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Latest News
VJC SPRING SEMESTER CLASSES TO BEGIN WEEK OF FEBRUARY 6th

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The Vermont Jazz Center will begin its 10-week long semester of Spring/Winter educational programs the week of February 6th, 2017. Sessions are 8 to 10 weeks long. Starting dates and fees are listed below and at vtjazz.org. The semester will culminate in a concert with a set performed by each of the groups. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Please visit the VJC's website (www.vtjazz.org) or call or email Office Manager, Ginger Morawski to register or find out about scholarship and extended payment options: 802 254 9088, ginger@vtjazz.org. Note: Latin Jazz Ensemble and Latin and African and Percussion and Rhythms begins the week before official start date of the semester.

MONDAYS

5:15 - 6:45 Blue Note Ensemble, Scott Mullett, instructor, February 6th start date


The Blue Note Ensemble focuses 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.

7:00 - 9:00 Valley Rock Choir, Tony Lechner, instructor, Start date set by instructor

Tony Lechner, has been conducting choirs in the Northampton Massachusetts region for over a decade under the auspices of Valley Jazz Choirs. He uses the VJC to rehearse his rock choir on Monday evenings at 7:00 PM. Contact Mr. Lechner directly for starting date and fee information. To register: tony@valleychoirs.com

TUESDAYS

3:45 -5:00 Youth Jazz Ensemble, Eugene Uman, instructor. February 7th start date (8 week session)


For youth age 10 - 16 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 melodies that encourage participants to want to delve deeper into the jazz repertoire.

5:30 - 7:15 Soubrette Jazz Choir, Anna Patton instructor, February 7th start date.
Formerly called "Women's Harmony Jazz Choir"

Class meets at 62 Spruce Street, Brattleboro, VT

The Soubrette Jazz Choir is a vocal ensemble led by Anna Patton that works up intricate vocal arrangements of Swing, Jazz, and Blues, as well as songs in those idioms by contemporary composers. A Soubrette is an opera or musical theater term for the non-leading lady - usually more worldly, instrumental in the plot intrigue, and funnier than the lead. We tend to sing these kinds of songs.

Each semester we work up a short set of songs, culminating in two or three performances. We work on blend and precision in close harmonies, syncopated rhythms, and understanding chord progressions. We work mostly from written music and occasionally by ear. Recorded practice demos are available. While the choir is not auditioned, it is recommended for singers who like a challenge, read music, and have good ears. The semester will end with performances in mid/late May and early June TBD. If you have any questions regarding the musical content and how you might fit in, please contact Anna directly - annameryl@gmail.com.

WEDNESDAYS

4:15 - 5:45 Latin Jazz Ensemble, Julian Gerstin and Eugene Uman, instructors. February 1st start date*


For musicians 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.

8:00 - 10:00 VJC Wednesday Night Jam Sessions, On-going

All are invited to attend our Wednesday night jam community sessions which are held from 8:00 - 10:00 PM every week. All levels and all instruments are invited. A $3.00 donation is suggested for listeners and players. The jam sessions were especially important in past times for musicians to learn from each other and review the jazz repertoire. Today is no exception. A supportive environment prevails in order to encourage musicians who can, at a minimum, play through a melody. Most musicians also use the opportunity to explore their improvising "chops." Sessions are attended by a myriad of musicians from diverse backgrounds. High School and college students are especially urged to attend. This open jam at the Vermont Jazz Center has been taking place since 1997 and is a means for young and old to hone their skills together. Led by Eugene Uman and Robby Roiter.

THURSDAYS

7:00 - 8:30 PM Latin/African Perc. and Rhythms, Julian Gerstin, instructor. February 2nd start date*

Gerstin offers an overview of percussion instruments from African and Latin America and includes active jamming using authentic rhythms. This class is a hands-on approach to learning and playing many instruments and styles, or, as the instructor says "more than bongo and cowbell." Gerstin has studied at the source - he is a musicologist who earned his doctorate immersing himself in the song/dance/drumming tradition of Martinique. A life-long student, Julian has studied with masters of disparate styles from West Africa, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil and beyond, generously sharing what he has learned with his students. He will introduce participants to instruments from Ghana, Cuba, Brazil and Martinique, from drums of many kinds to bells, shakers, and scrapers. Participants will learn basic techniques and grooves for each instrument.

