Summer Workshops Instructors

David Picchi


david-picchi.jpgDavid Picchi has been performing and teaching music throughout the Pioneer Valley since 2001. As an electric and double bass player, he has been called to play on many recording projects and is known for his ability to perform with any lineup, in any genre, for any audience.

After graduating from Holyoke Community College and UMass Amherst, David spent 3 years touring nationally with the Soul/R&B band Leah Randazzo Group. In addition to being the Administrative Director for the UMass Jazz in July Summer Music Programs, David is a member of the Amherst College Music Department faculty, and also contributes his skills and services to the HCC Jazz Festival, Northampton Jazz Festival, Mt. Holyoke College Music Department, and Vermont Jazz Center.

Visit David Picchi's website.

Brian Adler


brian-adler.jpgBrian (Shankar) Adler is a prolific drummer, composer, and educator from Brooklyn, NY. Often creating from a drum set augmented with percussion instruments from India and South America, he is known for his stylistic range and for organizing a diverse number of projects simultaneously.

Critics have noted his earthy, nuanced sound, minimalist attention to texture, and his forward thinking rhythmic concepts, "Adler's music flows organically in pursuit of mystery, movingly existing in an ultimate state of fluidity," says Jordan Richardson of Canadian Audiophile.
Adler grew up in an ashram and remembers his first experience with music at the age of five, reciting classical Indian drum syllables and playing the corresponding finger patterns on his knees. He went on to study at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where master musicians Bob Moses, and Ran Blake helped him to develop his own voice blending several traditions.

Since 2004, Adler has operated his own record label Circavision Productions, and has released seven records with Helium Music ProjectFour Across and Prana Trio. He has also collaborated with: Bombay Rickey, La Bomba de Tiempo, Harvey Diamon, Gerard Edery, Four Across, Guillermo Klein, Kate McGarry, Elizabeth Swados, Ray Vega, among others.

In addition to performing at many of top New York venues: Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Smalls, and Joe's Public Theater, Adler has also toured Europe, North and South America. He has been featured on WNYC's "New Sounds," at the South by Southwest Festival and recently, on the score of "Of Many," a film produced by Chelsea Clinton and featured at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Adler is a passionate educator. He teaches privately in Brooklyn and is on faculty at the Vermont Summer Jazz Workshop, Hoff Barthelson Conservatory, a presenter at Vermont College of Fine Arts and a member of Bash the Trash. He also directs a A World of Percussion, a brand of kinesthetic rhythmic education and Brooklyn Drummers.

Visit Brian Adler's website.

Karrin Allyson

Singing Jazz

karrin-photo.jpgThe Houston Press -- "If there's a choir in heaven, someday the exquisite vocalist Karrin Allyson will lead it. She's such an otherworldly talent that the creator probably already has her on heavy rotation."

Well, no worries, mate, Karrin Allyson will be part of this earthly choir for a very long time. But she is moving on, after a jam-packed career with Concord Jazz -- thirteen albums, four Grammy nominations, and a recent self-produced holiday album, Yuletide Hideaway that won four stars from Downbeat.

In May of 2015, as part of a new agreement with Motema Records, Karrin heads back into the recording studio with for a very intimate look at the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. For Karrin, who actually played Nelly Forbush in a production of South Pacific as a teenager this album is a return. "I've been all around the world musically, from bop and bossa and chanson to blues and singer-songwriters. And now, I feel like coming home. I find myself powerfully drawn to the world of Rodgers and Hammerstein."

"Why? Well, the tunes for starters, gorgeous melodies, near perfect lyrics, music that begs to be sung. Music filled with innocence, optimism, a confident can-do response to any problem, an appealing wise-guy humor, a sense that we all belong together on this wonderful planet. So, Rodgers & Hammerstein in very spare, honest settings -- just a singer, telling the story with two masterful partners, the magisterial pianist Kenny Barron and the superb bassist John Pattituci, underlining and extending."

Karrin lives in New York City, following a childhood in the midwest, schooling in the Bay Area, a degree in classical piano performance and important stints in Minneapolis and Kansas City, where she began her recording career with Concord Jazz. Karrin currently spends two days out of three on tour, playing the major jazz festivals, concert venues and clubs of the U.S. and making repeated tours overseas -- to Brazil, Japan, Australia and the great cities of Europe. Throughout 2014 Allyson was featured as solo vocalist in the Newport --Now 60 Tour which played in thirty cities across the US and Canada before concluding the 2014 Newport Festival.

Among musicians, Karrin is known as a great bandleader and one of the deep pleasures of the current scene is listening to her highly developed interplay with her bandmates -- it sounds so effortless -- but it conceals a deep musical sophistication. It's one of Allyson's great achievements -- the result of working over the years with an ensemble of fearless andpowerfully committed jazz virtuosi.Karrin has also developed a unique relationship with the multi-talented L.A. composer Chris Caswell and the two have collaborated for nearly ten years as composers and performers in a very spirited ensemble featuring Caswell on Hammond B-3 organ. In fact, Karrin has been doing a lot of writing of late and promises an album of original songs in the near future.

It's no surprise that music lovers and critics around the world have been singing Allyson's name from the roof tops, marveling at the range of this extraordinary musician, who moves with such ease and authority from the Great American Songbook of Gershwin and Porter to the Great American Jazz Songbook of Duke and Thelonius and Miles and Dizzy, jet-setting to Rio and Paris and swinging back home to pick up Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Webb. What unites this wide world of music -- brings it together and makes sense of it all -- is Karrin Allyson's warmth and depth. She's not just singing a lyric, she's telling you her story. And then that becomes your story. You hear the music from the inside out.

Listen to the legendary jazz critic Gary Giddins in The Village Voice: "Allyson coolly stakes her claim. She brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain -- incisive, original, and emotionally convincing." Heart, intelligence, warmth -- an emotional range from bittersweet to sassy --you hear it every time you listen. Make no mistake -- Karrin Allyson is singing to you.

Visit Karrin Allyson's website.

Ingrid Jensen

Band Leader, Trumpet, Therory

ingrid-jensen-photo-for-website.jpgBorn in Vancouver and raised in Nanaimo, Canada, Ingrid headed east after receiving a number of scholarships to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since graduating in 1989, her life has contained a whirlwind of musical activities. From her early days playing in the subways of New York, to establishing herself as a leader and soloist in a wide array of musical genres, Ingrid has made her mark. Her three CD's for the ENJA label and her latest CD, At Sea, won her nominations from the Canadian Juno Awards, including an award in 1995 for Vernal Fields.

Her performances as a leader and as a featured soloist have taken her around the world from Canada to Japan, Australia, South America, South Africa, the Caribbean and to almost every country in Europe and Scandinavia.

Jensen can be heard as a soloist with the Christine Jensen Orchestra, her own own quartet and quintet formations, Project O, Nordic Connect and a number of other New York-based bands. She has received rave reviews and a strong reputation among critics and peers. In 2003 she was nominated, for the second time, alongside trumpeter Dave Douglas for a Jazz Journalist Association Award in New York and is seen yearly in the top five of the Downbeat Critic polls in the Talent deserving wider recognition category. Ingrid was featured on Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, under the direction of Maria Schneider and was also a guest in the festival's "Tribute to Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard", alongside Terence Blanchard, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson and Kenny Garrett. Some of the many musicians she has performed and or recorded with include; Steve Wilson, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Dr.Lonnie Smith, Marc Copland, Bob Berg, Gary Thomas, Gary Bartz, Jeff Hamilton, Bill Stewart, Terri-Lynn Carrington, Geri Allen, Geoffrey Keezer, Billy Hart, George Garzone, Chris Connor, Victor Lewis, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Badal Roy, Mike Clark, Jason Miles and Global Noize, Dr.Billy Taylor and the DIVA Big Band. She also performed on SNL with the British soul star, Corrine Bailey Rae and played a number of gigs with comedian/actor/singer Dennis Leary with special guest, Peter Frampton. Ingrid was also a featured soloist with singer Madelaine Peyroux as part of the Tribute to Billy Holiday project in Brazil which included bass legend Ron Carter and piano virtuoso, Mulgrew Miller. Recent gigs and recordings include : The Playboy Jazz Festival with the Bill Cosby All- Stars, The Mosaic project with Terri-Lynn Carrington, Esperanza Spaulding and Geri Allen and The Juno award winning Christine Jensen Orchestra.

