Thursday January 31, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The Vermont Jazz Center will host a new 10-week session of classes beginning the week of Feb. 10.

New courses include an expanded youth program for ages 10-16, a guitar workshop and saxophone ensemble. 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.

Young people who have a knack for improvising or playing by ear are urged to join a class co-taught by WSESU music instructor Jim Kurty and VJC director Eugene Uman. The Youth Ensemble will give young people a chance to "jam" in a controlled environment and learn about chords and scales in a friendly, non-threatening manner.

The Latin Rhythms class with Cuban percussionist William Rodriguez gives both aspiring and advanced hand drummers a chance to learn how multiple parts fit seamlessly together in Afro-Cuban music. This is an ideal opportunity for all interested in playing congas and all the percussion instruments found in a salsa band.

For guitarists this semester is group lessons taught by Draa Hobbs. In this 10-week-long Sunday afternoon workshop, students will learn how to arrange standards and jazz classics in a relaxed setting. Participants will develop their skills in voice leading, developing harmonic vocabulary and the use of creative scales. Session is limited to eight students.

Visit www.vtjazz.org or call 802-254-9088 and find class descriptions and further information on all the VJC’s offerings. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds; call to find out about the VJC’s scholarship and extended payment options. Assistance is available thanks to a grant from the Thompson Trust.

Weekly Classes -- all classes are 10 sessions unless listed otherwise and begin the week starting February 10th except for percussion classes (rolling enrollment) and Tony Lechner’s jazz and rock choirs (started on Jan. 14, but late-comers welcome).

Mondays

* Piano Trio Ensemble, Mondays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with George Kaye.

* Brattleboro Rock Choir, Mondays, 7:30 to 9 p.m. (14 sessions), Tony Lechner, instructor

* Brattleboro Jazz Choir, Mondays, 5:30 to 7 p.m. (14 sessions), Tony Lechner, instructor

Tuesdays

* Youth Jazz Ensemble, Tuesdays, 4 to 5:15 p.m., Jim Kurty and Eugene Uman, instructors

* Saxophone Ensemble, Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Larry Tutt, instructor

* Vocal Coaching with Gospel Singer Moonlight Davis, Tuesdays, 7:15 to 9 p.m.

Wednesdays

* Latin Jazz Ensemble, Wednesdays, 4:15 to 5:45 p.m., Julian Gerstin and Eugene Uman, instructors

* Bebop Boot Camp, Wednesdays, 6:15 to 7:45 p.m., George Kaye, instructor

* Community Jam Sessions, Wednesdays from 8 to 10 p.m., Eugene Uman, session leader

Thursdays

* Draa Hobbs Ensemble #1, Thursdays, 5:45 to 7:15 p.m.

Sundays

* Afro-Cuban and Caribbean Percussion, Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to noon, class is ongoing, not semester-based like the others. New participants are welcome at any time. William Armando Rodriguez, instructor

* Draa Hobbs Ensemble #2, Sundays, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

* Jazz Guitar Workshop, Sundays, 4 to 5 p.m., Draa Hobbs, instructor

Private instruction is available on the following instruments: saxophone -- Larry Tutt, bass -- George Kaye, voice -- Samirah Evans, guitar -- Draa Hobbs (advanced), Robby Roiter (beginners), trumpet -- Steve Sonntag, drums -- Jon Fisher, percussion -- William Rodriguez and piano -- Eugene Uman.