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Acclaimed Pianist and Composer, Caili O'Doherty to Perform at the Vermont Jazz Center on October 1st

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On Saturday, October 1st at 8:00 PM, the Vermont Jazz Center will present the Caili O'Doherty Quartet as part of their Emerging Artist Series. O'Doherty is a young, highly acclaimed pianist who hails from Portland, Oregon. She will be performing with her working Quartet, three of whom appeared on her recent recording "Padme," which won NPR's 2015 Jazz Critics' Debut Album Award. Caili is a virtuosic talent as both a composer and pianist - she has received national awards for jazz piano performance and composition from Downbeat Magazine as well as an ACAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award. Caili has participated in two tours as a State Department Jazz Ambassador to Colombia, Togo and Benin. She is an instructor at Berklee's Global Jazz Institute and was a featured performer at the Mary Lou William's Women in Jazz Festival at The Kennedy Center. O'Doherty has presented her music at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Panama Jazz Festival (opening for the Wayne Shorter Quartet), Mt. Hood Jazz Festival (as pianist for Terrell Stafford), Portland Jazz Festival, the Guinness Cork Festival (Ireland), Boston Beantown Jazz Festival, MICI International Film Festival in Mexico, Stanford Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, and UNESCO First International Jazz Day in Paris.

O'Doherty will perform with her powerhouse quartet with Caroline Davis on alto saxophone, Jared Henderson on double bass and Cory Cox on drums. They will be performing material from their album "Padme" and will explore new material from a new group O'Doherty and saxophonist Davis will soon be touring.

One of the turning points in O'Doherty's musical development was participating in the Berklee Global Jazz Institute where, under the tutelage of jazz stars Danilo Perez and Terri Lyne Carrington, she conducted workshops and master classes in the US and abroad performing at prisons, orphanages, women's shelters, and other venues to bring jazz to a wider audience. Through this experience, she observed and learned the process of using music to "bring communities together and help people connect and cope in difficult circumstances."

Through the Global Jazz Institute, O'Doherty traveled to Panama three times and worked with Perez's Foundation in low-income neighborhoods in the old city. While reflecting on these experiences, she notes "I saw in Panama and West Africa that music can be a really healing thing for these kids that maybe don't have food or clean water or shelter over their heads. [those experiences] shaped my desire to work with kids in those circumstances...I've seen how music can be a vehicle for social change and healing. I strive to incorporate those ideas in my daily life." O'Doherty has worked or now works in several youth programs such as Harlem Children's Zone, the Berklee City music program and the WeBop early education program at Lincoln Center. She also teaches at Litchfield and Standford Jazz Workshops.

O'Doherty's experiences as a Jazz Ambassador and her work with the Global Jazz Initiative affected her greatly. She said "it changed the way that I worked, the way that I started writing music and the reasons why I compose. It gave me a reason for playing music--instead of not knowing exactly why...it gave me a direction and showed me what the future could look like. And it was that--community service and using music as a message of peace and community with other countries--that gave me a lot of purpose, which was really useful when I came to New York." O'Doherty walks the walk - she is now attempting to live by her code, teaching youth in poor neighborhoods and reaching out to the disenfranchised. She has also had success in melding her humanist ideals into her own art and complementing her performance with concepts of social justice. In her review of "Padme," Carol Banks Weber of AXS chose the tune "Tree of Return" to illuminate O'Doherty's thoughtful integration of music and activism. In her review she states: "Tree of Return tells the story of people from Ouidah, Benin, West Africa, slated to board slavery ships long ago. These West Africans would circle an old tree three times with the hope of coming back to their roots one day. [O'Doherty] wrote the song after traveling to and learning about the Gate of No Return slave port in Benin. The song itself makes the listener feel what it must have been like for the Africans about to leave the only home they ever knew, somehow capturing the sights and sounds in a kind of quiet chaos, the panic inexorably rising to the surface in incredible waves, overlaying a dense sense of disquiet and strength." In telling the story, O'Doherty cultivates an awareness in her audience; she is using art to educate us, to plant a hopeful seed with the goal of nurturing empathy and preventing history from repeating itself. She states: "When you're very clear what you're doing it all for, it gives everything a bigger purpose."

