Our Educational Programs

The Somers Point Jazz Society is excited to be a part of  The Education Initiative, in partnership with Ocean City Home BankJacobs MusicOcean City Free Public LibraryEnroute Computer SolutionsGodfrey Funeral HomesRichard Stockton College of NJ and Atlantic City Instrument Rental, which includes a wide range of jazz education programs for elementary school students, high school students and adults.

This Initiative includes: Student Workshops, Lectures and Jazz Appreciation Programs, Elementary School Assembly Programs, and Master Classes.

Upcoming Events

Jazz: One's Journey to a Better Life.On December 21st & 28th, saxophonist, psychologist, and educator, Dr. Michael Pedicin will present a lecture and seminar “Jazz: One’s Journey to a Better Life.”

In his presentation, Dr. Pedicin will describe how the paradigm for jazz can lead us, as musicians or non-musicians, to a better way of feeling and thinking through the embodiment of Improvisation, Creativity, and Consciousness.

“Life’s journey can be enhanced by appropriate perception, and the willingness to change one’s dogmatic or rigid thinking. We are all free to allow ourselves the joy of improvising, creating, and thinking in more healthful ways, so that the essence of jazz, as an art form and process, can transcend all pre-existing and limiting boundaries.”

Please join us for a celebration of what life can be about if we allow it to manifest with our hearts, our souls, and our brains…… as interconnected and dynamic forces in our universe.

We are all connected!

All Programs are Free!
Chris Maloney
Lecture Hall

Ocean City Free Public Library


Past Events

2014 Summer Jazz Series

 Hard Bop Sunday,” featuring the Bob Ferguson Quintet 

Standing In the Shadows of Motown,” a documentary lecture  and discussion about the Funk Brothers, Motown, presented by guitarist, author and producer Allan Slutsty.

Jazz played by teacher and student” featuring two professional and related jazz pianists, Dean Schneider (teacher) and Chris Simonini (student). 

Bebop for a Sunday Afternoon,” featuring the Tom Angello Quartet.

Jazz Bass plus 1 on a Sunday Afternoon.” Featuring bassists Andy Lalasis and Bob Fowler.

Smooth Jazz Sunday” by the Howard Isaacson Quartet.

 Jazz on Broadway” featuring the Bud Noble Trio 

Blues for a Sunday Afternoon” featuring the jazz and blues styling of vocalist Paula Johns.


Ocean City Free Public Library 3-part series…”THE ART OF IMPROVISATION”

Michael Pedicin

March 23rd, March 30th, and April 6th 2014.

Presented by saxophonist and educator Dr. Michael Pedicin **, in association with the Somers Point Jazz Society and the Ocean City, NJ Free Public Library.

“The Art of Improvisation” series is dedicated to the memory of the late Christopher Maloney, who lived a life… filled with creative and intellectual inspiration and community involvement.

**Also presenting: pianist Chris Simonini; bassist Lee Smith; drummer Vic Stevens.

The Art of Improvisation, Part I (March 23rd, 2:00-3:15 p.m.)

The ArtPart I will introduce the concept of improvisation, which is a form of spontaneous musical composition, created and performed by jazz musicians. During this first of three parts, Michael and the quartet’s other musicians will discuss, present, demonstrate, and perform how this is accomplished. Musical samples and educational material will be presented to an audience of both non-musicians and musicians. We welcome all, and will convey this material in simplistic terms for all to understand. Jazz will be played!

of Improvisation, Part II (March 30th, 2:00-3:15 p.m.)

Part II will be a continuation of Part I, as well as an opportunity for all student musicians (ages 13-22) to bring his/her instrument to play and learn these techniques. This week’s presentation will offer students, who may have not had the chance to play this music, to do so with this seasoned professional quartet of musicians and educators. STUDENTS: BRING YOUR INSTRUMENTS!! Everyone is invited….. our regular OC audience of jazz lovers and enthusiasts are welcome and needed too! We want an audience of listeners.

The Art of Improvisation, Part III (April 6th, 2:00-3:15 p.m.)

Part III will be a continuation of Parts I and II, as well as an opportunity for “student” musicians of ALL ages to bring his/her instrument to play and learn these techniques. This week’s presentation will offer students and adults, who may have not had the chance to play this music, to do so with this seasoned professional quartet of musicians and educators. EVERYONE:  BRING YOUR INSTRUMENTS!!  Our regular OC audience of jazz lovers and enthusiasts are welcome and needed too!! We want an audience of listeners.


