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Winner of the Thelonious Monk and Sarah Vaughan Competitions, Jazzmeia Horn, to Perform at the Vermont Jazz Center on Saturday, March 10th, 2018 at 8:00 PM


photo: Jacob Blickenstaff

The Vermont Jazz Center will present Jazzmeia Horn singing with a quartet on March 10th at 8:00 PM. Ms. Horn is the winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk Vocal Contest and the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition. "My name is Jazzmeia Horn and that is not a mistake," she says. "God does not make mistakes." This powerful statement is backed up by the truth: she is a naturally gifted musician who grew up in a family passionately rooted in gospel music; her grandmother, a jazz-loving pianist, gave Horn her name. "I guess she knew I was going to be a musical child," claims Horn. Time has proved her grandmother right - Horn's innate musicality combined with hard work have earned her numerous awards and the opportunity to perform with legendary musicians like Junior Mance, Billy Harper, Peter Bernstein, Vincent Herring, Kirk Lightsey, Frank Wess, Ellis Marsalis and many others.

Horn's artistic success is much bigger than simply being a great jazz singer. The depth of her concept is connected to her unswerving commitment in using her talents and prestige to serve as a voice for the oppressed. Horn's ability to scat sing with the imagination of Ella Fitzgerald, her capability to lead her band with the rhythmical finesse of Betty Carter and her gift for interpreting a jazz ballad with the sculpted phrasing of Diane Reeves are all significant, very significant. But Horn is an energetic poet and activist, a spokesperson with a mission to bring awareness to all who will listen. Her first record, A Social Call, isn't simply music on a disk, it is a cry for social justice, a wakeup call to get our heads out of the sand, a plea couched in high art saying something is really wrong here and we all need to do our part.

There is a photo featured in the cover art of A Social Call - a picture of a pregnant Jazzmeia Horn with an image of the world superimposed on her expanded belly. In the liner notes, Horn wrote about what it was like to be pregnant with her daughter while preparing material for the album: "Every day I was nurturing a growing baby in my womb as a mother, but I was also nurturing the concept for A Social Call as an artist. The inspiration came constantly and daily from the time I opened my eyes in the morning until I closed my eyes in the night, merging the mother within and the artist within as one being." In the record, Horn's voice rings with hope and cautious optimism as she sees a new consciousness emerging before our eyes. Although she uses strident language to bring attention to the dysfunctional system, her optimism comes from witnessing the elevated consciousness emerging in her generation and confidence in her daughter's peers to do the same, if not more, for social justice. She continued in her liner notes: "I drew inspiration from the social issues that exist in the world today: racism, xenophobia, poverty, fear, lack of purpose, pack of the understanding of culture, lack of love, lack of peace, lack of healing, and lack of true enlightenment for those in search of it. There is a hunger for change that I felt physically in my body as well as in the universe...The concept that I wanted to present to the people...[is the] idea of the birth of a new conscious generation of people... A Social Call is a call in peace about issues affecting peace."

Horn's program is intentionally well balanced, mixing a selection of gospel, the Great American Songbook and swinging bebop with songs of protest. We can imagine her lovingly dedicating the optimistic jazz standard "East of the Sun" to her young daughter, or we can delight in the pyrotechnics of her scat singing on "I Remember You." But when she uses spoken word to introduce the Stylistics' "People Make the World Go 'Round," it becomes very clear that Horn, like other artists of her generation, intentionally uses her platform to bring awareness to the glaring injustices of the world. Horn speaks for so many of us with her spoken-word introduction to the song: "When someone says 'How are you,' what I want to say is 'well, considering the world is run by corrupt leaders, our food is being poisoned, the meat industry has become a holocaust, the atmosphere is being sprayed with chemicals, pesticides and poisons, racism still exists on a high level and is still an issue, there are people dying in the world from starvation and police brutality while we waste enough food to feed them; bombs, homelessness, crime, prisons, junk food, debt, miss-education, pollution, poverty, nuclear plants leaking.' I would say: 'I'm pretty concerned right now,' but I just smile and say: 'I'm fine'."

