By Litchfield Performing Arts, a not-for-profit educational charity.

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Big Bass Blowout w/ Avery Sharpe & Matt Wilson


Avery Sharpe, bass


Avery Sharpe

An exemplary bassist, Avery Sharpe is best known for his longtime association with the McCoy Tyner Trio. He originally played piano (starting when he was eight) and accordion, switching to electric (and eventually acoustic) bass a few years later. At the University of Massachusetts, Sharpe had the opportunity to study with Reggie Workman, and he gigged with Wynton Marsalis and Pat Metheny. Sharpe first teamed up with McCoy Tyner in his early-’80s sextet, and has been a member of the pianist’s trio since 1984. Avery has been a Litchfield Jazz Camp teaching artist since 2008 and a mentor and inspiration to many up and coming bass players there.

Matt Wilson, drums.


Matt Wilson – photo Steve Sussman

One of the most active and versatile drummers in jazz, NYC-based Matt Wilson has played with Dewey Redman, Cecil McBee, Lee Konitz, Fred Hersch, Charlie Haden, Ingrid Jensen, and others way too numerous to mention here. Ditto his discography.  Among our favorites mostly on Palmetto are Scenic Route, That’s Gonna Leave a MarkChristmas Trio and Gathering Call with John Medeski.

Matt holds the Litchfield Jazz Festival record for the most appearances by a single artist – a staggering 21 in 20 years with own groups and with Mario PavoneDewey RedmanBill MaysDenny ZeitlinDena DeRoseLee KonitzHelio AlvesCharlie Haden,  and in a 2015 Tribute to Charli Persip. Matt has been a teaching artist at Litchfield Jazz Camp since 2010. He is a Zildjian Artist.

Julian Shore, piano

“…His playing has a clear sense of the bigger artistic picture” —Peter Hum, Ottowa Times.

Julian Shore grew up in Narragansett Rhode Island listening to his father play Bach and humming along. He studied piano with Hal Crook as a teenager and was later awarded a full scholarship to Berklee. Under the mentorship of Danilo Perez, he performed at the Panama Jazz Festival. Moving to NYC in 2009, he worked with and Gretchen Parlato, Ferenc Nemeth, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gilad Hekselman, Chris Cheek, Kendrick Scott, Mark Giuliana and many others.
His debut album Filaments (2012) features Kurt Rosenwinkel, Noah Preminger (a fellow Jazz Camper), Tommy Crane, Phil Donkin, and others, and his most recent, Which Way Now (2016), features Gilad Hekselman, Dayna Stephens, Aidan Carroll, Colin Stranahan and a slew of guests and configurations. Julian has been a TA and now a teaching artist at Litchfield for ten years. This is his first Festival appearance.

Zwe le-Pere, bass

Zwelakhe-Duma F. Bell le Pere, whose family hails from South Africa,  began double bass studies as a teen in his home town of New Haven under renowned bassist Jeff Fuller.  He spent his summers with us at Litchfield Jazz Camp. He received his Master’s degree from New England Conservatory of Music in 2013. Now a New York resident, Zwe has performed and recorded with Christian Scott, Dave Holland, Randy Weston, Dave Liebman and Jason Moran.  He has played major festivals including the Monterey, Charlie Parker, Panama, Lagos, Osaka, and Joy of Jazz and  MoMA’s “Summergarden” series. Zwe received the 2011 Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Fellowship and is a teaching artist for the Litchfield Jazz Camp and New England Conservatory Jazz Lab.  He continues private study with legendary bassist Ron Carter.

Jonathan Michel, bass

Born and raised in Waterbury, CT, Jon was first introduced to music by his father at age 4. By age 9 he’d settled on the bass. His association with Litchfield Jazz Camp began at an arts education program we ran in his home town.  He was 16. He has gone out in the wide world to seek his education and his fortune, but he always comes home to LJC.

Jon is based in New York City where he is music director and bassist for Grammy Winner Billy Paul’s band and toures internationally with Orrin Evans, Aaron Goldberg, Denise King, Melanie JB Charles, Paul Bollenback, Johnny O’Neal and Tim Warfield to name a few. He co-leads an original music project,the L.X.G. (, and is a composer and producer with projects in film, R&B, and gospel. Jon is a teaching artist at Litchfield Jazz Camp.

Sean Pentland, bass

Sean Pentland is active in international jazz and improvisation circles, most recently in Berlin, Edinburgh and Boston, where he received his degree from the New England Conservatory. In Boston, he worked both as a sideman and a leader, playing standards and original jazz, free and structured improvisations, and new music of all sorts by local composers. Sean has taught in Edinburgh schools and he teaches bass, theory and improvisation privately.

Emma Adomeit, bass


Emma Adomeit

Emma Adomeit is a jazz bassist from Hartford. Her musical studies began at the age of 5 on the mandolin and moved on to cello and double bass with Nat Reeves. Emma has studied and performed in a variety of musical genres, including traditional Irish music, folk, jazz, Latin jazz, and classical, and has shared the stage with musicians such as Romero Lubambo, Jamey Haddad, and Ingrid Jensen. She is currently a sophomo
re at Oberlin Conservatory, where she studies with jazz bassist Peter Dominguez.

This performance is sponsored in part by NEFA


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