With thanks and appreciation for a grant from the ESSA Foundation - this recording project is a benefit for COTAl.

ALL proceeds will benefit COTA, and most involved donated part or all of their time and talent to make this vision a reality.

Published: Sunday, August 21, 2011,
Bob Dorough, a jazz pianist and the man behind the "Schoolhouse Rock!" series of the 70s, sits by a piano at the Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap.


Bob Dorough was writing jingles for a New York ad agency in the 1970s when the company's president approached him for a special project.

The man's son was having a difficult time learning his multiplication tables, but the father noticed the boy knew all the words to his Beatles songs. The president asked Dorough to write rock songs that reviewed his son's math lessons.

Dorough, now of Upper Mount Bethel Township, was an accomplished jazz pianist, but he gave educational music a shot. The result was "Schoolhouse Rock!," the series of educational shorts that have taught generations of school children about math, science and history.

Courtesy Pocono Rcord - June 12, 2011

Saxophonist Phil Woods will be honored with the BNY Mellon Jazz 2011 Living Legacy Award in a special ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14.

The BNY Mellon Jazz 2011 Living Legacy Award is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and is sponsored by BNY Mellon, a global financial services company. The award honors living jazz masters from the Mid-Atlantic region who have achieved distinction in jazz performance and education. The celebration will include a reception, the award ceremony and a performance by the 2010 Legacy award recipient, Roy Haynes, in the Terrace Theatre.

by Michael Lello - Weekender Editor

To say the organizers of the Celebration of the Arts Jazz Festival — commonly known as COTA — are in a unique situation would be quite an understatement. The annual event, which will take place in Delaware Water Gap for the 33rd time this weekend, has survived despite a decision to eschew outside sponsorship since day one. The festival also has had the luxury of being located in a town teeming with musical talent.

“Everybody has to have some kind of local connection to be on the festival. We don’t go out and look for bands of international notoriety,” said Rick Chamberlain, a COTA cofounder. “We have international notoriety right here.”

Chamberlain’s fellow founder, Delaware Water Gap resident Phil Woods, is a renowned jazz saxophonist who will again perform at COTA this year. Fellow sax standout Dave Liebman, who also lives in the area, is on the bill, too. Both have been named National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters — the highest honor bestowed in the United States on jazz musicians. In late August, the New York Times published an article about Liebman.

Congratulations to drummer, bandleader, clinician, educator and COTA Board of Director Sherrie Maricle for a great interview in the October 2012 issue of Jazz Inside magazine.


Courtesy Pocono Record
By Michael Sadowski Pocono Record Writer May 12, 2010 12:00 AM

Everything with a name is for sale these days.

But for years, one thing that decidedly wasn't on the market was the Celebration of the Arts (COTA) jazz festival in Delaware Water Gap every September.

Festival organizers are facing a dilemma for this year's festival and for the future as they continue to turn down the offers of corporate sponsorship and keep the event a Poconos original.

"That's the way it was intended when it started," said Lauren Chamberlain, president of the COTA board of directors. "And that's the way we want to keep it. It's always been local and independent."

On November 12, 2008 Phil Woods and the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts received the 2008 Creative Community Award in a ceremony in Williamsport, PA.

Selected to perform at the event were bassist and COTA CampJazz Ensemble Coordinator Evan Gregor (Summa Com Laude, Berklee School of Music, 2003), Jay Rattman, alto saxophonist and COTA CampJazz Mentor (Manhattan School of Music, 2010) and pianist David Lantz IV, a 17 year old senior at Stroudsburg High School and student at COTA CampJazz for the past two years.

Speaking of the event David commented, "It was an honor to play for Phil at the Governor's Awards, especially after all of the inspiration and opportunity he's created through the COTA Cats and COTA CampJazz for young musicians such as myself."

Both Evan and Jay are also graduates of the COTA big band program.

