VJC announces spring semester classes


The Vermont Jazz Center will begin their 10-week long semester of spring/winter educational programs, most classes will begin the week of Feb. 8. Visit the Jazz Center's website at www.vtjazz.org for details, or call or email office manager, Ginger Morawski to register at 802-254-9088,or ginger@vtjazz.org. Sessions are 10 weeks long (except for Youth Jazz which is eight weeks). Starting dates are listed below and at vtjazz.org. Fees are $250 for 10 week semesters, except for Latin Jazz which is $200 and Youth Jazz which is $100. Call for scholarship/work study options. The semester will culminate in a concert with a short set performed by each of the groups on Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m.


5:15 to 6:45 p.m. – Blue Note Ensemble, Scott Mullett, instructor

Feb. 8 starting date 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.

7 to 9 p.m. – Valley Rock Choir, Tony Lechner, instructor

Tony Lechner, has been conducting choirs in the Northampton, Mass. region for over a decade under the auspices of Valley Jazz Choirs. He uses the VJC to rehearse his rock choir on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. Contact Mr. Lechner directly for starting date and fee information. To register: tony@valleychoirs.com


3:45 to 5 p.m. – Youth Jazz Ensemble, Eugene Uman, instructor

Feb. 23 start date (8 week session) For youth age 10 – 16 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 melodies that encourage participants to want to delve deeper into the jazz repertoire.


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

Feb. 10 start date For musicians 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.


5:45 to 7:30 p.m. – Women's Jazz Harmony Vocal Ensemble, Anna Patton, instructor

Feb. 11 start date 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.

VJC Wednesday Night Jam Sessions (ongoing)

All are invited to attend our Wednesday night jam community sessions which are held from 8:00 - 10:00 PM every week. All levels and all instruments are invited. A $3.00 donation is suggested for listeners and players. The jam sessions were especially important in past times for musicians to learn from each other and review the jazz repertoire. Today is no exception. A supportive environment prevails in order to encourage musicians who can, at a minimum, play through a melody. Most musicians also use the opportunity to explore their improvising "chops." Sessions are attended by a myriad of musicians from diverse backgrounds. High School and college students are especially urged to attend. This open jam at the Vermont Jazz Center has been taking place since 1997 and is a means for young and old to hone their skills together. Visit www.vtjazz.org to find class descriptions and further information on all the VJC's offerings. For registration: 802-254-9088 or ginger@vtjazz.org. For information on class content 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.


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