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Spring Semester Student Showcase

May 5 @ 3:00 pm

Nine Performing Ensembles to Highlight International Jazz Day at the Vermont Jazz Center

The Vermont Jazz Center honors International Jazz Day 2019 with a concert featuring students from nine VJC ensembles. On Sunday May 5th at 3:00 PM, come enjoy the sounds of the Youth Jazz Ensemble, the Soubrette Jazz Choir, the Latin Jazz Ensemble, Blue Note Ensemble, Samba Troup, two guitar ensembles, the ’Ukelele Jazz Ensemble, and the Vermont Jazz Center Sextet. The event will be held at the Vermont Jazz Center and each group will perform a 20-minute set. A suggested donations of $5 will go directly towards the VJC Educational Scholarship Fund which helps students to participate in these programs.  This event will be a “snack potluck;” if you feel inclined, please bring an easy snack to share with your fellow jazz lovers.

Student Showcase Performance Schedule for May 5th at the Vermont Jazz Center

3:00 – 3:20       Guitar Ensemble 1

3:25 – 3:45       Guitar Ensemble 2

3:50 – 4:10       Youth Jazz

4:15 – 4:45       Latin Jazz

4:50 – 5:10       Uke Jazz

5:15 – 5:45       Soubrette Choir

5:50 – 6:10       Blue Note Ensemble

6:15 – 6:35       Samba Troupe

6:40 – 7:00       VJC Sextet

The VJC Student Showcase will start off at 3:00 PM with back-to-back sets performed by Draa Hobbs’ two guitar ensembles. The overall goal of these ensembles has been to learn music from the bop and post-bop eras, to improve listening skills, and to form a cohesive blend when playing with others. Ensemble I will play “Bernie’s Tune” (Bernie Miller), “Little Sunflower” (Freddie Hubbard), “Blues in the Closet” (Oscar Pettiford), and “Triste” (Jobim). Ensemble 2 will play “Caravan” (Juan Tizol), “Do Nothin’ ‘till You Hear From Me” (Ellington), “Four” (Davis), and “Unit 7” (Sam Jones).

At 3:50 the VJC’s Youth Jazz Ensemble, coached by Eugene Uman and Mike McKinney, will perform “Cariba” (Wes Montgomery), “Milestones” (Miles Davis), “Killer Joe” (Benny Golson), and “Lady Bird” (Tadd Dameron). Performers include Naomi Hed (trumpet), Zach Thomas (trombone), Maia McNeill (clarinet), Alex Beshay (piano), Michael McKinney (bass) and Wycke Gangle on drums.

At 4:15, the 14 member Latin Jazz Ensemble will hit the ground running with performances of “Elena, Elena”, a piece that uses a Puerto Rican plena rhythm by Manny Oquendo (arr. Julian Gerstin), “A Felicidade,” a bossa nova by Antonio Carlos Jobim (arr. Eugene Uman), a guajira composed and arranged by Gerstin called “La Casa Violeta,” and “Nuevo Paradigma,” a piece based on a bomba rhythm that was composed and arranged by Uman.

At 4:45, the ‘Ukelele Jazz Ensemble will take the stage. This group, under the direction of Ben Carr, features Gail Nunziata, Marcia Hanson, Chris Andres, Melissa Dawson, Ron Kelley, Steven Vannoy, and Jenny Kilgore.  Their repertoire will include “Ain’t Misbehavin’” by Fats Waller, “Four On Six” by Wes Montgomery, “Pineapple Mango” by Daniel Ho, “Equinox” by John Coltrane and “St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins.

At 5:15, The Soubrette Jazz Choir, led by Anna Patton, will present richly harmonized arrangements of swing, jazz, and blues numbers. They’ll be performing “Out to Breakfast” by Pete Sutherland, “Room of my own” and “Long-Beard Wise” by Anna Patton, “Dream” by Johnny Mercer and “Twisted” by Annie Ross and Wardell Gray. Instrumentalists joining the choir will be Anna Patton on tenor guitar, Matthew Sharff on bass, and Ron Kelley on the saxophone. They will perform two other times this spring. For more information about those events, please contact the instructor directly at anna@annapatton.com.

The Blue Note Ensemble will slip through a creative portal at 5:50 under the direction of instructor and drummer Claire Arenius. This group will be stretching out on “Cape Verdean Blues”  (Horace Silver) and then three tunes often credited to Miles Davis (although each for each of these tunes, the composer’s credits have been disputed): “Blue and Green,” “Nardis,” and “Freedom Jazz Dance.” The Blue Note Ensemble’s front line of tenor and alto saxophones plus guitar makes for a beautiful mix. Performers in this group include Ron Kelley and Louise Ewing (saxophones), Sky Borax (guitar), Judith Williams (piano), Charlie Gerard (bass), Henry Zachinni (drums).

The final ensemble scheduled to perform on May 5th will be by the VJC Sextet. This group is made up of area music professionals associated with the VJC who bring their tight arrangements to schools and assisted living communities. Their repertoire for Sunday afternoon will be four songs arranged by the group’s musical director, Rob Freeberg: “Along Came Betty,” (Benny Golson), “Out of the Night Came You,” (Horace Silver), Sister Cheryl (Tony Williams); they will also play “Tell Me a Bedtime Story,” (Herbie Hancock, arr. by UVM student Matt Nemeth), and “Blues for All”  (Eric Alexander). The members of the VJC Sextet are Rob Freeberg, trumpet; Bill Ballard, alto saxophone; Jim Heffron, tenor saxophone; Cathy Martin, piano; Jay Elfenbein, bass; Mike Patek, drums.

Please join the VJC community for an afternoon/evening of live music on Sunday, May 5th at 3:00 PM sharp. Your attendance supports aspiring and established musicians developing their repertoire, groove skills and improvisational vocabularies. A $5.00 suggested donation is requested but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. To discuss or learn more about VJC educational opportunities please contact Eugene Uman at eugene@vtjazz.org