues both on and off campus.
Based on prior experience, Coolman is certain the PJO performances at these venues will impress. “I was pleased by the high level of professionalism and musicality that our students displayed…but I was not surprised by it.”
Click here for information about the performances at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.
On Mondays, students with ID receive discounts on admission.
Click here for more information about SUNY Purchase.