Litchfield Jazz Festival & Jazz Camp

Staff & Board

Staff & Board

Board Members

Vita West Muir

Founder/Executive Director

Litchfield, CT

Vita West Muir, Executive/Artistic Director of Litchfield Performing Arts since 1989, founded LPA in 1981. Her efforts have guided its evolution into a force in the arts in Connecticut and nationally. Ms. Muir has developed and run many programs since LPA began, from classical concerts to the critically acclaimed Litchfield Jazz Festival and Litchfield Jazz Camp, the festival’s educational arm which grants $100,000 worth of need-based scholarship each year. The program host 350+ students each summer.

Muir has secured scores of grants to support LPA’s work, at the local, state and federal levels. Her Project Poetry Live! was selected by the U. S. Department of Education for a major three-year grant and named a Model Middle School Program, one of 32 selected. She has served on the boards of The Connecticut Junior Republic, Young Audiences, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and as an NEA panelist. Muir received her B.S. in Biology from Fordham University and had a long career as a writer, specializing in medical science. She was Managing Editor of The Bioastronautics Data and Biomedical Results of Apollo for NASA and has written for Reader’s Digest, Family Health Magazine, and others. Her awards include Rotary’s Paul Harris Medal, The Elizabeth L. Mahaffey Arts Administration Fellowship, the Inge Morath Award, the 2008 Connecticut Governor’s Award for Excellence in Culture and Tourism, one of two 2011 Chamber Music America CMAcclaim Awards for outstanding service and cultural contributions to the community, more the Jazz Journalists “Jazz Hero” Award for “her impact as a producer and presenter who introduced a world-class annual festival of jazz and educational programs to Litchfield County,” and the Daughters of the American Revolution Award for Excellence in Community Service.

Peter Adomeit

President
West Hartford, CT

Email: peteradomeit@litchfieldjazzcamp.com

Peter Adomeit, of West Hartford CT is a law professor, earning his B.A. from Carleton College and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law. His specialities are dispute resolution and labor law. A former associate dean, he has taught at Western New England University School of Law since 1978. It was through his children that Peter discovered Litchfield Jazz Camp. His son, Matthew, a recent dual degree graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and College, and now a graduate student at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, attended and then worked at the Litchfield Jazz Camp as an RA and combo bassist. His daughter Emma, also a bassist,  attended Camp for three summers and will be attending a conservatory/college next year. As Peter's involvement in the Litchfield Jazz Camp and the Litchfield Festival grew, so did his commitment to Litchfield Performing Arts. He is delighted, he says, to have been elected to the Board of Directors.

Victoria Elliot

Director
Harwinton, CT

Victoria Elliot is the newest member of the Litchfield Performing Arts board of directors. Now a full time resident of Litchfield County, she is a realtor with Litchfield Hills/ Sotheby’s International.

As a psychologist specializing in people problems in management and recruiting for the financial services industry in New York and London, she ran her own consultancy for 27 years. She was a board member for Esalen Institute’s Soviet American Exchange program, where among other efforts, she promoted the first meeting of US astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts in France.  She served for eight years on the New York Mayor Koch’s  Commission on the Status of Women. She lives in Harwinton with her husband Dr. Marvin McMillen.

Peter McEachern

Director
Goshen, CT

Peter McEachern, a Connecticut native, has toured and recorded three CD's for Polygram with Blues legend Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown; has worked and recorded with minimalist composer Lamonte Young, and is featured on several important CD's: Insomnia with the Thomas Chapin Trio on Knitting Factory Works and Song for Septet, with the Mario Pavone Septet on the New World Countercurrents label. Song for Septet was chosen one of the "Top Ten Jazz CDs of 1995" by The New York Times. In addition, Peter recorded the Wendy Chambers piece, A Mass for Mass Trombones on the Centaur label. He received a fellowship for music composition from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts in 2001. He is a member of The CT Composing Improvisers Project which includes Stephen Haynes, Mario Pavone, and 2010 Grammy winner David Darling. The group has an unreleased recording. Currently he is the Chairman of the Music Department at Salisbury School,  and is a busy freelance artist in the tri-state area. Peter has been a teaching artist at the Litchfield Jazz Camp since 1998. He has released 2 CD's in the past year No Chordtet featuring Dave Santoro, George Sovak and Hamir Atwal as well as Shockwave featuring the late Thomas Chapin, Steve Johns, Mario Pavone and Jamie Finegan.

