UPDATE: Westfield on Weekends and the Westfield State University Music Department announced February 23rd's Up Close and Musical events (a Master Class with renowned jazz drummer/percussionist Rudy Royston and his quintet scheduled for 3:45 pm and concert at 7:30 at the Dower Center for the Performing and Fine Arts) has been postponed until April 19.
WOW AND WSU’s FREE “UPCLOSE AND MUSICAL” SERIES BOASTS EXTENSIVE MUSICAL CALENDAR FOR WINTER/SPRING EDITION
Music takes center stage for the winter/spring edition of the free Up Close and Musical series, produced by Westfield on Weekends and the Westfield State University Music Department with an extensive calendar of more than 15 events from February thru May at various venues in downtown Westfield and at the university.
Now in its third year of free performances, “Up Close” will feature performances of an eclectic range of vocal and instrumental music, ranging from classical to blues, jazz to opera, Broadway and pop.
The series debuted Saturday, February 4 with a full-house jazz jam session at Hutghi’s at the Nook that spotlighted the faculty and students of the Jazz Studies program at the university.
WOW board member and WSU professor/saxophonist and facilitator of the evening, Ed Orgill noted that Hutghi’s was a perfect place to begin this year’s performances.
“Jazz has a rich history of open jam sessions in intimate atmospheres and Hutghi’s at the Nook provided the right ambiance. Orgill explained. “It looks pretty much the same as it did early in the last century when jazz music occupied the pinnacle of American popular music. There is nothing better than hearing live music, up close to the musicians and the “Up Close” series does just that.”
The series continues on Friday, March 24 at 7 pm at WOW’s Creative Arts Center, 105 Elm Street with the “Beethoven to Broadway” evening, featuring students and faculty, during which a “Q and A” period after each performance allows audiences to learn about the musicians, their instruments, repertoire and process.
The rescheduled lecture and Master Class with professional jazz drummer/percussionist Rudy Royston and his quintet will be held on Wednesday, April 19 at 3:45 pm at Room 134 at the Dower Center which will precede an evening concert by Royston’s Quintet at 7:00 pm, also at Room 134.
Royston is widely known in jazz circles as a skilled performer, educator, composer, bandleader and recording artist. Classically trained, he has worked with many jazz greats from trumpeter Dave Douglas and bassist Linda May Han Oh to saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and the Mingus Big Band.
For his Westfield appearance, he will be joined by Joe Ellis on bass clarinet and sax, Gary Versace on accordion, Hank Roberts on cello and Joe Martin on bass, each of whom have notable musical resumes.
Friday, April 28 returns our series to the WOW Creative Arts Center at 7:00pm with another evening of "Beethoven to Broadway" with faculty musician, Alex Thomas, from the Westfield State University Music Department, on piano.
Watch for additional programming slated for the campus and community venues in May as we wind down our spring portion of the 2023 season!
The “Up Close” series is made possible with a grant from the Westfield Cultural Council, a local program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, in-kind assistance from Westfield State University and donations from the general public and audience members.
WOW’s Creative Arts Center is a program of Westfield on Weekends, a 501 (c)(3) volunteer non-profit which seeks to enhance community life through accessible and affordable programming that celebrates the diversity of life in Westfield.
Admission is free for most programs.