Michael Pedicin and the Somers Point Jazz Society, in association with the Ocean City Free Public Library, present a 3-part performance and lecture series dedicated to the historical development and musical importance of the guitar, the trombone, and the vibraphone in Jazz.

Programs included: “The Guitar In Jazz” - featuring Tom Giacabetti and his trio, ”The Trombone In Jazz” - featuring Don Collins and his Quartet, and ”The Vibes In Jazz” - featuring the Tony Miceli Group.

Michael Pedicin’s “The Summer of the Saxophone” 

Lectures included: The Music and Spirituality of John Coltrane, Part I & II, The Saxophone, Stan Getz, and the Bossa Nova, The The Music of the Miles Davis Sextet, The Music of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, Celebrating Directions In Music – the Music of Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Brian Blade and John Patitucci, and The Music of Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny, Part I & I

All performances are hosted by Michael Pedicin, and feature Michael Pedicin – tenor saxophone, with various ensembles.

Jazz Saxophonist Michael Pedicin is an associate professor of Music and coordinator of the Jazz Studies Program at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.He is also the Education Committee Chairperson for Somers Point Jazz Society.


Sunday, February 24, 2013 - “The Jazz Bassist….from timekeeper to soloist.”  

This will be a combination lecture and performance, discussing and demonstrating how bassists have been transformed from basic time keepers (1920-1940) in the earlier years of jazz, to finally earning their proper and important place in musical ensembles. Some of the great bass players to be discussed will be Jimmy Blanton, Charles Mingus, Milt Hinton, Charlie Haden, Scott LaFaro, Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Stanley Clarke, John Patitucci and Marcus Miller,

Bassists Andy Lalasis and Bob Fowler will be discussing, demonstrating and playing. Performing with the bassists will be Vic Stevens – drums, and Dean Schneider – piano.


Sunday, March 3, 2013 - “The Jazz Drummer….from timekeeper to soloist.”

This presentation will be a combination of lecture and performance, explaining how the drummer’s role has been transformed from basic time keeping (1920-1940s) to eventually moving into a more active and musical role! Drummers like Gene Krupa, Louis Bellson, Jo Jones, etc. will be discussed from the early years, and we will then move forward to the Swing era’s Buddy Rich, modernists Dave Weckl, Jack DeJonette, Jimmy Cobb, and Elvin Jones and many others.

Drummers Vic Stevens and Harry Himles will discuss and demonstrate the genesis of jazz drumming throughout these years. To round out this group, we have added pianist Jon Pruitt and bassist Andy Lalasis.


Sunday, March 10, 2013 - “The Jazz Vocalist….from melody to scatting.” 

Our three vocalists for today’s performance will present, through discussion and performance, some of the wonderful styles and renditions of some of our favorite jazz vocalists of the past and present, as well as presenting their own vocal stylings and musical personalities.

Melody, lyrical interpretation, and scatting will be the mode of today’s performances.

Vocalists Gina Roche, Paul Jost and Denise Montana will be accompanied by pianist Dean Schneider, bassist Rich Kurtz, and drummer Vic Stevens.


The next 6-part Jazz Lecture Series at the Ocean City Public Library:

The Icons of Jazz” – Louis Armstrong; Duke Ellington; Dizzy Gillespie; Charlie Parker; Thelonius Monk; McCoy Tyner; Sonny Rollins; John Coltrane; Cannonball Adderley; John Coltrane plus more!
This series will document and explore why these musicians are so important to the overall history and development of this truly wonderful American Art Form……JAZZ! There will be lecture, discussion, music, and film.
Co-presenters and co-hosts Michael Pedicin and Bob Ferguson will both be present at each day’s event.
Dates and times: Sundays (4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27). 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Please check out our Jazz In the Schools Program (Click to view on YouTube)

