Latest News

Bloomfield College Honorary Degree Recipients Discuss Public Service
Panelists included former Secretary of Homeland Security, the Honorable Jeh Johnson (hon. ’12), and former NJ Governor, the Honorable Thomas Kean, Sr. (hon. ’08). NJTV News’ Mary Alice Williams (hon. ’15) moderated the discussion.
Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Joyce Carol Oates Speaks at Bloomfield College
The celebrated author spoke candidly about everything from her upbringing in rural upstate New York, to the benefits running has on her creativity, to the impact of mentors upon her career.
Dedication to Public Service Event Announced by Bloomfield College
Guests include former Secretary of Homeland Security, the Honorable Jeh Johnson, and former New Jersey Governor, the Honorable Thomas H. Kean, Sr. The discussion will be moderated by Mary Alice Williams of NJTV News
Bloomfield College Receives One Million Dollars from JC Kellogg Foundation
This gift is an endowment that will allow the College to create a new pension incentive program for eligible staff.
Bloomfield College Raises Quarter of a Million Dollars in One Evening
The annual Scholarship Evening honored Kevin Cummings, President and CEO of Investors Bank and Chris Martin, President and CEO of Provident Bank.
Bloomfield College Students Can Now Register for Online Humanities Courses at Various Colleges
Bloomfield College students now have the unique opportunity to take online courses in the Humanities at a various independent colleges across the nation.
Bloomfield College to Welcome Top Execs to Campus for Women’s Panel
This year’s panel is comprised of six women, all leaders in their respective fields, including a top Facebook executive.

Bloomfield College CAT Professor to Premiere Composition Celebrating Newark at NJPAC

By Alicia Cook

Adegoke Steve Colson, a 27-year adjunct member of the Creative Arts & Technology Division at Bloomfield College, has composed a jazz-flavored tribute, Here Is the Place, Our City, in honor of Newark’s 350th anniversary.

Here Is the Place, Our City, dedicated to Clement Price and Amiri Baraka, will premiere at NJPAC on Friday, April 7 at 8:00 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Colson was encouraged by Dr. Clement Price of Rutgers University to compose an original work for Newark's celebration. Commissioned by NJPAC, the Grammy-nominated pianist and composer has assembled an impressive combination of artists, including the North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club; harpist Robbin Gordon-Cartier; pianist Philip Field; oboist Oscar Petty, a brilliant jazz lineup that includes Nabaté Isles (trumpet); Mark Helias (bass); Bradford Hayes (baritone sax); Pheeroan akLaff (drums); and Kelvyn Bell (guitar).

Colson joined the College in 1989 and has helped shape the CAT division to what it is today, even creating popular classes "Music in the US: the African American Influence" (CAT 224) and Beginning Piano (CAT 191).

Colson, who was born in Newark and raised in East Orange, has performed internationally as a leader of ensembles ranging from trios to orchestras. He received his degree from Northwestern University School of Music and lived in Chicago for a decade before returning to the East Coast where he now resides. While in Chicago he became an early member of The Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the 70s, a Chicago based musicians’ collective that has influenced music internationally in the 20th and 21st Century.

Steve and his wife, Iqua, established their own record label in 1979. In November 2011, their earliest recording on their label, Triumph!, was included in the prestigious Freedom, Rhythm and Sound Book / CD-LP compilation from Soul Jazz Records, London, UK with music icons such as Maurice White, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Mary Lou Williams.

A few years after returning to the East Coast, he brought national attention to New Jersey when he premiered his multi-media work, Greens, Rice, and a Rope. The premiere was at Newark Symphony Hall during the national celebration of New Music America.  The City of Newark proclaimed November 13, 1989 “Adegoke Steve Colson Day” in honor of the premiere.

His work has been recorded on labels that include Columbia/Sony, Evidence, and Black Saint. His Solo Piano recording Tones For, reflecting on the lives and work of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, was released November 2015 on his label, Silver Sphinx. Among the various accolades received internationally, the CD was picked as The Jazz Times Editor’s Choice for the March 2016 edition. Colson also received high praise for his prior recordings as leader including The Untarnished Dream - with Jazz Legends Andrew Cyrille and Reggie Workman, and wife and musical partner Iqua Colson - which was voted into the top 10 % of the Jazz Critics Poll.

His compositions have been performed and recorded by some of today’s jazz greats as well as by his own groups.  

Colson has received several commissions and awards for composition. He has performed on many of the world’s leading stages with artists that include Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Davis, Richard Davis, Rachelle Farrell, Benny Golson, Hannibal, Oliver Lake, Branford Marsalis, Andy McCLoud, David Murray, Max Roach, Tyshawn Sorey,  TS Monk, James “Blood” Ulmer, Reggie Workman, and recent Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Threadgill, a fellow member of the AACM.

As headliner, he has shared billing and stage with the greatest artists from Dizzy Gillespie, Dr. Billy Taylor, and Ray Charles, to Art Blakey, Oscar Peterson, and Freddie Hubbard.

Steve has taught and lectured in various locations around the world. Always involved in education, he was among the musicians chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts to construct and pilot the nationwide Jazz Artists in the Schools Artists-in-Residence program in the early 1980s. This initiative was the catalyst for the funding and growth of artist residencies at schools and institutions throughout the United States.

In addition to his tenure at Bloomfield College, he currently works for NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens program and serves as an Artist in Residence.