Bob Dorough, the jazz pianist who wrote and produced the original "Schoolhouse Rock" for ABC in the 1980s, will be feted at the 34th annual Celebration of the Arts (COTA) jazz festival Friday through Sunday in Delaware Water Gap.

Dorough has long been a friend and contributor to COTA. When NEA jazz master and festival co-founder Phil Woods was asked why COTA chose to honor Bob, he replied: "Let me count the ways! Turn to page 189 in the Encyclopedia of Jazz and prepare to be amazed! From music director for Sugar Ray [Robinson] to teaching America how to count with the celebrated series 'Multiplication Rock' to recording his Christmas song with Miles — come on, man! About time I say!"

Introducing Dorough will be one of his personal friends, Emmy-winning TV and film actor Peter Coyote.

by Purchase College Alumni Association on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 3:53pm

Jazz pianist Bobby Avey  ’07 winner of the 2011 Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Composer’s Competition, will perform his piece on Sept. 11 at the Smithsonian Institute’s Baird Auditorium in Washington, DC. The performance of  “Late November” will take place during the semi-final round of this year’s piano performance competition.

The announcement of Avey’s selection in the Monk competition came just three months after he was awarded a New Jazz Works grant by Chamber Music America, to develop an hour-long piece inspired by the 1791 slave revolt in Haiti that led to the nation’s independence from France in 1804. He received a $10,000 award from the Monk Institute and a $21,500 grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for the work he’s creating for Chamber Music America. 

Community Arts Center will be Venue for Nov. 12 Awards Ceremony

WILLIAMSPORT – Judge Marjorie O. Rendell, First Lady of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, today announced the recipients of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts. The annual awards are a 28-year gubernatorial tradition honoring outstanding Pennsylvania artists, arts organizations, and patrons who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the arts.

“It is my great privilege to announce the recipients of this year’s Governor’s Awards for the Arts,” said the First Lady, who was joined in the announcement by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Chairman Diane Dalto and Executive Director Philip Horn. “The winners exemplify the excellence and diversity of the arts in Pennsylvania. Each has made a lasting contribution to our state. Their achievements in the arts are a model for young Pennsylvania artists and an inspiration for all.”

Governor Edward G. Rendell will present the awards to the following recipients at 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport:
August 27, 2010 - NEW YORK TIMES


WHEN the National Endowment for the Arts gives the 2011 N.E.A. Jazz Masters Award to the saxophonist David Liebman in January, it will represent more to him than a personal achievement. It will also mark the establishment’s de facto validation of the fusion aesthetic, he said, because few, if any, of the 118 other award recipients since 1982 have been as strongly identified with fusion and its challenge to mainstream jazz conventions as he has.

“It got a really bad rap for years, the fusion thing, no question about it. Miles got killed for it,” he said, referring to Miles Davis. “Suddenly it’s become the holy grail. ‘Oh boy, he was there before everyone.’ Of course he was. We knew that.”

It may have seemed like a thankless job putting on the 31st Celebration of the Arts Festival this month.

As the event crept closer, it became more and more obvious that torrential rains were going to chase away some of the crowd and put a damper on the event.

But this week, someone did thank the organizers.

Hard to say if Delaware Water Gap missed a chance at being the Branson, Mo., of the East some 60 years ago.

What is certain is that when Bob Lehr chose jazz over country-western for his new business venture, the Deer Head Inn became an epicenter of jazz and an incubator for three generations of stellar jazz musicians.

It began with piano players such as Keith Jarrett and was followed for years by the weekly treat of Johnny Coates, whose elegant arrangements and jazz sensibilities drew fans and put the place on the map.

And it was there that tavern owner Ed Joubert, trombonist Rick Chamberlain and sax player Phil Woods concocted the idea for an arts festival called the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts, or COTA. That yearly event is often known simply as "The Jazz Festival," as if it were the only one in the country. For those who play or attend the event, it is.

The 32nd annual Delaware Water Gap COTA festival will be held this weekend in Delaware Water Gap.