The Women of Jazz Series

Sunday afternoons–January 15, 22, and 29, 2012, 2-3:30 PM
Ocean City Free Public Library, 1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City, NJ 08226
January 15, 2012
Cathy Rocco (vocalist): Cathy Rocco’s vocal offerings represent Jazz Artists’ universal affection for the Great American Songbook. Cathy adds her flavoring of the Blues to these songs, giving her own signature to these Classics from the 1920′s through today.  Cathy’s performance will be accompanied by a lecture from Michael Pedicin, Chair–Education Committee of the Somers Point Jazz Society.
January 22, 2012
Mary Lou Newnam (saxophonist/flutist): This program will include performance and discussion concerning the Women Pioneers in Jazz and will highlight some of the most important women in Jazz from the 1930′s to the present.  Instrumentalists and vocalists from this era will be represented.  Marylou will be joined by trumpeter George Rabbai, and others.
Janaury 29, 2012
Monnette Sudler (guitarist): Monnette Sudler and her band, which includes Lynn Riley on alto saxophone and flute; Leesa Dawn Robinson on drums, plus others, will feature and highlight the music of Thelonious Monk and Wayne Shorter.
Jazz History, Appreciation, and Analysis
Wednesday evenings–October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 and 9, 2011, 7-8:30 PM
Ocean City Free Public Library, 1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City, NJ 08226
Presenter/lecturer: Michael Pedicin, Chair-Education Committee of the Somers Point Jazz Society
This six-part series will present America’s true art form–Jazz.  There will be discussion and examples of the theory and analysis of jazz.  From its African roots, to Dixieland, to Swing, to bebop, and more–straight-ahead to smooth jazz, and all that is in between!  Learn who made this music what it is and how it got here.  No theoretical knowledge or experience is necessary.  Come to have fun and enjoy listening to some great jazz!
Jazz Masters Series
A three-part series involving performance and discussion, and focusing on some of themost important and influential saxophonists, trumpeters and pianists in the history of jazz.  Each event takes place at the Ocean City Free Public Library 1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City NJ, 08226
November 7, 2010, 3 – 4:30 PM 
The Jazz Saxophone Masters: We shall explore the development of the jazz style of the saxophone, beginning with some of the early leaders of this genre. Sidney Bechet, Lester Young, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, and John Coltrane. We will have a rhythm section (piano, bass and drums) and four saxophonists demonstrating this music and its development.
November 21, 2010, 3: 4:30 PM
The Jazz Trumpet Masters: We shall explore the development of the jazz style of the trumpet, beginning with some samples of dixieland (Bix Beiderbecke), Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong; then onto Harry James, Maynard Ferguson, Nat Adderley (cornet), Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, and Dave Douglas. A rhythm section plus four trumpeters will demonstrate and perform.
November 28, 2010, 3 – 4:30 PM
The Jazz Piano Masters: We shall explore the development of the jazz piano style, starting with some ragtime and stride piano, and arriving at the present. The music and styles of James Johnson, Fats Waller, Thelonious Monk, Art Tatum, McCoy Tyner, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett will be explored. A piano trio will demonstrate and perform.

The Evolution of Jazz Series

August 2nd, 9th, and 16th, 2010
Ocean City Library, 1735 Simpson Avenue, Ocean City New Jersey, 08226

August 2nd 7 – 8:30 PM

Part 1: The Bob Ferguson Ensemble will present the music of the origins of Jazz, i.e. early combo Jazz (prior to the 1930s) and proceed to the early beginnings of Swing (1940s). The earliest jazz musicians took liberties with the tunes and the accompaniments in their performances. Their new ideas and embellishments sometimes became more important to performance than the tunes themselves. This trend evolved across the 1920s, and in some performances of the 1930s all that remained of the original was the tune’s spirit and chord progressions.
August 9  7 – 8:30 PM
Part 2: Ed Vezinho will present the Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band. The Big Band/Swing Era of the 30s, 40s and 50s showed an emergence of a new style of jazz. Most of this music was played by big bands, which included at least 10 musicians or more. Partly because of its rhythmic properties, swing-style jazz attracted millions of dancers. It also produced several excellent big bands (e.g. Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, etc.) and more than a few great instrumental jazz soloists. This popular style has now emerged into a more refined and sophisticated big band style, which can be heard in the styles of this current ensemble.
August 16  7 – 8:30 PM
Part 3: The Michael Pedicin Group will present the be-bop, hard- bop, post- bop, straight-ahead, fusion, Latin, and contemporary styles of jazz, which encompass the years 1958-present.  The composers’ music of this period that will be reflected in part 3 are Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Tito Puente, etc.


Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes