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Kurt Rosenwinkel's "Post-jazz Sonic Trio" to perform at the Vermont Jazz Center on Saturday, September 17th at 8:00 PM

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On September 17th at 8:00 PM, the Vermont Jazz Center will kick off its 2016-17 season with a guitar enthusiast's dream: Kurt Rosenwinkel and his "post-jazz sonic trio of breathtaking virtuosity." His new group, Bandit 65, is fresh off of two European tours and performances in Los Angeles, Montreal, Philly and Boston. Bandit 65 explores the potential of combining drums with two guitarists replete with looping pedals and electronic enhancement to create a brand-new sonic landscape. Guitarist Pat Metheny has stated "I admire the musician who makes the commitment to ask the harder musical questions that transcend the everyday issues of style and idiom, such is Kurt Rosenwinkel - a thinking guitarist who is working hard to come up with answers that meet his own personal criteria of what music is and what music can be." Never one to sit on his laurels, Bandit 65 represents Rosenwinkel's next phase of development, a distinct move from the Standards Trio he has been touring with the past few years.

Bandit 65 is Kurt Rosenwinkel on guitar and electronics, Tim Motzer on guitar, prepared guitar, loops and electronics and Gintas Janusonis on drums, percussion and "circuit bent toys." The music they play is outer-worldly, filled with varied sounds, textures and grooves; it is exceptionally dynamic, exploring the range that exists from the "spaces in between the notes" to "sheets of sound." The music we will be hearing on September 17th is not bebop, swing or the sophisticated, composed melodies that many of us are accustomed to hearing from Rosenwinkel. It is a new, progressive exploration of the counterpoint of never before heard sounds. Like Miles Davis, Rosenwinkel is too impatient to stand in one place for too long - his brilliant, curious mind will not be constrained to recreating his past successes. Like Metheny states, this new group is Rosenwinkel's response to "transcending the everyday issues of style and idiom."

Kurt Rosenwinkel's penchant for complex but deep melodies drives him to create some of the most fresh and invigorating music that can be found in the entire North American jazz scene today.  As Ben Ratliff of the New York Times states "[Rosenwinkel] lives in the Keith Jarrett world of extreme sensitivity to dynamics and note choices, and he's a post-Pat Metheny guitarist, with all the deep harmony that implies."  Rosenwinkel is one of the striking young crowd who has access to the entire landscape of dialects that have evolved throughout jazz's history including bebop, modal explorations, metric modulations and intervallic development.  Yet with his huge vocabulary, he still chooses to play lyrically and melodically. His solos evolve with a sense of unexpected inevitability - drawing out phrases that pull the curious ear eagerly along a winding path.

Although the music that Rosenwinkel plays with Bandit 65 borders on rock (it carries a sophisticated, jam-band aesthetic), the origin of his style comes from a place of melody. He states "The music that I love always had that [melodic] quality to it.  From Billie Holiday to Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, Miles Davis and Bill Evans...there's always a deep sense of song to it.  That's a quality that I feel can be very lacking in today's jazz that's being made."

Kurt Rosenwinkel attended Boston's Berklee School of music for a little over two years before leaving to join Vibraphonist Gary Burton's group. He then moved to New York where he joined Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band and earned the respect of New York's jazz cognoscenti. During this time he formed solid relationships with other brilliant young musicians such as Brad Meldhau and Joshua Redmond. He also began making appearances on lots of cutting-edge recordings such as Tim Hagens' Animation-Imagination, Chris Potter's Vertigo, Larry Goldings' Big Stuff and Danilo Perez's Motherland. He can be found as a guest artist with Donald Fagen, Q-Tip and Joshua Redman's Elastic Band. Rosenwinkel won a Composer's Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. His broad discography of over 200 albums includes twelve of his own recordings as a leader--four of which are on Verve, a major player in the music industry. He is recognized as an artist who can sell a lot of records, but is primarily viewed as someone whose commitment to the music is beyond reproach. He has earned the admiration of fans who will travel from far and wide to hear him play.

Bandit 65 matches Rosenwinkel with guitarist Tim Motzer. After 17 years of world touring, stunning collaborations, and over 70 albums of credits this innovative Philadelphia-based guitarist continues to traverse manifold territories in music and has developed a distinct textural guitar voice utilizing looping, bowing, electronics, and prepared techniques. He has been recognized by Prepared Guitar (Madrid, Spain) in their list of the top 300 modern guitarists worldwide. He has collaborated with musical luminaries such as David Sylvian (Nine Horses), Burnt Friedman, Jaki Liebezeit (CAN), Ursula Rucker, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson, Markus Reuter and King Britt among many others. As a leader, his projects include Orion Tango, RMS (with Julie Slick & Tobias Ralph), Goldbug, Instant Takemitsu (with Dino J.A. Deane), and Tim Motzer SOLO. He releases his genre-defying solo work and collaborations on his1k Recordings imprint. He composes for film and video, is a composer/accompanist at the University of the Arts, and scores for choreographers in the world of modern dance.

The drummer for the project is Gintas Janusonis, a NYC based, Grammy nominated, internationally acclaimed drummer, composer, and producer who has worked with a diverse range of world class artists, groups, and producers during a 20-plus year career. His collaborations include work with Angelique Kidjo, Branford Marsalis, Lee Scratch Perry, RZA, Wu-Tang Clan, Bill Laswell, David Murray, James Spaulding, Melvin Rhyne, Joe Blaney, Otis Clay,The Revelations, Ursula Rucker, Bilal and many more. His wide range of musical styles, groupings, and concepts are a reflection of the depth and breadth of his musical vocabulary and conception. His voice as a drummer and percussionist has been deeply informed by his work as a producer, composer, and recording engineer. Janusonis also explores the artistic possibilities of coalescing electronics with acoustic instruments, and sonic manipulations in his musical palate.

Come find out why John Scofield (another guitar wiz) states "Kurt Rosenwinkel is one of the finest and most creative guitarists playing today." Hear him with his new, forward thinking band Bandit 65. No matter what style of music you love, this concert will treat you to a new sonic pallet you never thought possible.

The Vermont Jazz Center presents Kurt Rosenwinkel's Bandit 65 Saturday, September 17th at 8:00 PM. The VJC is especially grateful for sponsorship of this event by Julian Gerstin and Carlene Raper as well as a "friend of the Vermont Jazz Center's Summer Workshop." Their 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.  Hospitality for our artists is provided by the Hampton Inn of Brattleboro. VJC publicity is underwritten by the Brattleboro Reformer, WVPR, WVEW, WFCR and Chris Lenois of WKVT's Green Mountain Mornings.

Tickets for the Kurt Rosenwinkel's Bandit 65 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, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Handicapped access is available by calling the VJC at 802 254 9088.
Contact: Eugene Uman - eugene@vtjazz.org

Bandit 65 - Live in Milan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57ZpLlpJS8g

Nica's Dream
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlvMBvVd5Ok

Here's two guitar giants (Kurt and Peter Bernstein) playing with George Garzone (tenor) and a terrific rhythm section (Scott Colley and Eric Harland) in Italy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i7IuiIRUZ8

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.

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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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