Upcoming Events

Coming to Midland February 23, 2017:

The N’Awlins Gumbo Kings



Thursday, February 23rd – 7:30p.m.
DoubleTree Midland Ballroom – 117 W. Wall Street

The N’Awlins Gumbo Kings are:

Brian Piper – Piano
Mike Sizer – Clarinet & Saxophones
Steve Howard – Trumpet
Tony Baker – Trombone
Bobby Breaux – Drums
Carl Hillman – Bass

Members – Free
Non-members – $40
Students with ID – $5
Reserved seating additional $15
Call (432) 559-2412 for reservations

CASH BAR

Sponsored by:
Arts Council of Midland & Texas Commission on the Arts

Past Events – 2016 and before

Events-Jan-Mar-1200

Brian Piper Trio – January 28
Rea-Greathouse Recital Hall – Wagner Noël
Johnny Varro– February 14
Rea-Greathouse Recital Hall – Wagner Noël
Four Freshmen – March 3
Midland Petroleum Club

Short introductory video featuring attendees of the 50th West Texas Jazz Party, May 20-22, 2016.

Call 432-552-8962 today to make your reservations!
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
  • Highlights of our 30th Anniversary Program – 1996


    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

    On June 2, 2015 at the Rea-Greathouse Recital Hall, the West Texas Jazz Society welcomed The Anderson Twins Trio!

    -PETER & WILL ANDERSON have been called ”virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone” by no less than the New York Times. Hailing from Washington, D.C., they are truly one of the most extraordinary duos in jazz performing today. At 15, they toured the United Kingdom, and have been described as “clever, charming…true showmen.” After attending Juilliard in New York City, they have become saxophonists of choice for Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, and Wycliffe Gordon. They’ve headlined at Jazz at Lincoln Center, DC’s Blues Alley, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Sarasota FL Jazz Festival, Seattle’s Triple Door, Iowa’s Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival as well as at jazz festivals in Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and South America. And June 2, they will be at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center!

    The Anderson Twins and their Trio performed in the Rea-Greathouse Recital Hall at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center June 2 at 8 p.m. Jazz Society members receive free admission. For others admission is $20 each. Student admission is $5 with student ID. See you there! Call 432-552-8962 today for further information and to get your tickets!

    WTJS.June.2.2015sm

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    West Texas Jazz Society
    News Release – 5-1–2015

    West Texas Jazz Party Swings Through 49 years 
with Old & New Friends

    Odessa & Midland, Texas (May 1, 2015)…When the longest running jazz party in the United States began in 1967, tickets were as rare as hens teeth. The first Odessa Jazz Party lasted six days, and was heard by just over a hundred people.

    Fast forward to 2015, and the party is still among the best of its kind. Each musician attending this year’s event is considered among the finest on his/her chosen instrument, and the group will again be organized into unique performing units when they arrive to play for hundreds of attendees over four days.

    This year’s party, held at the MCM Elegante’ Hotel in Odessa from May 14 through 17, will feature 21 musicians from across the United States. Of those musicians attending the party, three have been coming to Odessa or Midland to play jazz for 40 years or more. The party is 7-11 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, with a brunch beginning at 11 a.m lasting until 3 p.m. on Saturday.

    Tickets for the 4-day party are $225 each for the entire program, or may be purchased individually for $50 a day. The $225 price includes a jazz brunch on Saturday. Students with ID are welcome to attend any of the sessions for $5 each day. Overnight accomodations are available at the hotel.

    Pianist and music director Johnny Varro – who first played Odessa in 1961 before the official jazz party – says that sitting in the audience is like watching a slide show or movie, where the audience stays still and the musicians parade on and off the stage. He says, “the music comes to the audience, nonstop, like a slide show” for over four hours.” The goal is for transitions to be five minutes or less, allowing attendees to hear music non-stop.

    Watch the videos “Five Reasons to Attend the West Texas Jazz Party:

    The lead conspirator at the beginning was local Odessa physician O.A. “Jiimmie” Fulcher, with the help of Colorado Jazz Party founder Dick Gibson, and the initial party was held at the old Inn of the Golden West upstairs in the private club.

    West Texas Jazz Party president Margaret Gillham remembers the first party and the well-liked Doc Fulcher. “He was the reason jazz came here, and a reason why the musicians came back,” Gillham recalls. “Dr. Fulcher also had the support of the community and the musicians were welcome to bring their families and treat this like a working vacation.” She also recalls that many of the early musicians often stayed at Fulcher’s home.

    “I don’t think anyone thought the party would span six decades,” Gillham continued. “They weren’t trying to create an institution. They just wanted to bring the music they loved back to West Texas.”