Ingrid was on staff at the Port Townsend Centrum Jazz Workshop for five consecutive years and from 1990 until 1992 held the professor of Jazz Trumpet chair at the Bruckner Conservatory of Music in Austria. Currently, she is  an artist-in-residence on the trumpet faculty at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Jensen continues to fill her schedule with an astonishing array of artistic creativity as a performer and educator. In addition to performing, she conducts master classes, clinics, and workshops around the world.

Visit Ingrid Jensen's website.

Jeff Galindo

Trombone and jazz improvisation

Born in San Francisco, California, Jeff Galindo attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts on scholarship after high school. He also studied with Hal Crook, Jerry Bergonzi, and George Garzone with grants by the National Endowment of the Arts and began free-lancing in the Boston area. His experience includes tours of Europe with Phil Woods and Japan with Makoto Ozone, and tours with the Artie Shaw Orchestra. Jeff has performed with such notables as Chick Corea, Clark Terry, Joe Lovano, Buddy DeFranco, Slide Hampton, and Johnny Griffin. He has also performed with Gunther Schuller, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Bergonzi, Bobby Shew, The Boston Pops Orchestra, and Sam Butera among many others. In Boston, Jeff performs regularly with the Greg Hopkins Big Band and Nonet, The Galindo/Phaneuf Sextet (with which he has released a new cd "Locking Horns" in 1998 and won Boston Magazines "Best of Boston" for a jazz group in 1999), plus his double quartet with George Garzone. He is currently one of the top free-lancing trombonists in the Boston area.

 Jeff is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music, teaching both trombone and jazz improvisation. He also has an extensive private teaching schedule. Jeff is in high demand as a guest artist and clinician at high schools and universities in Massachusetts, the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Cameron Brown


Bassist, composer and educator Cameron Brown began his career in the mid-sixties, recording in Europe with George Russell and Don Cherry. These important innovators remain life-long inspirations and influences. Beginning in 1975, Mr. Brown anchored some of the most important ensembles of the seventies, eighties, nineties, and into the current century. Sheila Jordan, Roswell Rudd, Archie Shepp and Beaver Harris were his mentors and bandleaders. He has enjoyed special relationships with master drummers: Art Blakey, Dannie Richmond, Philly Joe Jones, Edward Blackwell, Eddie Moore, Idris Muhammad, Billy Hart, Joe Chambers, Lewis Nash and Matt Wilson as well as Mr. Harris. The Don Pullen/George Adams Quartet, featuring Dannie Richmond, developed into an intense and rewarding partnership which lasted nearly ten years. He has also performed and recorded with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, George Russell, The Dewey Redman Quartet, and various ensembles led be Mr. Shepp, Mr. Cherry, Mr. Rudd, Mr. Richmond, and Joe Lovano, Mr. Brown has performed and/or recorded with Donald Byrd, Booker Ervin, Ted Curson, Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, Terumasa Hino, Betty Carter, Houston Person, Etta Jones, Lou Donaldson, Jim McNeely, George Cables, Joe Locke, Salvatore Bonafede, Tony Malaby, Jane Ira Bloom, and Marc Copland. He's helped young people around the world to nurture their interest in and passion for jazz and is on the faculty of the New School University. At present, Mr. Brown performs and/or records in duo with Sheila Jordan, with various ensembles led by Joe Lovano and Jason Rigby, as well as with Ben Riley, Lisa Sokolov, Jay Clayton, Archie Shepp, Don Byron, Dave Ballou, Steve Slagle, Jeremy Steig, Marco Tamburini and Carl Stormer.

