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Vermont Jazz Center to launch a new semester of classes starting on September 18th


The Vermont Jazz Center will host a new ten-week session of classes beginning the week of September 18th. Courses include an expanded youth program for ages 10 - 16, an ensemble led by bebop master Scott Mullett (Blue Note Ensemble), Anna Patton's popular Soubrette Choir, the VJC's Latin Jazz Ensemble, and Julian Gerstin's Afro-Caribbean Percussion & Rhythms. Our new offering for this year is Ben Carr's Jazz Uke 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.

Sessions are 10 weeks long (except for Youth Jazz which is 8 weeks). Prices and starting dates are listed below and at vtjazz.org.

Schedule for VJC's Fall Education Opportunities: 2017

5:15 - 6:45 PM Blue Note Ensemble. Scott Mullett, instructor. First class meets Sept. 18th

3:45 - 5:00 Youth Jazz Ensemble. Eugene Uman, instructor First class meets Oct. 3rd
5:15 - 6:45 Uke Jazz Ensemble Ben Carr, instructor First class meets on Sept. 19th

4:15 - 5:45 Latin Jazz Ensemble. Julian Gerstin and Eugene Uman, Instructors First class meets Sept. 20th.
6:00 - 7:30 VJC Sextet (full) Rob Freeberg, director

5:45 - 7:30 Soubrette Choir. Meets at Julian Gerstin and Carlene Raper's house Anna Patton, instructor First class meets Sept. 21st.
7:00 - 8:30 Latin and African Percussion and Rhythms Julian Gerstin, instructor First class meets Sept. 21st

Information on the courses:

Blue Note Ensemble
Instructor - Scott Mullett
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.

'Ukulele Jazz Ensemble
Instructor - Ben Carr
This year's offerings include a new class for ages 16 and up. This ensemble is for those interested in exploring simple jazz arrangements and melodies on the 'ukulele. This is a fun instrument; basic skills can be acquired quickly, but to play it well you have to practice! Why not use this opportunity to take your uke playing to the next level! Delve into jazz standards and Hawaiian tunes, learn a variety of strumming techniques, and improvisation techniques. We will put together interesting arrangements and sing together as well.

Youth Jazz Ensemble
Instructor - Eugene Uman
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 melodies that encourage participants to want to delve deeper into the jazz repertoire.

Latin Jazz Ensemble
Instructors - Julian Gerstin and Eugene Uman
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.

Soubrette Choir
Instructor - Anna Patton
The Soubrette Choir is a women's vocal ensemble that will sing three- and four-part harmony 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.

Afro-Caribbean Percussion & Rhythms
Instructor - Julian Gerstin
The hundreds of rhythms and instruments of the Caribbean are a treasure of music and a source of inspiration for jazz and many other styles. Julian will introduce you to instruments and songs from Cuba, Brazil, Martinique and other islands, from drums of many kinds to bells, shakers, and scrapers. Players of all types of instruments will improve their rhythmic skills and creativity.

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, or contact her directly at ginger@vtjazz.org. 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.

Sessions are 10 weeks long (except for Youth Jazz which is 8 weeks). Fees are $250 for a 10 week semester, except for Latin Jazz Which is $200 and Youth Jazz which is $100.

Final Concert:
All ensembles will perform at the VJC day-long showcase during the Cotton Mill Hill's Open House on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017.

To Register, or for questions about scholarship assistance, contact Ginger Morawski at ginger@vtjazz.org. For questions about Anna Patton's classes please contact the instructor directly: annameryl@gmail.com. For all other inquiries contact Eugene Uman at eugene@vtjazz.org. For phone inquiries, 802 254 9088.

