Johnny Varro at Wagner Noël Rea-Greathouse Recital Hall for Valentine’s Day

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The Four Freshmen: Harmonies Provide Strong Leadup to 50th West Texas Jazz Party Collaboration – at Midland Petroleum Club March 3


The West Texas Jazz Society welcomes the swinging and tight knit harmonies of The Four Freshmen to the Permian Basin one of our signature events leading up to the 50th anniversary jazz party.

Join us on March 3, 2016 at the Petroleum Club of Midland for a great jazz evening with the Four Freshmen. Chef Lou Lambert again prepares the meal!

Read More about the Four Freshmen here.

Preview the Musician Lineup of the
2016 West Texas Jazz Party
Collaboration below:

The West Texas Jazz Party Collaboration is May 20-22, 2016 at the MCM Eleganté Hotel – Odessa, Texas


Musicians scheduled to perform include:

  • Bucky Pizzarelli
  • Rossano Sportiello
  • Ed Polcer
  • Randy Sandke
  • Warren Vaché
  • Dan Barrett
  • John Allred
  • Ken Peplowski
  • Harry Allen
  • Houston Person
  • Allan Vaché
  • Johnny Varro
  • John Cocuzzi
  • Nicki Parrott
  • Frank Tate
  • Joel Forbes
  • Chuck Redd
  • Butch Miles
  • Tony Tedesco
  • Eddie Erickson
  • Rebecca Kilgore


The West Texas Jazz Party Collaboration is Sponsored in part by:

  • The Texas Commission for the Arts
  • Odessa Council for the Arts and Humanities
  • The Rea Charitable Trust
Patron Tickets: $225

Includes Reserved Seating for all performances and Saturday Brunch

General Admission:

Each performance $50 • Brunch $50

$25 per performance for teachers with valid ID (first come, first served – limited to space available)

$5 per performance for students (with ID)

For Hotel Reservations, call 432-368-5885 and ask for the Jazz Party Rate. For Jazz Party or Brunch Reservations, call 432-552-8962. We are now accepting credit cards or you may make your check payable to: West Texas Jazz Society • P.O. Box 10832 • Midland, Texas 79702

Red Norvo was a favorite in Odessa and Midland from the mid 1970s through the early 80s.

Red-Norvo-from-Crues-1000pxThis portrait of Red Norvo was presented to Red at the Midland party. According to a story from Bobby Crues, Norvo’s significant other at the time did not like the painting, and so it ended up at the home of former Midland Jazz Classic President Crues.

One of the most engaging musicians to attend the West Texas Jazz Parties in both Midland and Odessa was the xylophonist and vibraphonist Red Norvo. It’s likely that most people attending parties in either Odessa or Midland had no idea who Red Norvo was when he first visited Odessa in 1975…

Read more here about Red Norvo…


This West Texas Jazz program on KXWT Odessa features the first of three interview programs with musician, musicologist and jazz historian Ted Gioia, who wrote a book several years ago called “The Jazz Standards” that is a great read. You’ll hear a number of songs you know, from a number of musicians you like. Gioia has great insights and comments on how he chose the songs – its a very small list of just over 250 titles – and what the songs mean to jazz. The songs in the program come directly from examples Gioia lists in the book (the list is also available to listen to completely on Spotify – it’s well over 1200 songs.). The interviewer for the program is Dave Leonnig.

Five Reasons You Should Have Attended the
West Texas Jazz Party in Odessa in May 2015 – and why you should plan to make our 50th party in 2016!

KXWT Odessa aired this program recently as a tribute to Sunnie and Ralph Sutton. The program is 53 minutes.

Here is another treat – for friends of the great jazz drummer Joe Ascione, who can no longer perform because of Multiple Sclerosis – here is a track from the jazz party in 2009. Jazz Party President Margaret Gillham introduces Thou Swell with Joe playing the drums…Enjoy!

Our Mission…

  • The preservation, perpetuation and expansion of America’s original musical art form – jazz. 

  • The promotion of jazz as an art form among the young. 

  • The presentation of quality jazz performances in the Permian Basin.

Read about a recent Jazz Party in the Odessa American.

Planning the 50th Annual West Texas Jazz Party