Traditional Jazz Series 2022-2023

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Jazz is alive and well at UNH. Join us for season 44!

All concerts begin at 8 pm and take place in Johnson Theatre of the Paul Creative Arts Center
Tickets can be purchased at and at the PCAC Box Office one hour before the performance
Tickets are $12 General Admission and $10 for students and seniors

Purchase Season Tickets

Concerts will not be available via livestream.

Sarah McKenzie

Concert 266

Friday, September 16

Australian-born, Paris-based jazz pianist and singer Sarah McKenzie is poised to join the rarefied air occupied by superstars Diana Krall and Norah Jones. She performs music from her newest Normandy Lane Music release, Secrets of My Heart. Balancing a master’s touch on piano with a warm, bright, and inviting vocal approach, McKenzie possesses a singular gift, transporting listeners to a world of sophistication and romance.




Davina and The Vagabonds

Concert 267

Friday, October 14

The often unbelievable, sometimes harrowing, and wholly inspiring journey of Davina Sowers gave birth to her eponymous band Davina and The Vagabonds in 2004. 2019 marks a new chapter as the group unleashes its first offering for Red House Records, Sugar Drops. A distillation of bluesy barroom baritone and bravado, graveyard jazz grooves, and noir-ish confessional lyricism backed by boisterous piano, guitar, and strings, the music actualizes longstanding intent for Davina. “It represents about one-hundred years of Americana,” she continues.


Davina and the Vagabonds


Eddie Palmieri

Concert 268

Friday, January 27  (rescheduled from November 18)

Known as one of the finest pianists of the past 60 years, Eddie Palmieri is a bandleader, arranger, and composer of salsa and Latin jazz. His playing skillfully fuses the rhythm of this Puerto Rican heritage with the complexity of his jazz influences: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner as well as his older brother Charlie Palmieri. In 2013, Palmieri was awarded the coveted Jazz Master award by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which is the highest honor an American Jazz artist can receive.


Eddie Palmieri


Gray Sargent Trio

Concert 269

Friday, February 3

Gray Sargent is a musician’s musician having recorded and toured with some of the most recognized names in the music industry. He played with Illinois Jacquet on and off between 1975 and 1990, and began working with Dave McKenna in the early 1980s, with whom he would work well into the 1990s. He has performed and/or recorded with Benny CarterArnett Cobb, Scott Hamilton, Herb Pomeroy, Chuck Riggs, Buddy Tate, Frank Wess, Bob Wilber, Phil Woods, and Tony Bennett, among others. Sargent was a member of the Tony Bennett Quartet for 24 years, from 1997 to 2021, including Bennett's final performances with Lady Gaga.




Immanuel Wilkins Quartet

Concert 270

Friday, April 7

The music of saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins is filled with empathy and conviction, bonding arcs of melody and lamentation to pluming gestures of space and breath. His remarkable quartet features Micah Thomas on piano, Daryl Johns on bass, and Kweku Sumbry on drums. His new album, The 7th Hand, explores relationships between presence and nothingness across an hour-long suite comprised of seven movements. Wilkins and his bandmates reveal their collective truth by peeling themselves back, layer by layer, movement by movement throughout the record.



The Cookers

Concert 271

Friday, May 5

Experience counts, especially in jazz. This exciting all-star septet featuring Billy Harper, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, Billy Hart, David Weiss and Donald Harrison summons up an aggressive mid ‘60s spirit with a potent collection of expansive post-bop originals marked by all the requisite killer instincts and pyrotechnic playing expected of some of the heaviest hitters on the scene today. But it’s the unmistakable power of teamwork that makes this music so commanding and resonates with a kind of depth and beauty that speaks of the seasoned track record of its principals. You can feel the collective weight of that experience in their CDs and especially in their live performances.

The Cookers


The Traditional Jazz Concert Series is made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Ms. Dorothy C. Prescott. Ms. Prescott, in collaboration with the UNH Music Department, inaugurated the Series in 1979 as a way to promote the enjoyment and understanding of the art of jazz. The Series features musicians of regional, national and international prominence and has become an important tradition at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more.