Visit Cameron Brown's website.

Ray Gallon


ray-gallon-photo-for-website.jpgJazz pianist/composer Ray Gallon has performed, recorded and toured the world with many of the leading artists of jazz, including Ron Carter, Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, T.S. Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Sweets Edison Wycliffe Gordon, Les Paul, Benny Golson. Frank Wess, Lew Tabakin, George Adams and the Mingus Big Band.

He has performed at most of the major jazz festivals and venues throughout North and South America, Europe, and Japan and has appeared in gala concerts at the White House and the Kennedy Center.

Ray has also accompanied many vocal greats, including Jon Hendricks, Chaka Khan, Sheila Jordan, Grady Tate, Nnenna Freelon, Gloria Lynne, Dakota Staton, Joe Williams, and Jane Monheit. In addition, he also leads his own trio as well as performs solo concerts. His compositions have been recorded by T.S. Monk, the Harper Brothers, and George Adams. Ray has appeared on numerous recordings, including Lionel Hampton's Grammy-nominated Cookin' In the Kitchen.

His broadcast appearances include NBC's The Tonight Show and Today as well as several nationally broadcast concert performances on BET-TV and NPR. Ray is a full-time jazz faculty member of the City College of NY and an adjunct in the jazz program at The New School. He has led or participated in numerous workshops and master classes throughout North and South America. Ray is the co-leader/pianist/composer of a new series of internationally distributed jazz practice and study aide CDs. He holds both BFA and MA degrees in performance & composition from CCNY.

Harvey Diamond


Harvey DiamondHarvey Diamond is one of the most accomplished jazz pianists in the Boston area. Over the years he has performed across the U.S. and in Europe. In Boston he has performed at Ryles Jazz Club, the Acton Jazz Café, the Regatta Bar, The Colonial Inn in Concord and many more venues. He has been a guest on WGBH Radio on the Eric Jackson Show "Eric in the Evening".

Harvey has been described as "one of the unsung heroes of the Boston jazz scene since the mid-1960's." He was among Lennie Tristano's (one of the great original improvisers who played with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker in the 1940's) last students in the 1970's, and has done concert appearances accompanying celebrated jazz singer Sheila Jordan and jazz trumpeter Art Farmer (recipient of the 1999 NEA Jazz Master Award).

Harvey regularly performs with the Working Man's Jazz Band and other area musicians, including with his daughter, Hannah Rose Diamond, an accomplished singer.

Music starts at 5:00 minutes.

Claire Arenius

Drums and Vocal accompanist

claire-arenius-photo-2015.jpgDrummer/composer/educator Claire Arenius has been performing in jazz and improvisational music for more than thirty years. Her formative years were spent studying music at the University of Massachusetts, where Archie Shepp and Max Roach were on faculty. Later, as the recipient of a National Endowment Music Grant, Claire relocated to New York City to study with master drummer Charli Persip. This led to Claire's joining legendary trombonist/arranger Melba Liston's ensemble and to performances at Carnegie Hall, the Seaport Jazz Fest, Jazzmobile, & many other concerts. Claire has also toured Europe with Hungarian-born guitar Master Attila Zoller, founder of the Vermont Jazz Center. She has performed and/or recorded with many jazz greats including: Tal Farlow, Slide Hampton, Richard Davis, Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Karrin Allyson, Charles Neville, George Mraz, Ray Copeland, Mose Allison, Barney Kessel, Yusef Lateef, Rufus Reid, Lew Soloff, Sheila Jordan and more.  Claire's compositional works have been featured  at the Many Colors of a Woman Jazz Festival, The Iron Horse, Amherst College Composer's Colloquium, The Discover Jazz Festival, University of Wisconsin, Ryles, and the International Millenium Festival in Medillen, Colombia.  She has released a debut CD of her original compositions, "When Worlds Touch You" featuring pianist, Eugene Uman & bassist, Thomson Kneeland. Some of her  collaborative projects can be heard on Playscape recordings label.  Her recent performance work includes dates with her own trio, bassist Vishnu Wood's Safari East, pianist Joel Martin's Jazzical trio, and others.  Claire presently is the creator/producer of the Jazz On The Mothership Series in Northampton, Ma. where she features national and international jazz artists with her trio every week.   Claire presently serves as Adjunct Music Jazz Performance Faculty at Amherst College and on music performance faculty at Smith College, and as a clinician/educator for the Holyoke Community College Jazz Festival, and she is on the Faculty for the Vermont Jazz Center.

