With the overwhelming response in 2008, the camp embarked on a long-term association for 2009 and beyond with the prestigious boarding school counted among "America's best" (Forbes). With the Jazz Camp set to move, an invitation and warm welcome from the Kent Community quickly followed and "it was clear," said Executive Director, Vita West Muir, "this would be the year that Litchfield Jazz came to Kent - lock, stock and barrel. Kent's gorgeous campus on the banks of the Housatonic provide," she said, "the perfect backdrop for the festival as well as the camp."
Litchfield Jazz Camp, led by music director Don Braden, will run for four one-week sessions from July 5 - 31, 2009. The culmination of the camp is the nationally recognized Litchfield Jazz Festival, which will take place Friday, July 31 through Sunday August 2. The Kent School campus is a minute from the center of Kent. Known as the cultural heart of the Litchfield Hills, Kent boasts an array of art galleries, cafes and restaurants, shops, inns and more. Kent is located just ten miles from a Metro North train stop in Amenia, New York (10-Mile River). The festival plans to have bus transportation available from the station and back, making it convenient for jazz lovers from the New York Metro area and Westchester, Dutchess and Putnam Counties to attend the festival.
The Litchfield Jazz Festival was named, for the second time, a "Top 100 Event & Festival" by the American Bus Association. Diana Krall, who made her US festival debut on the first Litchfield Jazz Festival, called it "one of the best festivals." Litchfield has a reputation for introducing the next "big thing" while also presenting jazz giants. The 2009 line-up will be announced next month.
The weekend kicks off on Friday, July 31, with the "Friends of the Festival Gala" at the Morrison Gallery in Kent. The party will offer hors d'oeuvres, micro-brews, premium wines and music by outstanding students of Litchfield Jazz Camp. The party is followed by the Opening Night performances at Kent School.
The Festival continues on Saturday August 1st and Sunday August 2nd with the gates opening at 11AM and music running from noon - 10 PM. Premium tickets are $350, which includes the gala, for Best Friends VIP weekend passes and $150 for the opening gala and performance. Premium tickets include upfront seating and VIP parking. Multi-day discounted JazzPasses are available for a limited time in advance of the festival. Advance-purchase general admission tickets are $35 for lawn and $55 for tent.
The Litchfield Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Steinway & Sons, The Republican-American, DownBeat, Kent Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Beverage Corporation of Connecticut, The Morrison Gallery, Magic Hat, Crystal Rock, Jazz Corner, Litchfield Magazine, LPA Members and others. Litchfield Jazz Camp students, who study for up to a month prior to The Festival and perform there on the student stage, participate through the generous support from the CT State Department of Education Interdistrict Grants, LPA members and others. For more information visit www.litchfieldjazzfest.com or call 860-567-4162.