VJC student jazz show celebrates International Jazz Day

BRATTLEBORO — Vermont Jazz Center celebrates International Jazz Day 2015 with a concert featuring students from four of the VJC's student ensembles.

On Thursday, April 30, at 7 p.m., at the Vermont Jazz Center on Cotton Mill Hill, performers will include the Youth Jazz Ensemble, the Women's Jazz Harmony Ensemble, the Latin Jazz Ensemble and the Vermont Jazz Center Sextet. Each group will play a set that lasts approximately 30 minutes.

The concert is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome and will go directly to the VJC Scholarship Fund. This event will be a “snack potluck.” Attendees are invited to bring an easy snack to share.

The Youth Jazz Ensemble features students of middle school age who are learning to improvise and interpret the jazz repertoire. They will perform tunes by Eddie Harris, Mark Levine, Sonny Rollins, and Jimmy Heath. Students will have an opportunity to improvise and demonstrate skills that they have learned.

The Women's Jazz Harmony Ensemble, under the direction of Anna Patton, will perform her tightly knit arrangements that blend close harmonies in the tradition of the Andrews Sisters and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross.

The Latin Jazz Ensemble will perform compositions and arrangements by directors Julian Gerstin and Eugene Uman as well as Latin-Jazz favorites. This year's repertoire includes pieces influenced by the rhythms of Martinique, Cuba, and Brazil.

The Vermont Jazz Center Sextet is a performing group made up of VJC alumni and professionals led by board member Rob Freeberg. They perform complex, swinging music that is highly arranged and features improvised solos by all members.

VJC will collaborate with the Thelonious Monk Institute and UNESCO to celebrate International Jazz Day, a worldwide effort to promote the music of jazz and its power to bring people together in a creative, productive and joyful atmosphere.

According to UNSECO Ambassador Herbie Hancock, “On International Jazz Day, jazz is celebrated, studied, and performed around the world for 24 hours straight. Collaborations abound among jazz icons, scholars, composers, musicians, dancers, writers, and thinkers who embrace the beauty, spirit, and principles of jazz, freely sharing experiences and performances in our big cities and in our small towns, all across our seven continents. I can't think of a better way to build peace and cultural understanding, the core principles of UNESCO.”

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