Jazz leaders plan camp, special concert for 30th anniversary of festival

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pocono Life Writer

Area jazz musicians just keep on giving, from fundraisers to passing on the torch.

The 30th anniversary of the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts will continue that tradition with organizers planning a performance, CD and DVD of music that has been more than 40 years in the making and its first week-long jazz camp for youths.

That is in addition, of course, to the annual pilgrimage of musicians to the region's mecca of jazz, the COTA jazz festival in September.

read more online...

jazzmasscover 253438774


The Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) is proud to announce that in continuation of celebrating the spirit of the jazz festival, the Jazz Mass CD has been re-mastered and re-released and is available for sale online and at the COTA Booth this weekend. The Jazz Mass is held every year on the Sunday of the COTA Festival, free to the public, from 10am-12pm. It is a celebration of spirit put to music with a 15-piece big band and full choir. 

By Sue Terry

adiaAdia M. Gibbs is on a roll.  The 37-year-old Stroudsburg resident has received several awards for her artwork since last summer, and she shows no signs of slowing down.  With work strongly influenced by themes of family and  music, Gibbs won the 1st place prize for multi media sculpture two years in a row at the COTA art competition at the Dutot Museum in Delaware Water Gap.  She also won the annual COTA poster contest with her design for the 2013 COTA festival.  This year, she won a 1st place in ceramic sculpture from the Pocono Arts Council, and her latest piece, a large wall mural in Dansbury Park, was chosen by Project Street Art (founded by Shane Izykowsky, Director) as the winner in a call for mural designs to be painted in 10 public areas in Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg.  

The mural was the most challenging project she had ever undertaken.  Accustomed to working alone, she soon realized that she would need a team of volunteers to help her complete the large piece by the deadline.    With their help, she began the painstaking process of transferring her design on paper onto the huge wall on the Dansbury Park Bathroom House.  Because Gibbs had to schedule painting sessions around her day job, they worked on the mural mostly at night, often until the wee hours. The unveiling took place on August 27, 2014, and Gibbs proudly acknowledged the volunteers who had signed on to help her complete the mural: Abigail Possinger, Peter Taney, Diana Davis, Neshamah Crosby-Jones, Marlena Holsten, Nina Curry, Melody Jane, Gairre Henry, Kimya Sessoms, and Melvin Clark.  

The mural features the founders of the jazz scene in the Water Gap/Stroudsburg area: legendary bandleader Fred Waring, saxophonist Phil Woods, trombonist Rick Chamberlain, and the late Ed Joubert, a jazz aficionado and promoter.  In the foreground the viewer also sees a Dali-esque piano keyboard, double bass, and other musical elements, with a lush green backdrop representing the beautiful Delaware Water Gap.           

Gibbs recalls the trepidation she felt earlier this year when submitting her design to Project Street Art for consideration.  "I had a few ideas, but nothing jumped out.  Then I thought, 'what art would make the most sense to be presented in Stroudsburg?'  A painting representing the COTA festival should have been here already—but it wasn't, so I started drawing sketches."

There was one problem, though.  The design needed to be submitted during the same week that Gibbs would be attending the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina on a scholarship she had won.  She would have to submit her mural design electronically, rather than in person as she had planned.  She was not a full-time student at Penland and had no student ID, so she had to sneak into the library in search of a computer.  In a back room she found two ancient laptops.  "One of them had a 91-year-old lady sitting in front of it.  I think the computer was also 91 years old.  It was so slow.  I wasn't even sure if it was working."  Moreover, she wasn't very confident in her submission even though she knew the idea was good.   "I didn't think I was going to win," said Gibbs.  "My design wasn't fully fleshed out.  But I decided to try for it anyway, because I wanted to reach out to the community.  Music keeps people connected."  