List of Classes and Ensembles at Vermont Jazz Center for Spring Semester
Monday
Blue Note Ensemble, 5:15 - 6:45, Scott Mullett
Brattleboro Rock Chorus, 7:30 - 9:00, Tony Lechner

Tuesday
Youth Jazz Ensemble, 3:45 - 5:00, Eugene Uman
Soubrette Jazz Choir, 5:30 - 7:15, Anna Patton*

Soubrette Jazz Choir meets at 62 Spruce St., Brattleboro

Wednesday
Latin Jazz Ensemble, 4:15 - 5:45, Gerstin/Uman
VJC Sextet (full), 6:00 - 7:30, Rob Freeberg
Jam Session, 8:00 - 10:00, Uman/Roiter

Thursday
Latin and African Perc. and Rhythms, 7:00 - 8:30, Gerstin


The Vermont Jazz Center instructors are committed to the jazz ethic of passing the tradition on and keeping it alive. Their ability to pull beautiful music out of even beginners is phenomenal. Their contributions to our community cannot be overstated.
~Susie Webster-Toleno, parent of youth ensemble student

Thank you for your generosity!

Dear Jazz Community,

Here at the VJC we are experiencing the power of the arts firsthand. Just the day after the elections, we gathered in rehearsals, classes, and jam sessions recognizing that in spite of everything, music brings us together, opens us up, and gives us a medium to relate with each other directly. Music transforms our angst into something both palpable and transparent that can lead to healing and action. We use art as a vehicle for critical expression, a pathway to memory and a conduit for joy and sadness.

In a letter to the community that can be found in our concert brochure, I quoted Curtis Reed, the director of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity: "Now is the time not to anguish, but to act!" The Jazz Center's mission includes providing a safe space to act, to create and to listen to music that is both in the moment and connected to a venerable history. It gives voice to struggle and peace to the weary.

It seems odd during these times to be asking for your support, but sustaining arts and educational programs now feels more important than ever, especially for the future of our youth. Please join me in increasing our efforts to spread the positive message of jazz in our community and beyond.

Follow the link to donate to the Vermont Jazz Center. Your contributions are fully tax-deductible.

Thank you for sustaining our mission!

Gratefully yours,
Eugene Uman
VJC Director

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Concert Season, 2016-2017 Vermont Jazz Center
2016
  • Sept. 17 - Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio
  • October 1st - Caili O'Doherty Quartet (Emerging Artist Series)
  • Oct. 15 - Chico Freeman Plus-tet
  • Nov. 12 - Javon Jackson + Jimmy Cobb's Tribute to Coltrane
  • Dec. 2 - VJC Big Band + Wanda Houston - Tribute to Ella
2017
  • Jan. 14 - Christian Scott
  • February 11 - Christian Sands Trio
  • March 18 - Sheila Jordan with Alan Broadbent
  • April 7, 8 - SOLO JAZZ PIANO FESTIVAL Stanley Cowell, Amina Figarova, Luis Perdomo, Yoko Miwa, and Miro Sprague
  • April 29th - Adam O'Farrill Quartet (Emerging Artist Series)
  • May 13 - Billy Childs Quartet
  • June 10 - Eugene Uman's Convergence Project
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Stanley Cowell, April 8th, 2017

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
Sheila Jordan, Alan Broadbent and Harvie S
Saturday, March 18th, 8:00 PM
Solo Jazz Piano Fest
Friday and Saturday, April 7-8th, 8:00 PM
Adam O'Farrill Quartet - Emerging Artist Series
Saturday, April 29th, 8:00 PM
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