Jeanne Miterko

Director
Trumbull, CT

Raised on Motown sound, Jeanne is a native of Detroit, MI. She graduated with a B.A. in political science from Oakland University in Rochester, MI in 1984 and earned a J.D. degree from Wayne State Univ. Law School in 1987. After marrying her husband Ron- a long time jazz enthusiast- and moving to CT, she was admitted to both the CT Bar and the US District Court.  Jeanne practiced law for 5 years with CT Legal Services in Bridgeport, concentrating in Special Education and Disability law for indigent clients. When her second son Joe was born in 1992, she decided to be a stay at home mom. By age 4, Joe was taking piano lessons. By age 14, he was actively playing in jazz gigs in the area. Jeanne found herself with two part time jobs: office manager of her congregation and road manager for Joe. Three years ago Joe started attending Litchfield Jazz Camp and Jeanne has enjoyed volunteering at the Camp and Festival ever since. Currently, Jeanne is working with inner city kids at the Discovery Magnet School in Bridgeport. She also serves as the Vice President on the Board of Directors for her synagogue.

Mario Pavone

Director
Prospect, CT

Bassist/composer Mario Pavone has collaborated with legendary innovators and today's most respected young musicians to define the cutting edge of jazz for the past 40 years. He was playing professionally by 1965, though his full-time job was putting his Industrial Engineering degree to work for major corporations. Upon hearing the news of Coltrane's death in 1967, he left his briefcase on his desk, got in the car, and drove to the funeral, where he decided on the spot to dedicate the rest of his life to music. Since then he has anchored the trios of Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, and the late Thomas Chapin, and co-led a variety of notable ensembles with Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Marty Ehrlich, and Michael Musillami. His list of sidemen includes Steven Bernstein, Gerald Cleaver, Dave Douglas, Peter Madsen, Tony Malaby, Joshua Redman, George Schuller, Michael Sarin, and Matt Wilson. And, unlike most artists whose careers span five decades, his most recent recordings are his most widely acclaimed, appearing on best-of-the-year lists from Slate.com, AllAboutJazz.com, Down Beat, AllAboutJazz-New York, Coda, the Village Voice , and the New York Times.  mariopavone.com.

Catherine Carr Lincoln

Director
New Haven, CT

Catherine Lincoln has lived in North Haven, CT for the last 16 years and has been a supporter of Litchfield Performing Arts since 2009 when her son, JT began at the Jazz Camp.  She currently serves as the ARISE! Center (Accessing Resources for Independence Skill-building and Employment) Development Coordinator for Christian Community Action (CCA), an agency providing help, housing and hope to those who are poor in New Haven.  Prior to her work with CCA, she was the Development Coordinator for New Haven’s community based visual arts school, Creative Arts Workshop.  Over the last sixteen years, in addition to working, Catherine has volunteered extensively in her community, doing everything from establishing a PTA group for New Haven’s arts magnet public high school when her daughter attended as a creative writer to serving as chair for her Smith College 30th reunion to organizing fundraising concerts to support local nonprofits at her church, St. John’s Episcopal, where her husband Matt is Rector.  She looks forward to contributing to the Board’s work as they think strategically about the future of Litchfield Performing Arts.

Linda B. Walker

Director
River Vale, NJ

Linda worked for The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc., where she expanded media participation in new markets and tripled sales with implementation of innovative sales strategies of radio, TV and print campaigns. Linda also spent time at L’Oreal Division/Cosmair, Inc., where within six months of joining the sales team, doubled wholesale production earning the title of rookie of the year. She inovated sales presentation formats which were incorporated and rolled out to all brands in organization’s field selling force.

After leaving corporate America, 20 plus years ago to be a stay at home mom, Linda currently freelances as a Beauty Consultant. Providing services in skincare and makeup artistry in private and small group settings, tailored to lifestyle, along with the art of hair coloring.  Linda is married to Gregory W. Walker, Managing Director, JP Morgan/Chaseand has a son, Joshua W. Walker, currently attending Western Connecticut State in the JazzStudies Program.

John Mastrianni

Director
Southington, CT

John has performed as a professional musician since he was fifteen years old.  His talents as a saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and arranger have led him to a diversity of musical experiences. John earned a B.S. in Music Education and a B.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Bridgeport, and an M.A. in Jazz Performance/Composition from New York University.

 

In addition to performing as a professional mucisian, John has taught at New York University, Albertus Magnus College, the University of Bridgeport, the New York State Summer School for the Arts, Bridgeport Central High School, and New Canaan High School.  Currently, he is the Director of Bands at Hall High School in West Hartford, an adjunct jazz faculty member at the University of Connecticut, and the founder and music director of the Young Artists Summer Jazz Workshop.  In December 2002, John was named by SBO Magazine as one of 50 directors in the United States that “make a difference,” and in March 2004, John was chosen by the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) as the Secondary School Teacher of the Year.  In 2010, he was honored by Strathmore’s Who’s Who as an individual who has demonstrated leadership and achievement in his profession.  John was chosen as the 2013-14 West Hartford Public Schools Teacher of the Year, and he was a quarter finalist for a 2014 Music Educator GRAMMY Award.  Most recently, John has been named the 2014 Connecticut Teacher of the Year!