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Vermont Jazz Center's 43rd Summer Jazz Workshop to take place at the Putney School week of August 5 - 11

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1. Educational Program: August 5th to August 11th, Putney School, Putney, VT

2. Faculty Concert: Thursday, August 9th at 8:00 PM, Michaels S. Currier Center, Putney School

3. Student Concert: Friday, August 10th, 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 43rd Annual Summer Jazz Workshop. This week-long program takes place on the beautiful campus of The Putney School in Putney, Vermont. The workshop encourages intermediate to professional level students from down the street and around the world to further develop their musical practice and exploration. While in Vermont, they polish their improvisational and musicianship skills while enjoying a week-long hiatus in a pastoral setting. The workshop began in 1974 when famed Hungarian guitarist Attila Zoller formed the Attila Zoller Guitar Clinics. These informal programs invited students to come to Zoller's rustic home in Newfane and to study with Zoller and other masters. The Sessions were fundamental in the development of young musicians like Peter Bernstein, Draa Hobbs and many others. The Sessions went on to become a more formalized program which attained non-profit status--officially becoming the Vermont Jazz Center--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 now taken place for 20 years at the Putney School, a sense of rhythm has been achieved through repetition. The community simultaneously grows outward while getting deeper inward: returning students visit each summer and nourish friendships, develop their musical skills, and cultivate their dreams. Most students and faculty consider this week in the country to be the highlight of their year. Pianist Bob Werbel, who will be celebrating his 20th year with the program this year, 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 in which participants of all ages learn from each other, gleaning from both the wisdom of jazz's "old school" as well as from the pedagogical advancements put forth in today's developed system of jazz education and, within this integration, forms an environment rich with 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 and VJC board members who contribute to its smooth operation.

This year's program will feature approximately 50 instrumental and 18 vocal students under the tutelage of twenty-three 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 into the wee hours of the morning.  The faculty will perform a concert on Thursday evening, and the students will present the culmination of their week's work in a concert on Friday.  Both concerts are open to the public (tickets: vtjazz.org) and 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 the evening of Thursday August 9th, the Vermont Jazz Center Faculty Concert will present vocalists Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton, Jason Palmer (trumpet), John Yao, Ben Barnett (trombone), Stacy Dillard, Michael Zsoldos (saxophone), Camille Thurman (flute), Helen Sung, 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). The ticket price for the faculty concert is $20, $15 for students. Local music students are admitted free of charge. Tickets: vtjazz.org

On Friday August 10th, 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 at 8:00 PM following a dinner break. Singers will be accompanied by a professional jazz trio and the piano trios will be assisted by 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 Lyndall Boal and Vermont Public Radio.

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 802 579-5515 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.

Vermont Jazz Center to launch a new semester of classes starting on week of February 12th

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The Vermont Jazz Center will host a new ten-week session of classes beginning the week of February 12th. Courses include Youth Jazz for ages 10 through high school, Anna Patton's Soubrette Choir, the Latin Jazz Ensemble, the Jazz Uke Ensemble, and NEW THIS SEMESTER is the Jazz Guitar Ensemble with instructor Draa Hobbs. The VJC also welcomes drummer Claire Arenius as the new instructor of the Blue Note Ensemble. Sadly, Scott Mullett, one of the VJC's favorite and most dedicated instructors, passed away on January 3rd (for more information about Scott go to www.vtjazz.org).

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 and will begin on Feb. 27). The classes will culminate in a concert on Thursday, May 10th at the VJC. Prices and starting dates are listed below and at vtjazz.org. Sessions are $250 (excepting Latin Jazz which is $200 and Youth Jazz which is $100). Please visit vtjazz.org for further information.