Vermont Jazz Center's 42nd Summer Jazz Workshop to take place at the Putney School week of August 6 - 12


  1. Educational Program: August 6th to August 12th, Putney School, Putney, VT
  2. Faculty Concert: Thursday, August 10th at 8:00 PM, Michaels S. Currier Center, Putney School
  3. Student Concert: Friday, August 11th, Michaels S. Currier Center, Putney School
    • Set I at 3:30PM
    • Set II at 8:00 PM

The Vermont Jazz Center is preparing for its 42nd iteration of the summer jazz workshop. The week-long program takes place on the beautiful campus of The Putney School in Putney, Vermont. This workshop encourages intermediate to professional level students from down the street and around the world; while in Vermont they polish their improvisational and musicianship skills while enjoying a hiatus in a beautiful, bucolic setting. The workshop began in 1974 when famed Hungarian guitarist, Attila Zoller, formed the Attila Zoller Guitar Clinics. These informal programs were fundamental in the development of young musicians like Peter Bernstein, Helmut Kagerer, and many others who would come to Zoller's rustic home in Newfane and study with him and other masters. The program attained non-profit status in 1989 when Zoller took on a board of directors, registered with the state, and conscripted friends like Joy Wallens-Penford, Howard Brofsky, and Gene Rush to help with the curriculum and organization. To this day, the VJC honors Zoller's immense spirit and attention to quality.

Over the years, the Summer Workshop has grown in numerous ways, most notably through increased numbers of students and staff, but also by developing a vocal program under the caring guidance of Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton. Because the workshop has taken place now for 19 years at the Putney School, a sense of rhythm has been achieved through repetition. The community simultaneously grows outward while getting deeper: returning students visit each summer and nourish friendships, develop their musical skills, and live their dreams. Both students and faculty consider this week in the country the highlight of their year. Pianist Bob Werbel, who has been attending the program for more than a decade, told the VJC last week "It's my favorite week of the year, I wouldn't miss it for anything." 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," the pedagogical advancements put forth in today's developed system of jazz education and the freedom that is synonymous with the word "jazz."

The Vermont Jazz Center's Summer Workshop emphasizes the importance of improvisation and small-group dynamics, encouraging participants to find their own voices using the jazz language. The courses offered include jazz theory, master classes in each instrument, focused listening and faculty led ensembles. The atmosphere is friendly and productive; participants and teachers alike form bonds that last a lifetime. The Summer Workshop stands as the pinnacle of the VJC's educational year thanks to a phenomenal world-class faculty - teachers who are brilliant players but still have a vested interest in the unique journey brought to the program by each student. Eugene Uman is Artistic Director and Ginger Morawski is the Summer Workshop Administrator. There are dozens of community volunteers who contribute to its smooth operation.

This year's program will feature approximately 55 instrumental and 20 vocal students under the tutelage of over a dozen highly regarded musician/teachers. They will meet and enjoy the excellent musical 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.

Please join us in celebrating jazz and enjoy the VJC's summer workshop concerts held at The Putney School's Michael S. Currier Center. On Thursday evening, August 10th the Vermont Jazz Center Faculty Concert will present vocalists Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton, Jason Palmer (trumpet), Jeff Galindo (trombone), Scott Mullett, Michael Zsoldos (saxophone), Dominque Gagne (flute), Luís Perdomo, Harvey Diamond, Ray Gallon and Eugene Uman (piano), Marcus McLaurine, Malik McLaurine, George Kaye, David Picchi and Cameron Brown (bass), Franciso Mela, Brian Adler and Claire Arenius, (drums) and Julian Gerstin, percussion. The ticket price for the faculty concert is $20, $15 for students. Local music students are admitted free of charge.

On Friday evening, August 11th, the VJC Summer Workshop Student Concert 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 PM and the second show will resume after a dinner break at 8:00 PM. 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 five faculty-coached ensembles, usually comprised of two or three horns, piano, bass and drums. For the student concert, a $5.00 donation is suggested. All concerts will take place at The Putney School's Michael S. Currier Center and are accessible to all.

The VJC's Summer Jazz Workshop is sponsored by William and Laurie Schutt with further assistance from Vermont Public Radio and the Vermont Arts Council.

For information regarding this workshop and related concerts, please visit the VJC's website at www.vtjazz.org www.vtjazz.org, or call 802 254 9088.