Visit Claire Arenius's website.

Marcus McLaurine


marcus-mclaurine.jpgComposer, leader and sideman, bassist Marcus McLaurine, has become one of the most sought- after musicians in jazz, sharing bandstands with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Burrell, James Moody, Lou Donaldson, Dame Cleo Laine, Joe Williams, Jon Hendricks, Abbey Lincoln, The Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Thad Jones. Marcus Mclaurine was also a stalwart member of Clark Terry's Quintet, whose band he had been with since 1981.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, he studied music at the University of Nebraska then moved to Los Angeles to further his musical ambitions. In 1976 Marcus entered the Air Force as a member of the 590th Air Force band and after his four year stint in the military moved to New York City where he has lived for the past 36 years. Now, in addition to his work as a leader and first-call sideman, Marcus is focusing on his burgeoning career as a composer, writing both jazz and contemporary pieces.

Mr. McLaurine has been an adjunct professor at William Paterson University for the past nineteen years. There he teaches acoustic and electric bass focusing on a broad repertoire including classic standards, bebop and more progressive styles to prepare his students to be able to compete on a professional level.

Visit Marcus McLaurine's website.

Scott Mullett

Teaches: and

Scott MulletScott Mullett has played and toured with some of the best big bands in the world. After attending Berklee School of Music, Mullett toured with Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, and Mel Torme, and joined the national tours of Cats and 42nd Street. He has performed with Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Stan Getz, Lou Rawls, Ben Vereen, Cab Calloway, and many other notable performers.

Mullett has been a working musician ever since, and is now a first-call saxophone player for the greater Boston area, doing commercial studio sessions, and performing regularly with the White Heat Swing Orchestra and the C-Jammers. He has taught saxophone clinics at Berklee.

After serving as Musical Director for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in the 90's, he came back to the Monadnock Region and continues to play jazz and teach in the Boston area as well as the Keene area.

Julian Gerstin

Teaches: and

Julian Gerstin

Julian Gerstin, PhD is an ethnomusicologist, percussionist and composer. At the Vermont Jazz Center, Julian co-leads the Latin Jazz Ensemble with Eugene Uman, teaches Caribbean/African Percussion, and runs a Rhythm Theory course at the Summer Jazz Workshop. He also serves on the Board as President and a member of the Grants Committee.

Julian's percussive explorations have led him from the folk traditions of Ghana and Cuba to popular music from Nigeria to Brazil, as well as jazz styles from New Orleans brass bands to avant-garde experimentalism. He currently appears with his own ensemble, the Julian Gerstin Sextet, playing original jazz influenced by the rhythms and forms of Caribbean and Balkan music; with the Afrocuban folkloric dance ensemble Iroko Nuevo; and with local bands playing salsa, samba, and Latin jazz.

In the academic world, Julian has taught music and ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, Clark University, Marlboro College and Keene State College. He studied and performed traditional music in Martinique in 1993-95, and his work there has led to numerous scholarly publications and CD compilations of Martinican traditions. He has studied Cuban music with notables such as the group Cutumba in Santiago de Cuba, Sandy Perez, John Santos, and John Amira. Julian is co-author (with Ken Dalluge) of the book The Musician's Guide to Rhythm, a practical approach to rhythmic understanding and creativity for all instruments.

