Litchfield Jazz Festival & Jazz Camp

Staff & Board

Staff & Board

Staff

Vita West Muir

Executive/Artistic Director
Email:

 

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 hosts 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. In January of 2015, Vita was presented The Oprah Winfrey Award for Leadership & Exposure by The Scribe's Institute for her exemplary work exposing children and youth to opportunities for advancement and the arts.

Tegan Ryan

Program Manager

Email: Tegan@LitchfieldJazzFest.com

Tegan Ryan originally from Southbury and is new to the LPA family. Growing up, Tegan was very involved with local theater, but in college decided to study science and biotechnology. Tegan Received her B.A. from The University of New Hampshire in 2000 and has worked in emergency and veterinary medicine as an EMT and veterinary technician, and most recently in genetic engineering as a project manager. Returning to her performing arts roots, she is pleased to now call Litchfield Performing Arts home. Tegan currently lives with her husband and two children in Woodbury, Connecticut.




Susan Kelley-Strom

Development Associate 
Email: Susan@LitchfieldJazzFest.com



Elizabeth Lambert

Recruitment and Admissions 
Email: Elizabeth@LitchfieldJazzFest.com

 

 


 

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 beyond.  Ms. Muir has developed and run many programs over 30 years, from classical concerts, to the critically acclaimed Litchfield Jazz Festival which she conceived and founded in 1996. She established the teaching arm of the Festival, Litchfield Jazz Camp, as a one week day program in 1997 for 35 students.  Eighteen years later it is a five-week day and residential program for students of all ages hosting some 400 students each summer from all over the world, with a quarter of them attending on need-based scholarships.

Litchfield Jazz Festival has featured the whos-who of jazz and started and revivified many careers. It is the festival that first presented Diana Krall to American audiences and introduced Brad Mehldau, Larry Goldings, and Eric Alexander, among others.  It has featured Dave Brubeck, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Danilo Perez, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and a pantheon too extensive to cite in detail here.

Muir has secured scores of grants to support LPA’s work, at the local, state and federal level. She has served on the boards of 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. For NASA, she documented the Biomedical Results of Apollo. Her awards include Rotary’s Paul Harris Medal, The Elizabeth L. Mahaffey Arts Administration Fellowship, the Inge Morath Award and, the 2008 Connecticut Governor’s Award for Excellence in Culture and Tourism, and the 2011 Chamber Music America CMAcclaim Award in recognition of outstanding service and cultural contributions to the community.  She is gratified to accept the Jazz Journalists Jazz Hero award.