Schedule for VJC's Fall Education Opportunities: 2017

Sunday
2:30 - 4:00 PM NEW: Jazz Guitar Ensemble - Draa Hobbs, instructor. First class meets February 18th

Monday
5:15 - 6:45 PM Blue Note Ensemble - Claire Arenius, instructor. First class meets February 12th

Tuesday
3:45 - 5:00 Youth Jazz Ensemble - Eugene Uman, instructor First class meets February 27th
5:15 - 6:45 Uke Jazz Ensemble (At VJC) - Ben Carr, instructor First class meets on February 6th
5:30 - 7:15 Soubrette Choir Meets at 62 Spruce Street, Brattleboro Anna Patton, instructor First class meets February 13th

Wednesday
4:15 - 5:45 Latin Jazz Ensemble - Julian Gerstin and Eugene Uman, Instructors. First class meets February 14th
6:00 - 7:30 - VJC Sextet (full) Rob Freeberg, director

Information on the courses:

NEW: Jazz Guitar Ensemble
Instructor, Draa Hobbs
The Jazz Guitar Ensemble will focus on music from the bop and post-bop eras and will include compositions written by Wayne Shorter and others. The overall goal is to improve our listening skills - to play with others, and to blend in while maintaining your own musical integrity and individuality. Students will learn a variety of skills, including Intros and endings, chord vocabulary and substitutions as well as tips on improvising and style. Students will also be assigned a transcribing exercise.

Blue Note Ensemble
Instructor, Claire Arenius
This ensemble will focus on the repertoire from landmark Blue Note recordings of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Scott 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 Jazz Choir is a women's vocal ensemble led by Anna Patton that works up intricate vocal arrangements of Swing, Jazz, and Blues, as well as songs in those idioms by contemporary composers. A Soubrette is an opera or musical theater term for the non-leading lady - usually more worldly, instrumental in the plot intrigue, and funnier than the lead. We tend to sing these kinds of songs. Each semester we work up a short set of songs, culminating in two or three performances. We work on blend and precision in close harmonies, syncopated rhythms, and understanding chord progressions. We work mostly from written music and occasionally by ear. Recorded practice demos are available. While the choir is not auditioned, it is recommended for singers who like a challenge, read music, and have good ears. If you have any questions regarding the musical content and how you might fit in, please contact Anna directly annameryl@gmail.com. Note - this class meets at 62 Spruce Street in Brattleboro, not at the VJC.

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.

Fees:
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 a short set on the evening of May 10th at the VJC.

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

Passing of VJC Faculty Member and friend, Scott Mullett

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photo: Keene Sentinel, M. Moore

The Vermont Jazz Center community and a wide network of jazz lovers far and wide are grieving due to the loss of a dear friend and musical force. Scott Mullett passed away on January 3rd at his home near Keene, NH. We are still reeling from the news of Scott's passing so there are no set plans for a funeral or memorial service. The outpouring of love and care has been tremendous. Details will be provided as they arise.

Scott has had a tremendous impact on those of us who have had the good fortune to know him; his good works have rippled outward and benefited countless individuals, bringing joy to those who were privileged to receive his teachings, hear his elaborate stories and enjoy the clarion sound of his horn.

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Scott's generous spirit was especially felt by young people with whom he had a particular affinity: at the VJC's Summer Workshop he could be found jamming until the wee hours of the morning, giving encouragement and inspiration to musicians of all levels. He took many young people under his wing, giving them guidance and confidence, helping them make connections so that they could realize their fullest potentials. He would take students to visit colleges and connect them with his colleagues in New York and Boston. Although Scott was a man of humor and bluster, his sincerity was beyond reproach: it's as if the lives of his students were more important than his own.

To say we will miss Scott Mullett is a vast understatement. It is a huge personal loss for all who knew him and for those who felt the ripple-effect of the work he took on: The Keene Jazz Orchestra, The Vermont Jazz Center, The Northampton Jazz Workshop, Berklee College of Music and Keene State College are just a handful of the communities who have benefited from his good work.

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It is unbelievable that Scott is not with us anymore. He had struggles with his health, but to those of us who spent time with him on a regular basis he seemed invincible, conveying a powerful life spirit and projecting a vast musical current. Scott's positive energy touched so many of us - he was a proactive friend who reached out to others and made a point of communicating regularly. We are so fortunate that he touched our lives and engaged us in his fascinating world.

Donate to the VJC Scott Mullett Memorial Scholarship Fund Here

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.

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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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