Caili O'Doherty will be performing with Caroline Davis on alto saxophone. Davis arrived in New York in 2013 and has shared musical moments with Matt Wilson, Ellis Marsalis, Matt Mitchell, Randy Brecker, Bobby Broom, Ron Miles, Allison Miller and many others. Davis earned a Ph.D. in Music Cognition at Northwestern University in 2010. She has been a guest educator at Northwestern University, University of Colorado at Boulder, St. Xavier University, Columbia College, DePaul University, University of Texas at Arlington, Loyola University, Texas Tech and Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has also participated in several jazz mentorship programs, including IAJE's Sisters in Jazz and The Kennedy Center's Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program.

Bassist Jared Henderson has performed with David Liebman, the Mike Bono Group, Hannah Read Band and the Jason Palmer Quintet. Drummer Cory Cox was selected to participate in the High School Grammy Jazz Ensemble which resulted in a scholarship from Blue Note recording artist Jason Moran to attend college. He was a 2006-08 Brubeck Institute Fellow receiving ensemble coaching from mentors including Dave Brubeck, Joe Gilman, Fred Hersch, Robert Glasper, Bob Hurst, Christian McBride, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Eric Harland, Freddie Hubbard, Nicholas Payton, Miguel Zenon and Joshua Redman. While Cox was drumming for the Brubeck Institute Quintet, it was selected as the 2007 Down Beat Magazine best college ensemble. He has performed and toured with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Reggie Workman, the Ben Flocks Quartet, John Ellis, Joel Frahm, Marcus Strickland, Jimmy Owens and others.

The present and future of jazz is in good hands. Come see the newer generation demonstrate their integrity and superb musicianship. The Vermont Jazz Center presents The Caili O'Doherty Quartet on Saturday, October 1st at 8:00 PM. The VJC is especially grateful for sponsorship of this event by a "Friend of the Vermont Jazz Center's Summer Workshop." The "friend's" contributions made this concert possible. The VJC is also grateful for the ongoing support from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.  VJC publicity is underwritten by the Brattleboro Reformer, WVPR, WVEW, WFCR and Chris Lenois of WKVT's Green Mountain Mornings.

Tickets for the Emerging Artist Series at the Vermont Jazz Center are $20+ general admission, $15 for students with I.D. (contact VJC about educational discounts); available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at www.vtjazz.org, by email at ginger@vtjazz.org. Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line at 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Handicapped access is available by calling the VJC at 802 254 9088.
Contact: Eugene Uman - eugene@vtjazz.org

O'Doherty Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJZl4Qal9EU

https://vimeo.com/126207649

http://cailimusic.com/?audiotheme_video=tree-of-return

Vermont Jazz Center to launch a new semester of classes starting on September 19th

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The Vermont Jazz Center will host a new ten-week session of classes beginning the week of September 19th (excepting Woman's Harmony Vocal Jazz Ensemble, which begins Tuesday September 13th). Courses include an expanded youth program for ages 10 - 16, a bebop ensemble led by Scott Mullett (Blue Note Ensemble), Anna Patton's popular Vocal Harmony Chorus and the VJC's Latin Jazz Ensemble.

This year's offerings include a new class from percussionist/musicologist and VJC Board President, Julian Gerstin. He will be introducing a broad range of percussion instruments from Africa and Latin America and their corresponding rhythms. Participants will learn basic techniques and grooves for each instrument. This "percussion ensemble" is an overview of percussion instruments from Africa and Latin America that includes active jamming on actual instruments using authentic rhythms.

Consider joining a combo and learn how to perform classic jazz compositions while being guided by one of the VJC's professional faculty. If you've never improvised, that's no problem. There are opportunities for all including classical musicians intrigued by jazz's structure and improvisational opportunities.

Sessions are 10 weeks long (except for Youth Jazz which is 8 weeks). Prices and starting dates are listed on the VJC website, www.vtjazz.org.

Please register by contacting Ginger Morawski at ginger@vtjazz.org.

  • Monday, 5:15 - 6:45 PM, Blue Note Ensemble Scott Mullett, instructor
  • Tuesday, 3:45 - 5:00, Youth Jazz Ensemble, Eugene Uman, instructor
  • Tuesday, 5:45 - 7:30, Women's Harmony Vocal Jazz w/Anna Patton,
  • Wednesday, 4:45 - 5:45, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Julian Gerstin and Eugene Uman, instructors
  • Wednesday, 6:00 - 7:30, VJC Sextet (full), Rob Freeberg, director
  • Thursday, 7:00 - 8:30, Latin/African Percussion Ensemble, Julian Gerstin, instructor

Information on the courses:

Blue Note Ensemble
This ensemble will focus on the repertoire from landmark Blue Note recordings of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Mullett states that this era represents for him, "the heartbeat of American jazz." The repertoire performed by this ensemble will include jazz standards and originals recorded by the bands of Art Blakey and the jazz Messengers, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley and Wayne Shorter.