Jazzmeia Horn will be performing at the Jazz Center on March 10th with her working pianist, Victor Gould, who is a recipient of the Herbie Hancock Presidential Scholarship at Berklee College and a Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz scholar. Gould's honors include the 2009 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award. In 2006, he was a semifinalist in The Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. Gould has toured the United States and Europe as an established member of the Donald Harrison Quartet and has performed with Esperanza Spalding, Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Ralph Peterson, Wallace Roney and many others. Gould has three albums out under his own name and appears on recordings with Wallace Roney, Donald Harrison, Claffy, Etienne Charles, Ralph Peterson and others.

The bassist in Horn's quartet is Nick Dunston. He has appeared in numerous festivals throughout Europe and the United State with Tyshawn Sorey, Cory Smythe, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Matt Wilson, Joe Fiedler, Kendrick Scott, Amirtha Kidambi, Jeff Lederer, and George Schuller. As a composer, he has written for and collaborated with dancers (The Joffrey Ballet School), performances artists (Zoey Hart), chamber orchestras (Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, ESMAE Chamber Orchestra) and jazz ensembles. Dunston is also contributing writer to Hot House jazz magazine.

Horn's drummer is Henry Conerway. He can also be found supporting Freddy Cole, Marcus Printup, Russell Gunn, Bill Saxton, Scotty Barnhart, Jazz at Lincoln Center and many others. He has performed at numerous festivals and jazz venues throughout the world. Conerway holds a B.A. in Music Composition from Morehouse College. He has collaborated with Maroon 5's P.J. Morton, Janelle Monáe, Tyler Perry's Tony Hightower, and Chantae Cann. He has also composed original works for film and performed in theatre settings including the Tony Award nominated Shuffle Along, and All That Followed, on Broadway.

Noted Jazz Author, Ashley Kahn sums up Jazzmeia Horn eloquently: "Great story-telling and inspired message-giving, fluid vocals and scat-singing and spirited group performances...all one would hope to hear from a veteran vocalist of longstanding reputation. [Her recording] serves as a clarion call, proudly announcing the arrival of a young, confident musical talent with a long history ahead of her, blessed with a name that carries its own destiny." We at the Jazz Center are fortunate to have the opportunity to hear Horn in an intimate setting at this early stage of her career. In fact, her performance at this year's Grammy Award ceremony gave her career an indelible push forward in front of millions of viewers. Horn is a star in the making and we are privileged to be drawn into the wave of her success.

The Vermont Jazz Center is especially grateful for the sponsorship of this March 10th event by Mark Anagnostopulos and Janet Zinter as well as Beth Raffeld and Philip Khoury. It is only through their generous contributions that this concert is possible. The VJC is also thankful for the ongoing support from the Hampton Inn of Brattleboro. VJC publicity is underwritten by the Brattleboro Reformer, WVPR, WVEW, WFCR and Olga Peters of WKVT's Green Mountain Mornings.

Tickets for Jazzmeia Horn at the Vermont Jazz Center are $20+ general admission, $15 for students with I.D. (contact VJC about educational discounts); available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at www.vtjazz.org, by email at ginger@vtjazz.org. Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Handicapped access is available by calling the VJC at 802 254 9088.


Jazzmeia Horn at the Grammy Awards

Jazzmeia promo video:

Jazzmeia Horn Sings on Tavis Smiley (Lift Every Voice and Sing/Moanin' - Gospel/bebop)

Jazzmeia Horn - Conversation with Tavis Smiley:

Jazzmeia Horn - competing at Monk Competition (Evidence by Thelonious Monk)

Jazzmeia Horn - Improv workshop

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


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

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

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

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

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.

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


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.


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.


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.

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
Jazzmeia Horn, March 10th, 2018
March 10th, 2018, 8:00 PM
Donny McCaslin Quartet featuring Jason Lindner, March 24th, 2018
March 24th, 2018, 8:00 PM
Solo Jazz Piano Festival, April 13 to 15, 2018
April 13 to 15, 2018, 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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