Apparently the Cyber Fates were smiling upon Gibbs that day.  After completing the course and returning home, she received a phone call telling her that her design had been chosen for the mural-to-be in Dansbury Park.  And when it came time to solicit help from assistants, Gibb's mother, Kimya Sessoms, was one of the ten who stepped forward.  Sessoms has been singing in the choir for the annual COTA Jazz Mass for many years.  But it wasn't until 2013, when Gibbs learned about the poster contest for the jazz festival, that she decided to get involved herself.  

Gibbs grew up in the Bronx.  How did this former New Yorker end up in Pennsylvania?  When she visited family in the Poconos, it dawned on her that in New York, she "felt like a trampled sardine."  But now that she lives in Stroudsburg, "I smile at people," she says.  The mural in Dansbury Park is her latest music-themed artwork, and she anticipates creating more  projects inspired by the COTA jazz tradition.  "Kids should have art in their lives and music in their hearts," she notes.  

More artwork by Adia M. Gibbs can be viewed on the Facebook page "Awakening Arts", as well as the website www.amgart.carbonmade.com.  

Photo credits:  Gibbs with Buddha painting by Tursaphoto.  Gibbs standing next to her mural by JoAnn Payne. 

On May 23rd, 2015 the world-class DIVA Jazz Orchestra will join forces with COTA and The Deer Head Inn for a special evening of music to benefit The Rick Chamberlain Memorial COTA Scholarship Fund.


Headed by drummer Sherrie Maricle, DIVA exudes the excitement and force found in the tradition of the historic big bands but with an eye towards today’s progressive sound of originality and verve. For the past 23 years DIVA has performed all over the world playing contemporary, mainstream big band jazz composed and arranged to fit the individual personalities and styles of the musicians themselves. The audience can expect to hear a high-energy, super-swingin’ performance packed with unique improvisation, spontaneity and fun.

In addition to performing at many of the world’s most prestigious music venues and festivals, DIVA was recently featured in extended runs of Maurice Hines’s new Broadway-bound show Tappin Through Life. The band has also made several notable television and film appearances including performing the soundtrack for the 2014 NBC/Macy’s Firework Spectacular, a feature in the award-winning documentary film, The Girls in the Band, multiple appearances on CNN Arts Break, a dedicated segment on CBS Sunday Morning and musical features as part of The Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary Special, the Japanese television network NHK, and Metropol TV in Germany. Additionally DIVA has joyfully shared the stage with Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Diane Schuur, Carmen Bradford,  Dee Dee Bridgewater, Rosemary Clooney, Ann Hampton Callaway, Clark Terry and Dave Brubeck, to name a few.

DIVA has created a very impressive series of recordings, most recent the critically-acclaimed A Swingin’ Life, featuring Grammy Award winner Nancy Wilson and the soulful Marlena Shaw. Other DIVA recordings include: Johnny Mandel: The Man and his Music, recorded live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and conducted by Mandel himself;  Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, featuring supremely swinging vocalist Carmen Bradford (2008); TNT – Tommy Newsom Tribute, a compilation of charts the late Mr. Newsom arranged exclusively for DIVA (2005); Live in Concert (2002); I Believe in You (1999); Leave It To DIVA (1997); and Something’s Coming (1995)

Sherrie and Rick met over 20 years ago via their professional association with The New York Pops, but in 2000 when she bought her house in Marshall’s Creek, she realized the profound and positive impact Rick Chamberlain had on everything musical in our community and beyond. From being a stellar performer in both classical and jazz music, to being an extraordinary educator and a passionate, creative force for musical good, his work and genuine love of music made our community and the world a much better place. The Rick Chamberlain Memorial COTA Scholarship Fund is one of the ways we will keep his “joie-de-jazz” and musical mission “swingin’ forward.


The music is 7 to 11 with sets at 7pm; 8:30pm and 10pm. Tickets are $25 and the first 100 people receive a FREE DIVA Jazz Orchestra CD.

Contact www.deerheadinn.com  -  570-424-2000


 Donations to Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) are being accepted in order to create a scholarship for young musicians in Rick's name. Please click here to give...