Visit Julian Gerstin's website.

Sheila Jordon

Singing Jazz

Sheila JordanRaised in poverty in Pennsylvania's coal-mining country, Jordan began singing as a child and by the time she was in her early teens, she was sitting in at alcohol free jazz clubs. Her first great influence was Charlie Parker and, indeed, most of her influences have been instrumentalists rather than singers. Singing and hanging out chiefly with black musicians, she met with disapproval from the white community but persisted with her career. She was a member of a vocal trio, Skeeter, Mitch and Jean (she was Jean), who sang versions of Parker's solos in a manner akin to that of the later Lambert, Hendricks And Ross.

After moving to New York in the early 50s, she married Parker's pianist, Duke Jordan, and studied with Lennie Tristano, but it was not until the early 60s that she made her first recordings. One of these was under her own name, the other was "The Outer View" with George Russell, which featured a famous 10-minute version of "You Are My Sunshine".

In the mid-60s her work encompassed jazz liturgies sung in churches and extensive club work, but her appeal was narrow even within the confines of jazz. By the late 70s jazz audiences had begun to understand her uncompromising style a little more and her popularity increased - as did her appearances on record, which included albums with pianist Steve Kuhn, whose quartet she joined, and an album, Home, comprising a selection of Robert Creeley's poems set to music and arranged by Steve Swallow.

A 1983 duo set with bassist Harvie Swartz, "Old Time Feeling", comprises several of the standards Jordan regularly features in her live repertoire, while 1990's "Lost And Found" pays tribute to her bebop roots. Both sets display her unique musical trademarks, such as the frequent and unexpected sweeping changes of pitch, which still tend to confound an uninitiated audience. Her preference to the bass and voice set led to another remarkable collaboration with bassist Cameron Brown, whom she has been performing with all over the world for more than ten years so far and they have released the live albums "I've Grown Accustomed to the Bass" and "Celebration". Entirely non-derivative, Jordan is one of only a tiny handful of jazz singers who fully deserve the appellation and for whom no other term will do.

Copyright 1989-2000 Muze UK Ltd
Visit Sheila Jordon's website.

Jay Clayton

Singing Jazz

Jay ClaytonJay Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and educator, whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. Jay has gained worldwide attention as both performer and teacher. With more than 40 recordings to her credit, Clayton has appeared alongside such formidable artists as Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Reich, Kirk Nurock, Julian Priester, Jerry Granelli, Jane Ira Bloom, Gary Bartz, Jack Wilkins, George Cables, Fred Hersch, Gary Thomas, tap dancer Brenda Bufalino as well as fellow vocalists Jeanne Lee, Norma Winstone, Urszula Dudziak and Bobby McFerrin.

She has taught extensively throughout the world and was on the jazz faculty of Cornish College of the Arts for 20 years. She is currently on the jazz faculty at Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Her book, Sing Your Story: A Practical Guide for Learning and Teaching the Art of Jazz Singing, was published by Advance Music in 2001

Visit Jay Clayton's website.

Eugene Uman

Teaches: and

Eugene_Uman1.jpgEugene Uman took an MA from Queens College in Jazz Performance, and was a recipient of a Eubie Blake Scholarship.

He was former faculty at 3rd Street Music Settlement House in NYC, Colegio de Musica, Medellin, Colombia, and has recorded with Carlos Averhoff of Irakere as well as various Latin American ensembles; also performed with Donald Byrd, Jerry Bergonzi, Larry Rivers group, Vermont Jazz Ensemble.

Eugene has been commissioned by the Big Band de Medellin to compose and perform, and has given workshops at the university level in jazz composition, jazz theory and harmony, jazz improvisation, jazz pedagogy, and jazz history and appreciation.

Artistic Director, Vermont Jazz Center; Adjunct professor of Music at Universidad de Antioquia and Universidad EAFIT in Colombia, SA

Visit Eugene Uman's website.
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