Claire Arenius

summer / year-round

Drummer/composer/educator Claire Arenius has been performing jazz and improvisational music for more than thirty years. Her formative years were spent studying music at the University of Massachusetts, where faculty members Archie Shepp and Max Roach encouraged her commitment to jazz. As the recipient of a National Endowment Music Grant, Claire relocated to New York City to study with master drummer Charli Persip. This led to Claire’s joining legendary trombonist/arranger Melba Liston’s ensemble and to performances at Carnegie Hall, the Seaport Jazz Fest, Jazzmobile, and many other venues. Claire has also toured Europe with Hungarian-born guitarist Attila Zoller, founder of the Vermont Jazz Center. She has performed and recorded with jazz greats including Tal Farlow, Slide Hampton, Richard Davis, Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Karrin Allyson, Charles Neville, George Mraz, Ray Copeland, Mose Allison, Barney Kessel, Yusef Lateef, Rufus Reid, Lew Soloff, Sheila Jordan and others. Claire’s compositional works have been featured at the Many Colors of a Woman Jazz Festival, Iron Horse, Amherst College Composer’s Colloquium, Discover Jazz Festival, University of Wisconsin, Ryles, and the International Millenium Festival in Medellín, Colombia. She has released a CD of her original compositions, “When Worlds Touch You,” featuring pianist Eugene Uman and bassist Thomson Kneeland, and some of her collaborative projects can be heard on the Playscape label. Claire’s recent performance work includes dates with her own trio, bassist Vishnu Wood’s Safari East, and pianist Joel Martin’s Jazzical trio. She is currently the creator/producer of the Jazz On The Mothership series in Northampton, MA, where she features national and international jazz artists with her trio every week. Claire currently teaches at   Amherst College and Smith College, as a clinician/educator for the Holyoke Community College Jazz Festival, and in both the year-round and summer programs at the Vermont Jazz Center.