    The musicians clearly like to return to the area. Two of this year’s attendees – 89-year-old guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and 78-year-old cornetist Ed Polcer – were present 40 years ago at the 1975 Odessa Jazz Party. Bucky first attended the Odessa Party in 1968, and remembers his first party as the continuation of a long relationship with West Texas. “My father hitchhiked to Odessa in 1916 to be a cowboy, just like he had seen in the movies,” Pizzarelli says. “He nicknamed me Buckskin, which shortened to Bucky, after his time in Odessa.” Like a number of the musicians attending this year’s show, Bucky and Ed Polcer made their first trip here as working musicians from New York City.

    The musicians scheduled to appear at the 2015 party include:

    • Piano: Johnny Varro, Ehud Asherie, Rossano Sportiello
    • Bass: Joel Forbes. Frank Tate, Nicki Parrott (vocals)
    • Drums: Chuck Redd (drums & vibes), Tony Tedesco, Butch Miles
    • Trumpet: Ed Polcer, Warren Vache, Randy Sandke
    • Trombone: Dan Barrett, John Allred
    • Reeds: Ken Peplowski, Scott Robinson, Allan Vache
    • Guitar: Bucky Pizzarelli, Ed Laub (vocals)
    • Vocals: Rebecca Kilgore

    Eddie Erickson, guitar and vocal, was scheduled to appear but had to cancel due to illness.

    Also scheduled to return as guests of the party include the 96-year-old vocalist Louise Tobin, wife of long-time jazz party clarinetist Peanuts Hucko. Sunnie Sutton, wife of the one of the first musicians to attend the party, legendary pianist Ralph Sutton, was scheduled to attend but will miss her second jazz party (she missed last year to attend a jazz party in New York) due to illness.

    For further information or tickets, contact Margaret Gillham at 432-552-8962 or by email at margaret-gillham@msn.com. For Hotel Reservations, call 432-368-5885 and ask tor the Jazz Rate of $129.00.

    West Texas Jazz Society
    Collaboration Jazz Party #49
    and Beginning The COUNTDOWN TO
    COLLABORATION #50
    May 14-17, 2015
    MCM Eleganté Hotel
    Odessa, Texas

    Sponsored in part by:
    • The Texas Commission for the Arts
    • Odessa Council for the Arts and Humanities
    • The Rea Charitable Trust
    Patron Tickets: $200

    Includes Reserved Seating for all performances and Saturday Brunch

    General Admission:

    Each performance $50 • Brunch $50

    For Hotel Reservations, call 432-368-5885 and ask tor the Jazz Rate of $129.00. 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

    WTJS-49artists

    Invited musicians:

    Piano: Johnny Varro, Ehud Asherie, Rossano Sportiello
    Bass: Joel Forbes. Frank Tate, Nicki Parrott (vocals)
    Drums: Chuck Redd (vibes), Tony Tedesco, Butch Miles
    Trumpet: Ed Polcer, Warren Vache, Randy Sandke
    Trombone: Dan Barrett, John Allred
    Reeds: Ken Peplowski, Scott Robinson, Allan Vache
    Guitar: Bucky Pizzarelli, Ed Laub (vocals), Eddie Erickson (vocals)
    Vocals: Rebecca Kilgore

    OA-Story-PromoThe 2014 West Texas Jazz Jazz Party was a hit! Read about the Jazz Party in the Odessa American.

    Our West Texas Jazz Society Student Clinic was held on Friday, May 16 at the MCM Elegante’ Hotel in Odessa from 2 – 3:30, when jazz ensemble students from local high schools and Odessa College performed for guest “judges” from the West Texas Jazz Party. The clinic is sponsored by Sewell Ford Lincoln and TeamSewell.
    The Johnny Varro Swing 7 played for dancers from 4-5 pm on Saturday as part of the Saturday afternoon session of the West Texas Jazz Party.

    Click here for all the info.

    This just in – Johnny Varro back in the Permian Basin February 15!

    The pianist Johnny Varro is back in the area for a great day-after Valentine’s Day gift! Join the party on Sunday from 1 – 5 pm at the Rea-Greathouse Recital Hall. Call 432-552-8962 for more information!

    JOHNNYV.FEB15

    John-Pizzarelli-BRBC-composite

     

    Thursday, March 5, 2015 • Odessa Country Club

    6:00 PM COCKTAILS AND HORS D’OEUVRES for Special Sponsors
    John Pizzarelli’s latest CD which is being introduced that night will be available as well as a chance to meet John. John Pizzarelli’s CD and book will be at your tables.

    • 6:30 PM COCKTAILS
    • 7:00 PM DINNER = 3 Course Meal prepared by Chef Louis Lambert
    • 8:30 PM CABARET SHOW

    Back by popular demand…Chef Louis Lambert, West Texas’ own chef who has been featured in Texas Monthly and Food and Wine amongother publications.

    RSVP by February 25, 2015

    To RSVP or for more information, contact contact 432-553-2764 (margaret-gillham@msn.com) or 432-683-2026 (cwaddill05@yahoo.com)

West Texas Jazz Party 51 – May 19-21, 2017