Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder that the first All-County Jazz Rehearsal will be held on Wednesday, February 14th
from 6:30 – 9:30 pm at the Hommocks Middle School in Mamaroneck.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!


Greetings WCSMA Band directors & Jazz educators,

I am pleased to announce the 2024 WCSMA All County Jazz Festival. I can’t tell you how excited I am to get this year’s festival off and running.  Similar to last year, we will be going paperless for the application process.  I am including the link to the Google form application here:

Jazz All County Audition Form

Please share this link with your students.  Any student who is planning on auditioning needs to fill this out.  Additional audition details are discussed further on the Google form.


Please consider discussing the Jazz Fest with your HS jazz instrumentalists to see if they might be interested in trying out.  We love reminding graduating seniors that although NYSSMA is typically not done in 12th grade, the Jazz Festival welcomes and encourages them to audition.

The goal is to be able to have two full big bands each with their own program and guest director.  The instruments we are looking for include alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, trumpets, trombones, and all rhythm section (piano, bass, drums, guitar & vibes).

Every part of the Jazz Festival will take place at Hommocks Middle School located at 130 Hommocks Rd Larchmont NY 10538. 


Date/Time: Saturday, January 6th, 2024 – 9 am-12 pm 

(Students will sign up for a time slot on the door of their audition room when they arrive)

 Location: Hommocks Middle School, 130 Hommocks Road, Larchmont, NY 10538

 Our audition requirements are very similar to a Jazz NYSSMA audition.


  1. A prepared Jazz NYSSMA Solo (Level 5 or 6 ) selected from the CURRENT NYSSMA Manual. (Unlike the current jazz NYSSMA requirement to perform your prepared solo with an existing accompaniment, the prepared solo portion of this audition should be performed unaccompanied.)
  2. Improvisation (with cd or mp3 accompaniment) Level 5 or 6 selected from the CURRENT NYSSMA Manual (students will play the melody, a minimum of two improvised choruses, and bring the melody back)
  3. Sight Reading (given at the audition; typically, 8 to 10 bars)

There will be two judges in each audition room.

The dates of the entire festival are as follows. All students who are selected must be available to attend ALL rehearsals and concert dates in order to perform:

Auditions:       Saturday, January 6th       (9 am to 12 pm)

Rehearsal #1:   Wednesday, February 14th (6:30-9:30 pm)

Rehearsal #2:    Tuesday, March 12th        (6:30-9:30 pm)

Rehearsal #3:    Wednesday, March 13th      (6:30-9:30 pm)

Concert:              Friday, March 15th             (7:30 pm)


Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email if you have any questions whatsoever.  I will be sending out other email reminders along the way as we get closer to the December 22 nd application deadline.  Lastly, please keep me in the loop with the email addresses of new hires and/or switches in your district with respect to who teaches jazz band.  I want to make sure my lists are as up-to-date as they can be.  If there is a music teacher you know should be on my list, please forward this email to them and/or let me know their info.


Thanks so much,
James Mullen
WCSMA Jazz Coordinator

Student Information Page

Information regarding the festival will be available in the late Fall.


Bill Cunliffe is a jazz pianist, composer, and Grammy Award-winning arranger. He got his start playing and arranging for the great Buddy Rich, and touring with Frank Sinatra. In 1989 Bill won the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he performed with the Clayton Brothers and the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra for ten years and currently plays with the Joe La Barbera quintet (former drummer with Bill Evans) and with his trio. He has also performed with James Moody, Benny Golson, Red Rodney, Art Farmer, Clifford Jordan, Freddie Hubbard, Bob Berg, Junior Cook, Sonny Fortune, Woody Shaw, Michael Brecker, George Coleman, Pharoah Sanders, Joe Henderson, Houston Person, Hubert Laws and Art Blakey.

Cunliffe’s film work includes the score for “On the Shoulders of Giants,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s homage to the Harlem Rens basketball team of the 1920s and ’30s. He was awarded a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for “West Side Story Medley,” on the album “Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson” (Resonance Records, 2009). His piano concerto, Overture, Waltz, and Rondo, was nominated for a Grammy in 2012.

His latest release, currently receiving significant airplay nationwide, is “Border Widow’s Lament” (2022, Night Is Alive Records) with Martin Wind, bass, and Tim Horner, drums.

His music has been performed by the Metropole Orchestra, the Flensburg (Germany) Symphony, the Marchigiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Middletown (OH) Symphony, Huntington (WV) Symphony Orchestra, the Henry Mancini Orchestra, the Temple University Symphony and the Reading (PA) Symphony, among others.

In addition to his work as jazz studies professor at Cal State Fullerton, Cunliffe teaches at the Skidmore Jazz Institute and the Vail Jazz Workshop.


Dr. Rafi Malkiel is a highly acclaimed educator, composer, band leader, and trombone player based in New York. He currently serves as the band director at Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY, where he teaches and conducts the Jazz Band, Concert Bands, and Jazz Combos.

Malkiel has been an active performer in the New York music scene for the past thirty years, specializing in jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and world music. He holds the solo trombone chair with the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and has been performing and recording with the orchestra for the past decade. He is a four-time GRAMMY award winner with the band, most recently receiving the award for Best Latin Jazz Album in February 2023 for “Fandango at The Wall” in New York. Additionally, he contributed to Greg August’s album “Dialogues on Race,” which was nominated for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble GRAMMY award in 2021.

Malkiel’s impressive career includes collaborations with renowned musicians and groups such as The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Yemen Blues, Salsa Picante, George Coleman, Chucho Valdes, Willie Colon, Conjunto Libre, Lauryn Hill, Jason Lindner’s Big Band, and Grammy-nominated Colombian singer Toto La Momposina, among many others. He has also graced Broadway stages, performing in the Tony-award-winning musicals “The Color Purple” and “Urinetown.”

His performances have graced prestigious venues worldwide, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Town Hall, Symphony Space, Birdland, Blue Note, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He has also been featured at renowned festivals such as the Newport Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and Summer Stage. Malkiel’s discography boasts over seventy jazz, Latin, and rock albums, and he has contributed to several movie and TV theme songs.

Malkiel’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the New School in New York City, a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctorate in Music from Stony Brook University. He dedicates his time to performing, composing, and nurturing the talents of younger musicians.

Letter of Responsibility

Information regarding the festival will be available in the late Fall.


Saturday, January 6
9:00 am-12:00 pm

Wednesday, February 14
Rehearsal #1
6:30-9:30 pm

Tuesday, March 12
Rehearsal #2
6:30-9:30 pm

Wednesday, March 13
Rehearsal #3
6:30-9:30 pm

Friday, March 15
7:30 pm

Ticket Information

Information regarding the festival will be available in the late Fall.