The Westchester Center for Jazz and Contemporary Music

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Owners Paul and Liz Sander formed the Westchester Center for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2014 and appointed Joey Berkley as director. What began as a search for jazz ensemble programs to challenge their sons has turned into a highly regarded community of professional and student musicians passionate about confident and lively performance.

One of the key components of the program is that teachers are working professionals who have been playing and performing regularly throughout their careers. The goal is to give students the opportunity to learn from musicians that have spent their careers not just playing their instruments but performing as well.

“Playing and teaching are the same to me. I’m teaching when I play, and play when I’m teaching. Both are instructive, both have a purpose to maintain quality and an expectation of excellence for the next generation. Both are dependent of each other, whether I’m in a classroom or on a stage. The Center embodies that idea and I am fortunate to have owners who support my direction.”

-Joey Berkley, Director