Rick ChamberlainRick Chamberlain was born in 1952 to the late Richard Earl Chamberlain and Audrey Baxter and raised in Yardley. He began playing at age 5, learning from his dad, an amateur trombonist with a love for all kinds of music. As a youngster he had performing opportunities with local dance bands and youth orchestras and studied with Ed Cook in Trenton, New Jersey. His first professional job was at age 13. As a member of the Pennsbury High School Concert Jazz Band, he won numerous awards which included a scholarship to the National Stage Band Camps. On the suggestion of the late Johnny Richards, who frequently rehearsed the band, he began studies with Wayne Andre in New York City. While in high school, he attended Phil Woods' jazz camp — Ramblerny — for two summers. At age 16, he became a member of the Trenton Symphony Orchestra.

During the summer after graduation, Rick worked with Bob Newman's house band at Mount Airy Lodge, with the likes of Al Cohn and Dave Frishberg, where he got his first taste of the jazz scene in the Poconos. Boston and the New England Conservatory were next. He received a degree (BM) in 1975 studying with John Swallow and playing in the orchestra, wind ensemble, the jazz bands of Jaki Byard and George Russell and a brief stint with the New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble. Among his other mentors were Phil Wilson, Gunther Schuller and Joe Maneri. A 1½-year hiatus was spent performing throughout New England with a Berkshire-based band, Goodfriend Coyote. While in Boston, Rick played with numerous freelance orchestras, chamber and contemporary music ensembles.

eric doney

Eric Allen Doney, 62, of Pen Argyl, passed away on Friday, April 17. Born January 22, 1953, he was the son of Bette Doney and the late Robert Doney. He is also survived by family members and numerous friends who shared his passion for music.
Eric began classical studies in first grade and gave his first public performance at the age of seven. In junior high school, he began performing professionally at the many Pocono jazz clubs with local legends such as Al Cohn, Bill Goodwin, and Steve Gilmore. He graduated from Pen Argyl High School in 1971 and earned a bachelor of music degree from Susquehanna University. Doney's first tour was with vocalist Jon Hendricks, with whom he recorded the Grammy-nominated album, Love. After moving to New York, Doney joined the David Johansen band on a two-year tour, opening for such groups as The Who, Blondie, Duran Duran, the Clash, and REO Speedwagon.
In 1983, Doney moved to Paris and toured with vocalist Kim Parker. Hired as a conductor for Connie Stevens, he relocated to Santa Monica, California. Doney became musical director and pianist for Bob Hope's television shows. In 1984 he performed at the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympics, played with Les Brown's Band of Renown, and was musical director for Englebert Humperdink, touring more than 40 countries.
In 1993, Doney returned to the Poconos and formed Pacific Street Records. He produced twenty recordings for the label, with such local jazz greats as Phil Woods, Bob Dorough, John Coates Jr. and Scott Jarrett. Doney continued as a solo artist for the next decade, writing and producing numerous records, teaching, as well as touring internationally as an accompanist. Doney's latest work was his collaboration with the record label Minsi Ridge Records as a featured artist, mentor, and creative consultant.
In 2008, Eric received the prestigious Fred Waring Award by the Delaware Water Celebration of the Arts. Services: Respecting Eric's wishes, there will be no formal services. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in Eric's name to support music and musicians in the area. Please send them to William Doney, care of the Guerro & Ruggiero Funeral Home, 126 E. Pennsylvania Ave, PO Box 161, Pen Argyl, PA 18072.

Published in Morning Call on Apr. 19, 2015


May 29, 2015

A Celebration of Life

Richard E. Chamberlain

In honor of Rick Chamberlain's passing there will be a Celebration of his life on May 29th, from 3pm to 7pm. The event will be a remembrance filled with music, merriment, food and friendship.

Music from Rick's students, friends, band mates and colleagues will begin at 3pm with a short jam session at 3:40.
The formal ceremony will begin at 4:30pm.

Following the ceremony there will be food and more music, including a Big Band performance.

