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Jazz Ensembles

The jazz program at the West Milford Township School District was established by Mr. Gramata in 2010 and has flourished over the past eight years. Consisting of two jazz bands, jazz is very accessible to any student that is interested in participating. Currently, approximately fifty students are enrolled in the high school jazz program. West Milford High School offers two jazz bands: The Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Band. All bands are created through an audition process that encourages participation regardless of experience in the genre. Jazz Ensemble auditions take place in November and the ensembles begin to rehearse following the conclusion of the marching band season.  With a comprehensive study of styles and history, all bands have the opportunity to participate in festivals, concerts and the creation of combos. Recent highlights of the West Milford Jazz Ensemble include New Jersey State Finals appearances in every year of participation; including 2nd place finishes at the NJAJE State Jazz Finals from 2015 - 2022.  In February of 2017, the West Milford Jazz Ensemble participated for the first time, and was awarded 1st place at the prestigious Berklee Jazz Festival in Boston, Massachusetts, which is arguably the largest jazz festival in the country.  The Jazz Ensemble was also selected to perform at the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Convention in Atlantic City, NJ

2022 NJ State Prelims

The jazz ensemble earned the only GOLD rating on the first night of the NJ State Jazz Prelims held at West Orange H.S.  The ensemble also won Best Trombone, Trumpet, and Sax Section, along with the Best sight Reading Award.  Lilianna Sanchez was named an outstanding soloist 


jazz ensemble to perform at Njmea convention

The West Milford Jazz Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2018 NJMEA Convention in East Brunswick, NJ.  They will be the only high school jazz ensemble featured at the conference.  The NJMEA Convention is a three day professional development conference for music educators from the state of New Jersey

In addition, Peter Suckiel & Eric Darnsteadt were awarded Outstanding Musicianship Awards in Large Ensemble Class 2!

West Milford Places 2nd at the


West Milford Wins


In their first ever trip to the prestigious Berklee Jazz Festival in Boston, the West Milford Jazz Ensemble took 1st place in Large Ensemble Class II!  Arguably the biggest jazz festival in the country, the Berklee Jazz Festival hosts over 150 performing groups from the United States and worldwide.  

It is a great honor to be selected as a performing ensemble at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference.  This division is made up of 13 states and our jazz ensemble was one of 2 high school jazz groups to be selected to perform.  They will perform on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 3PM in Atlantic City, NJ. 

WM Jazz Ensemble Selected to Perform at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City

For the eighth year in a row, the West Milford High School Jazz Ensemble was awarded 2nd place at the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education State Finals in Burlington, New Jersey.  The band took the best overall trombone section award along with the Outstanding Sight Reading Award.  Shane Duffy, Brennan Coulton & Lilianna Sanchez all received best soloist awards.


Jazz Ensemble 2nd Place at State Finals

West Milford Jazz Ensemble performing at Trumpets Jazz Club with special guest JALEEL SHAW

On March 27, 2019 the West Milford Jazz Ensemble will be performing at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, New Jersey.  The band will be opening for the "One More Once" Big Band, an ensemble comprised of professional musicians from the tri-state area.  Saxophonist Jaleel Shaw will be the special guest soloist with the West Milford and One More Once bands.  This is a fantastic opportunity for the students to perform with a renowned soloist and get to see a professional ensemble.  Tickets can be reserved ONLY with Mr. Gramata (Adults: $15, Students/Seniors: $10)

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West Milford Middle School Jazz Festival

April 23, 2020!!!

The West Milford Jazz Program will be hosting its third Middle School Jazz Festival on Thursday April 23, 2020.  The festival will feature middle school jazz ensembles from West Milford, Mt. Olive, Vernon, Wayne, and more.  The festival will conclude with a performance from the West Milford High School Jazz Ensemble.  The festival will begin at 5:00 PM and admission is $5 at the door.

West Milford HS Auditorium

67 Highlander Drive

West Milford, NJ 07480

West Milford High School Jazz Festival

April 30, 2020!!!!

The West Milford High School Jazz Festival has become one of the premier high school jazz festivals in North Jersey.  Some of the finest local ensembles from the North Jersey area will be performing.  The festival will feature the West Milford Jazz Ensemble.  The festival will begin at 4:30 PM and admission is $10 at the door.

West Milford HS Auditorium

67 Highlander Drive

West Milford, NJ 07480

March 2, 2020 - NJ State Jazz Prelims

March 31. 2020 - Sparta High School Jazz Festival

April 8, 2020 - North Warren HS Jazz Festival

April 23, 2020 - West Milford Middle School Jazz Festival

April 25, 2020 - NJ State Finals (TBD), Burlington City, NJ

April 30, 2020 - West Milford High School Jazz Festival

May 18, 2020 - MS/HS Jazz Concert (both ensembles)

2019-20 Schedule To Be Announced

Rehearsals are Mondays & Wednesdays

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March 31, 2020

5:00 - Sparta MS Jazz Band

5:20 - Sparta HS Jazz Band

5:40 - Mt. Olive Jazz Band

6:00 - Kittatinny Jazz Band

6:20 - Lenape Regional Jazz Ensemble

6:40 - Newton Jazz Band

7:05 - West Milford Jazz Ensemble

7:30 - SPF Moonglowers

7:55 - Mt. Olive Jazz Ensemble

8:20 - JP Stevens Jazz Ensemble

8:45 - Sparta HS Jazz Ensemble

9:20 - Awards



April 8, 2020

5:15 - North Warren MS/HS

5:30 - Warren Hills HS Jazz Band

5:50 - Belvidere HS Jazz Band

6:10 - Delaware Valley Jazz Band

6:30 - Sparta Jazz Band 

6:50 - Newton Jazz Band

7:10 - Lenape Valley Jazz Band

7:30 - Mt. Olive Jazz Band

7:50 - Intermission

8:00 - West Milford Jazz Ensemble

8:30 - Mt. Olive HS Jazz Ensemble

9:00 - North Warren HS

9:20 - Awards


West Milford M.S. & Wayne Valley H.S. Jazz Festival

April 23, 2020

5:00 - Macopin M.S. Jazz Band

5: 20 - Anthony Wayne M.S. Jazz Band

5:40 - Mt. Olive M.S. Jazz Band

6:00 - Glen Meadow M.S. Jazz Band

6:20 - West Milford Jazz Ensemble

6:50 - Awards

7:15 - Travel to Wayne Valley H.S.

Schedule for event TBD


NJAJE State Jazz Finals - Division III

April 25, 2020

Wilbur Watts Intermediate School

Burlington, NJ

Schedule TBD



April 30, 2020

4:40 - Mt. Olive HS Jazz Band

5:00 - Wayne Valley Jazz Band

5:20 - Wayne Hills Jazz Band

5:45 - High Point HS Jazz Band

6:10 - Lenape Valley Jazz Band

6:35 - Morristown Spectrum Jazz Band

7:00 - Passaic County Technical Institute 

7:25 - Sparta Blues Sanction!

7:50 - Mt. Olive HS Jazz Ensemble

8:15 - Wayne Valley Jazz Ensemble

8:40 - Livingston Lancer Jazz Band

9:05 - West Milford Jazz Ensemble

9:30 - Awards 

2020 Jazz Save The Date 1 correct date.j

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