West Texas Jazz Party Collaboration

The West Texas Jazz Party Collaboration is May 20-22, 2016 at the MCM Elegante Hotel – Odessa, Texas


The West Texas Jazz Party Collaboration will be May 20-22, 2016 at the MCM Elegant̩ Hotel in Odessa, again featuring three musicians with direct links to the original Odessa Jazz Party РBucky Pizzarelli, Johnny Varro and Ed Polcer. In addition, some of the first musicians from the next generation to attend the party will also return among a group of 20 world-class jazz musicians.

“After 50 years, the Jazz Society is proud to say we’ve upheld the commitment made by the original jazz party founders to bring world-famous jazz musicians to Midland and Odessa each year for the annual party,” Gillham continued.

More than a third of the musicians attending the party in 2016 have been to the party more than 10 times, but only three – Pizzarelli, Varro and Polcer – have ties to party founder Dr. O.A. “Jimmie” Fulcher, who died in 1977. Polcer attended his first jazz party in 1975, while Varro first played in Odessa prior to the first party in 1961 and again in 1965. But the dean of jazz party musicians, Bucky Pizzarelli, first attended in 1968 and participated in some of the earliest clinics and concerts for young people in the Permian Basin. That mentoring tradition continues today in clinics hosted by visiting musicians to instruct and critique performances by local student groups.

The West Texas Jazz Party Collaboration is Sponsored in part by:

  • The Texas Commission for the Arts
  • Odessa Arts
  • The Rea Charitable Trust

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