We invite you to come and share in the joy that Rick brought to others through music, kindness and his warm smile. Your "ensemble" should be devil-may-care, as he would have wanted it!

The event will be held throughout the dining hall of the Castle Inn behind the festival site. Parking is available throughout town.

20 Delaware Avenue, Delaware Water Gap PA, 18327


*** 2015 COTA Poster now available! Click here to purchase...***

38th Annual Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) Jazz Festival Announces Poster Artists

2015 COTA Poster

The Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts is proud to unveil the 2015 festival poster, designed by Jim Frantz and featuring COTA co-founder Rick Chamberlain, who lost his battle to cancer in March. Jim Frantz, a good friend of Chamberlain’s, wanted to help honor his friend and began his design with a photograph of Rick taken by local photographer Laurie Samet, which perfectly captures the essence of Chamberlain and his passions.

Jim Frantz is a born and raised Stroudsburg resident and works as an industrial designer doing product design & graphic design. He also has many creative pursuits of diverse disciplines. Jim has 4 children, if you count his two dogs.

Laurie Samet, a native of East Stroudsburg, has been taking pictures since her college days in the late 1970s. At that time her interests were sports and candid portraiture. Her attention turned to jazz photography in 2005, and since then she has enjoyed an abundance of opportunity to photograph musicians in rehearsal, in live performance, and in the recording studio. In recent years her photographs have appeared on several CDs as both cover and liner art. She has participated in the Music Motif Art Show at the COTA Jazz Festival for many years and shared a show with her father, Sherwood Samet, at the Dutot Museum in 2012. She is honored that her photograph of Rick Chamberlain was chosen to represent COTA 2015. She is a physical therapist in private practice in East Stroudsburg.

The Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) was founded in 1978 by NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods, the late Ed Joubert, and the late Rick Chamberlain. The idea was, and still is, to share with the community the art created by the many world-class musicians and artists that call the area home. The premise was simple: musicians are local or locally connected and everyone plays for the same small honorarium, which has enabled a sponsor-free event for 38 years. This year will be no different with a great combination of the different musical genres that Chamberlain loved and performed, along with a two hour long tribute to the festival’s good friend Eric Doney; pianist, composer and mentor, who also lost his battle to cancer this year.

The festival takes place the weekend after Labor Day, September 11, 12, and 13, 2015. The festival begins on Friday night at the Dutot Museum at 6:00 PM with a musically themed art show and reception, followed by theater, dance, poetry and classical music at the Presbyterian Church of the Mountain from 7:00 -9:30 PM (tickets are $10.00). The festival’s Main Stage kicks off at noon on Saturday with bands every hour until 8:00 PM, and then again on Sunday at 10:00 AM with a free Jazz Mass. The Main Stage jazz

performances begin Sunday at 12:15 PM and continue until 8:45 PM. Tickets for one day are $28.00, $40.00 for a 2-day ticket (available on Saturday only). Students and seniors are $15.00 per day. Children between 5 and 12 years are $10.00 per day while those under 5 are free.

Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts Announces its 2015 Programming and Opens Ticket Sales

From September 11-13th, Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) will present the 38th annual Jazz and Arts Festival celebrating the exciting art form of jazz with not only live music, but also dance, visual arts, and food. Music fans in-the-know make it a point to be at this yearly festival featuring musicians who make the Poconos their home base. 

But this festival is "local" only in name, because COTA artists perform worldwide.  "Besides being fun, it's an incredible deal," says one regular attendee.  "You hear 7 or 8 great bands each day, for less than the cost of a bus ticket to New York."

The Festival opens Friday night with a free art show at the Dutot Museum followed by a show combining dance, theater and classical music at the neighboring Church of the Mountain.  Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, there are daytime and evening concerts spanning the full range that jazz music has to offer: swing, funk, Brazilian, big band, vocals, avant-garde, Latin and more.