Youth Jazz Ensemble
For youth who are interested in adding improvisation to their musical toolbox. This ensemble will use simple tunes written by jazz masters Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderley and others as vehicles for taking off. The tunes we will start with are simple, catch melodies that encourage participants to want to delve deeper into the jazz repertoire.

Latin Jazz Ensemble
For individuals who wish to learn and play jazz influenced by rhythms of Latin America. Emphasized styles include salsa, son, rumba, danzon, bolero and cha cha chá from Cuba (and Puerto Rico); cumbia, bambucco and porro from Colombia; bossa, samba, partido alto and samba reggae from Brazil.

Women's Jazz Harmony Vocal Ensemble
Anna Patton will lead a women's vocal ensemble that will sing arrangements of songs from the swing era as well as contemporary pieces in the jazz idiom. The ensemble will work on blend and precision in close harmonies in the style of groups like the Andrews Sisters and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. We will also spend some time working on aural skills and playing with chord progressions. Recommended for singers who read music and/or have quick ears. The group is not auditioned, but does take on some challenging material.

Latin and African Percussion and Rhythms
Many instruments, many styles: more than bongo and cowbell. Julian will introduce you to instruments from Ghana, Cuba, Brazil and Martinique, from drums of many kinds to bells, shakers, and scrapers.

Jam Sessions
All are invited to attend our Wednesday night jam community sessions - they're held from 8:00 - 10:00 PM every week. All levels and all instruments are invited.

Check out the VJC's website at www.vtjazz.org and find class descriptions and further information on all the VJC's offerings. The phone number at the VJC is 802 254 9088 and leave a message for Ginger. You can also email Eugene Uman at eugene@vtjazz.org. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds, please call to find out about the VJC's scholarship and extended payment options. Assistance is available thanks to a generous grant from the Thompson Trust.

To Register, or for questions about scholarship assistance, contact Ginger Morawski ginger@vtjazz.org. For questions about Anna Patton's classes, contact the instructor directly: annameryl@gmail.com. For all other inquiries contact Eugene Uman at eugene@vtjazz.org

Vermont Jazz Center Board of Directors Welcomes New Trustees

The Vermont Jazz Center, Inc., a non-profit institution dedicated to promoting jazz music and education, is pleased to announce two new board members, Lyndall Boal and Jed Blume.

Lyndall Boal is a long-time social worker and advocate for children, health and education. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 1957, and earned an MA from the Simmons School of Social Work in 1959. She then pursued a career as a social worker in hospitals and schools, and taught at Fordham University's School of Social Work. She retired to Vermont in 2012. In addition to VJC, Ms. Boal is on the the Development Board of Grace Cottage Hospital, a founding member of GunSenseVt.org, and a Guardian ad Litem appointed by Vermont Superior Court to advocate for abused, abandoned and battered children in state custody. She served on the Board of Leland and Gray Middle and High School in Townsend, VT, from 2013 to 2016.

Jed Blume is a freelance nonprofit development consultant and world music composer living in Brattleboro, Vermont. Jed has assisted the VJC with fundraising since 2014 and joined the Board in 2016. As a development/grant specialist, Jed operates from Greenmountaingrants.com and Jedblume.com. As a musician, Jed has traveled abroad to study the rhythms of Africa and India. He draws on these influences as an accompanist and in his original compositions, specializing in Indian tabla drum and a newly invented instrument, the handpan, which combines melody and percussion.

The Vermont Jazz Center is an internationally recognized institution that provides jazz education, programming and outreach. Currently in its 40th year, it was founded in 1974 by the legendary guitarist, Attila Zoller and is now run by pianist, Eugene Uman.

The VJC features a summer jazz workshop, a monthly concert series, Wednesday night jam sessions, and frequent collaborations with area schools, arts organizations and businesses.

Mission: The Vermont Jazz Center is dedicated to creating and preserving jazz through the presentation of workshops, concerts, and instruction to a broad constituency of artists, students, and the general public.

Keep in touch
Upcoming Concerts
Caili O'Doherty Quartet
Saturday, October 1st, 8:00 PM
Chico Freeman Plus-tet
Saturday, October 15th, 8:00 PM
We Four, Javon Jackson and Jimmy Cobb Celebrate the Music of John Coltrane
Saturday, November 12th, 8:00 PM
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