PUTNEY -- The Vermont Jazz Center’s 37th Summer Jazz Workshop convenes Aug. 5-11 at the Putney School and features two concerts open to the public.
On Thursday, at 8 p.m., the summer workshop faculty concert will feature vocalists Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton, Howard Brofsky and Jeff Galindo on trumpet, Scott Mullett and Jake Whitesell on saxophone, Helmut Kegerer on guitar, Harvey Diamond, Ray Gallon and Eugene Uman on piano, Cameron Brown, George Kaye, James Robbins and David Picchi on bass, Satoshi Takeishi and Claire Arenius on drums and Julian Gerstin, percussion. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door, at www.vtjazz.org or at In the Moment Record Shop on Main Street in Brattleboro. Call 802-254-9088 for reservations.
On Friday, the Vermont Jazz Center Summer Workshop will showcase faculty-coached student ensembles with numerous vocalists and several piano trios. This concert will be divided into two sections, the first will start at 3:30 p.m., and the second show will resume at 8 p.m. after a dinner break. Singers will be accompanied by a professional jazz trio and the piano trios will be assisted and perform with a faculty bassist. Also performing will be a number of faculty-coached ensembles, usually comprised of horn, piano, bass and drums. For the student concert, a $5 donation is suggested.
For 37 years, the Vermont Jazz Center has presented its summer jazz
The VJC’s summer workshop crystallized and attained non-profit status in 1974 when founding director
Attila Zoller officially organized the informal gatherings of guitarists he held at his home in Newfane. To this day, the VJC honors Zoller’s spirit and attention to quality, retaining many of the faculty who played alongside him. There exists a natural, intergenerational balance where participants of all ages learn from each other, gleaning from both the wisdom of jazz’s "old school" and the pedagogical advancements put forth in today’s developed system of jazz education.
The Vermont Jazz Center’s summer workshop emphasizes the importance of improvisation and small group dynamics within the context of jazz, encouraging participants to find their own voices using the jazz language. The courses offered include jazz theory, composition, master classes in each instrument, focused listening and faculty led ensembles.
This year’s program will feature approximately 40 instrumental and 20 vocal students under the tutelage of a dozen highly regarded musician/teachers. They’ll meet and enjoy the facilities at THE Putney School; they will unite into instrumental and vocal ensembles and each day partake in master classes, formal performance groups, and classes in jazz composition and theory.
In the evenings, evoking the Zoller spirit, students and faculty will jam until the wee hours of the morning. The students will offer a performance on the final evening of the workshop; the faculty will deliver their own on Thursday evening. Both concerts will take place at the Michael S. Currier Center at the Putney School.
The best indication of a program’s success is the ardent support and return of its alumni. Gail Hunt Reeke who has attended the workshop for many years sums up her experience: "Thank you for a wonderful workshop! Among other things, I am grateful for ... the spirit of VJC, the world-class faculty, the structure of the program, the energy and commitment of the participants, [and] the progress we all made. The week was inspirational, and I hope to be able to attend the workshop next year."
For more information, visit www.vtjazz.org or call 802-254-9088.