For more information on VJC programs please contact Ginger Morawski at 802 254 9088 or ginger@vtjazz.org to receive a brochure, or visit the VJC website at www.vtjazz.org. For specific questions regarding curriculum and content, email Eugene Uman directly at eugene@vtjazz.org.

Announcing the Vermont Jazz Center's 2017-2018 Concert Season

The Cookers 9/15/17
An unmatched super-group "at the pinnacle of [its] technical prowess." -- Jazzwise Magazine

Tom Harrell Quartet
A living legend trumpeter and composer, "...one of the best...improvisers and bandleaders in jazz." -- New York Times

Camille Thurman Quartet, Emerging Artist Series 11/04/17
A saxophonist and vocalist who "blows the proverbial roof off the place..." -- All About Jazz

Elio Villafranca's Jass Syncopators 11/18/17
Recreating repertoire from the early days of New Orleans jazz, with original African and Cuban elements.

VJC Big Band Scholarship Gala 12/01/17
Our 16-piece dance band featuring special guests Kevin Mahogany and Dave Stryker.

Wycliffe Gordon's International All Stars 1/13/18
An undisputed master of traditional and straight-ahead jazz trombone.

Marquis Hill Blacktet 2/17/18
Thelonious Monk Award Winner, "a dauntingly skilled trumpeter." -- New York Times

Jazzmeia Horn, Emerging Artist Series 3/10/18
Winner of the Thelonious Monk Sarah Vaughan vocal competitions. "... has one of the best voices I've heard in over 40 years"  -- Jon Hendricks

Donny McCaslin Quartet featuring Jason Lindner 3/24/18
David Bowie's core group for his final record Blackstar.

Solo Jazz Piano Fest 04/13 to 04/15/18
In partnership with the Brattleboro Music Center at their beautiful, new facility
A festival that celebrates the refined art of solo jazz piano. Performances by jazz legends Kirk Lightsey, Harold Danko, Christian Sands and Helen Sung as well as regional favorites.

Trio da Paz 05/12/18
A Brazilian super-trio recognized as the ultimate rhythm section in samba jazz.

Eugene Uman's Convergence Project 6/09/18
Compositions drawing from modern jazz, gospel, rock and Latin American rhythms.

"Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition Winner Jazzmeia Horn, in concert at VJC, March 10th, 2018"

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.

Keep in touch
Upcoming Concerts
The Cookers, September 15th, 2017
September 15th, 2017, 8:00 PM
Tom Harrell Quartet, October 14th, 2017
October 14th, 2017, 8:00 PM
Camille Thurman + the Darrell Green Trio, November 4th, 2017
November 4th, 2017, 8:00 PM
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Handicap Accessible
Concerts at the VJC are handicap accessible.

SEATING: For wheelchair or other handicapped seating at concerts, please call in advance, 802-254-9088 or 802-579-5515.

PARKING AND ENTRANCE: The Cotton Mill’s handicapped entrance is on the south side (on your right as you enter the parking lot). There is one van-accessible parking spot next to this entrance. Other handicapped spots are located along the west side of the building (facing you as you enter the parking lot. There is no handicapped entrance or elevator on this side.

ELEVATOR: To get to VJC on the second floor, you’ll need to use the freight elevator. At the handicapped entrance, pass the flight of stairs and go through the door on your left, into the building's loading area. The elevator is at the far end of the loading area. If you have someone to assist you, make sure they open and close both the elevator’s gate and main door, both from inside (to run it) and when you exit (so other people can use it). If you need assistance with the elevator, call us. We appreciate a call ahead of time but you can also call when you arrive, and we’ll send someone right down. 802-254-9088 or 802-579-5515.

RESTROOMS: Accessible restrooms are located at the far end of the building. As you exit our concert space take a left, and at the end of the hall take a right. They’re pretty far. Leave yourself time.

Please call to discuss arrangements to facilitate your enjoyment of this concert: (802) 254 9088, ext. 2.

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