Since this year's programming honors the legacies of COTA's recently-passed Rick Chamberlain and Eric Doney, attendees also will have the chance to see some of the young musicians mentored by Rick and Eric, before they become famous.

Between the stage and the outdoor food court is a children's area with supervised musical and art activities, open till sunset.  Stroll down Delaware Ave. (closed to traffic) to check out the paintings, sculpture, jewelry and clothing created by talented Pocono artists.  Please leave Fido at home, though—pets are not permitted on the grounds.

38 years is a long time to keep a festival going.  How did it all begin?  Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) was founded in 1978 by world-renowned jazz artist and composer Phil Woods, trombonist Rick Chamberlain, and local legend Ed Joubert.  They wanted to share with their community the art created by the many world-class musicians and artists that call the area their home.

Inspired by a love for jazz, the COTA Board of Directors says the Festival seeks to reflect the creative vortex of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountain resident artists.  The Festival also is noted for gathering a variety of art forms side by side, in an intimate and thrilling Festival experience. 

Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely through the generosity of individual donations, institutional grants, and concert income. Dates, artists and programs are subject to change.  Find out more about the Festival at the COTA website: www.cotajazz.org.  Tweet @COTA_jazz, or go to www.facebook.com/groups/cotajazz.


Tickets to the event are now on sale. To purchase tickets in advance, visit www.cotajazz.org.

  • Friday night at the Dutot Museum: Free
  • Friday night general admission at Church of the Mountain: $10.00
  • Saturday and Sunday one-day tickets: $28.00
  • Saturday and Sunday two-day tickets (available for Saturday only): $40.00
  • Students and seniors (65+): $15.00/day
  • Children 5-12 years old: $10.00/day
  • Children 4 and younger: Free

Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts
The Dutot Museum, Main St.
Presbyterian Church of the Mountain, Main St.
Main Stage, 22 Delaware Ave.


6:00 – 8:00 Music Motif Show Opening Reception
7:00 – 9:30 Dance Classical and Theater


12:00 - Nancy Reed Trio
1:15-3:15 - A tribute to the magical keys of the late Eric Doney, in sets led by Zach Brock, Bobby Avey & more
3:45 - The New Quintet
5:00 - Phil Woods and the COTA Festival Orchestra
6:30 - Expansions – The Dave Liebman Group
7:45 - Tom Hamilton and the Work In Progress Band


12:15 - Sweet Su Terry Group
1:30 - Dixie Gents
2:45 - COTA Cats Volume XXXV
4:15 - Adam Niewood's "Paradigm Shift"
5:30 - Bob Dorough Quartet
6:45 - Brass Arts Collective
8:00 - The Bobby Syvarth Combo

***Click Here To View 2017 Artists***

The Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) is pleased to announce the dates for the it's 40th Annual Jazz Festival - COTA 40, The Next Generation, the weekend after Labor Day, September 8, 9 and 10, 2017. The festival will be held in and around Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania. Three venues will be used this year: the Main Stage across from "the hill"  (outdoors) on Delaware Avenue will have bands, as always. We will also be presenting music in The Hall at Castle Inn and the the Deer Head Inn across the street from the main stage.

Friday - September 8 at The Hall at Castle Inn - 7:30 PM - $10.00
Saturday - September 9 at the Main Stage (Outdoors), The Hall at Castle Inn and The Deer Head Inn - $28.00 (Two-day ticket is $40.00 available on Saturday only)
Seniors (65+) and Students with ID - $15.00
Children between ages 5 and 12 - $10.00
Sunday - September 10 at the Main Stage, The Hall at Castle Inn and The Deer Head Inn - $28.00
Seniors (65+) and Students with ID - $15.00
Children between ages 5 and 12 - $10.00

Children under 5 are free

Next year's CampJazz, the educational arm of COTA, will take place June 24 to July 1, 2018. The COTA Cats will also rehearse during camp week and perform on July 1 along with CampJazz student ensembles. More information on the camp is available at www.campjazz.org.