Coupled with the move from the Kent School to the Canterbury School in New Milford, CT, Litchfield Jazz Camp will offer a new kind of coaching this year. Executive & Artistic Director, Vita West Muir, says she has been asked in the past if she would consider having students register as a group — for example adult amateurs who have played together for a while and would like to be coached together to get to the next level, and high school bands or combos. This year, she will open Jazz Camp to combos of five or more and big bands for the first time.
“We have run many programs where band directors tell us, look, my training is in classical music, then I took this job and, presto, I am the leader of a jazz band. What do I know about improvisation or how to “swing?” It’s those groups she would like to have under the inspired guidance of master jazz teachers like the great bassist Avery Sharpe 20 years with McCoy Tyner), multi-Grammy baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, and drummer extraordinaire Matt Wilson (who has himself organized a travelling group of likeminded teachers as a sort of alternative to University instruction he calls, perhaps not so coincidentally, VITA for Very Inspiring Teaching Artists, for whom there is no box to think outside of).
Those interested in being coached in their own combos of five or more all the way up to big band sized groups, should apply by calling Litchfield Performing Arts at 860-361-6285.
Photo by Nathan Turner