While the College Prep Seminar is open only to camp students and will be offered during the elective period, Litchfield Jazz Camp will also be bringing a fresh look at jazz history to both camp students and the general public. The course is held in the early afternoon, is free of charge to public visitors, but reservations are suggested. “Contemporary Jazz and Its Cultural Roots” will enhance the camp’s current educational offerings by providing a cultural and historical context for the music our students are studying and playing. This series will be offered all five sessions (7/8-7/13, 7/15-7/20, 7/22-7/27, 7/29-8/3, and 8/5-8/10), four afternoons a week, at The Kent School in Kent CT. The goal of each class will be to explore the rich and diverse cultural origins of American jazz of today and how its beginnings paved the way for contemporary innovation. Each week will focus on a different contemporary performer, using them as the focal point to make the past relatable: saxophonist Miguel Zenón (2012 Festival Performer), trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (2012 Festival Performer), pianist Vijay Iyer (2011 Festival Performer), pianist Helen Sung (2012 Festival Performer and camp Teaching Artist), and drummer Matt Wilson (2010 and 2011 Artist in Residence, camp Teaching Artist). Zenon is the winner of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award; Iyer just won a major new award, the Performing Artist award, from the Doris Duke Foundation; Akinmusire is the winner of jazz’s most prestigious contest, the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition (2007); Sung was part of the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory; Wilson, the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Drummer of the Year (2003)” and many-time DownBeat Readers and Critics Poll winner, has appeared at the Litchfield Jazz Festival 21 times in 17 seasons, more than any single artist.
The Camp has applied for funding for this new program from the Connecticut Council on the Humanities. Litchfield Jazz Camp enrolls instrumental and vocal students ages 13 through adult. Core courses include combo rehearsal, music theory, master classes and electives. The faculty is led by Music Director Don Braden. Litchfield Jazz Camp runs in one-to – five week sessions July 8 through August 10 and culminates with the Litchfield Jazz Festival August 10-12 at the Goshen Fairgrounds, Goshen, CT. Places are still available with some instruments now limited to select weeks. To apply and for more about Litchfield Jazz Camp and its offerings visit litchfieldjazzcamp.com or call (860) 361-6285.