After searching the area for a jazz ensemble program that would challenge their sons, Paul and Elizabeth Sander decided to create their own program and formed The Westchester Center for Jazz and Contemporary Music. The Sanders then appointed Joey Berkley, a successful professional musician and educator to be the Center’s director.
Veteran tenor saxophonist Joey Berkley has been a part of the NY music-scene for over 30 years. Originally from Toronto,Canada Joey’s career has evolved from being known as a highly sought after sideman at ease in a wide variety of musical settings, to the present where Joey focuses his energy mostly towards writing and performing with his bands.
The Center’s ensembles directed by Berkley will include professionals from his bands to participate and contribute to the teaching process. One of the key components of the Center’s programs is to bring in professionals to share their experience and advice while playing alongside the students, helping them to sharpen their skills.
Brought up as a jazz musician firmly rooted in the tradition of Coltrane, Miles, and Monk, Joey developed his own sound by incorporating these influences. Berkley’s career as a tenor saxophonist, recording artist has evolved through a variety of stages: first as an in-demand sideman; to the founder/leader of various bands including Joey Berkley Quartet (JB4), Funkasaurus Rex, Four Good Reeds and the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, to present day band, Joey Berkley’s Bandits. In May, Joey Berkley’s Bandits will release their self-titled album.
His compositions can be heard on the CD releases “Made in NYC”, “More’n Four” and the instrumental single “No Blues for Vernon”. As an arranger, Joey’s charts are showcased on the Funkasaurus Rex CD’s “Etched in Stone” and more recently ” I Hear Voices.”
In 2009 Joey released his first educational DVD “All Things Saxophone” which continues to enjoy worldwide success.
Liz Sander is executive vice president and chief actuary at Odyssey Reinsurance Co. in Stamford, Ct. Paul Sander is a former software development professional who is a teacher and doctoral candidate in theology at Fordham. The Center is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a national nonprofit arts organization which is able to accept tax deductible donations on the Centers behalf.