Tri-State Jazz Festival

Featuring Drummer and JMU Alumnus Nate Smith

Saturday, March 21 @ 4 pm



This concert featuring headliner Nate Smith will celebrate George “Doc” West, the late founder of the JMU Jazz Studies program. The Tri-State Jazz Festival will be renamed in his honor. An alumni jazz ensemble, comprised of professional musicians who were students of Doc’s over the years, will also perform—as will the JMU Jazz Ensemble. An acclaimed American drummer, composer, songwriter and producer, Ira Nathaniel “Nate” Smith has played or recorded with many jazz greats including Randy Brecker, Ravi Coltrane, Nicholas Payton, John Pattituci, Adam Rogers and the legendary jazz bassist and composer, Dave Holland. Smith joined Holland’s Grammy Award-winning Quintet and Big Band in 2003, and later joined saxophonist Chris Potter and his group, Chris Potter Underground. As a record producer, Smith worked with Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley on the song “Heaven Can Wait” on Jackson’s Invincible album.

A CVPA Cultural Connections Artist-in-Residence Event. 


  • Experience masterful musicianship by the Grammy-nominated National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine!

  • A "hilarious and witty" production of Neil Simon's classic by the acclaimed Walnut Street Theatre

  • New York-based Doug Varone and Dancers perform "thrilling, mesmerizing work" by renowned choreographer Doug Varone