WESTMINSTER >> On Saturday, Feb. 27, Compass School will host a Latin American-inspired dinner and a musical performance by Eugene and Julian's Latin Party Band featuring renowned musicians Eugene Uman and Julian Gerstin.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a multi-course dinner, and concurrently there will be a silent auction which will include gift certificates to area businesses, fine arts, furniture, clothing, and much more. All-inclusive tickets for dinner and music are $18 for adults and $12 for students.

Uman is a pianist and composer who has performed with Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, George Mraz, Jimmy Heath, Donald Byrd, and many others. He has written over 120 wide ranging jazz compositions; three of his original compositions were recorded by Latin jazz star Sammy Figueroa on his 2005 Grammy Nominated CD. Uman appears in numerous ensembles including his own Convergence Project (with the Takeishi brothers), the Julian Gerstin Sextet, the Claire Arenius Trio, and many others. Uman has been the director of the Vermont Jazz Center since 1997; in this capacity he has created a successful educational program, directed an annual summer workshop, lead weekly jam sessions and presented over 200 concerts of world class jazz artists.


He is also an adjunct professor of music at Amherst College.

Gerstin, Ph.D., is an ethnomusicologist and percussionist specializing in music of Africa and the Caribbean. He has taught at Wesleyan University, Clark University, Marlboro College, and Keene State College. He is currently rehearsing for an upcoming album with the Julian Gerstin Sextet, playing Gerstin's original compositions influenced from musical styles and rhythms adapted from those of the Caribbean, the Balkans and Africa.

Uman and Gerstin will bring their six-piece Latin Jazz Party Band to the Fiesta where they will surely be ripping it up! In addition to Eugene and Julian, the band includes Dave Ellis on trumpet, Miachael Zsoldos on sax, Carl Oman on bass, and Bob Sparadeo on drums.

All proceeds of the evening will benefit the Compass junior class Global Connection trip to Peru. The Global Connections Program focuses on cultural immersion and international understanding. It is an integral part of the junior class curriculum, inspiring students to broaden their horizons as global citizens. The Global Connections Program began in 2003 and since then Compass has had over 150 participants travel to locations including the Mexico/Arizona border, India, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.

This fundraising dinner and concert is key to making this travel program affordable to all 11th graders regardless of family income.

Tickets will be available at the door or can be purchased ahead of time from Compass School (802-463-2525), or can be reserved by emailing ryan.hockertlotz@compass-school.org.