Litchfield Jazz Orchestra
In 2013, guitarist/educator and founder of SUNY Purchase College’s jazz program, Doug Munro, helped us realize a long-term dream. Long a faculty member at Litchfield Jazz Camp, Doug proposed that he arrange for Big Band Django Reinhardt’s gypsy inspired music and launch the very first performance of a Litchfield Jazz Orchestra. The Orchestra comprised Camp faculty members, a few outstanding students and a guest artist. LJO made its first appearance at the 2014 Litchfield Jazz Festival with Doug soloing and Jamie Begian, Director of Jazz at Western CT State University, conducting.
Last season the LJO appeared for a second time with a tribute to the music of the late, great Connecticut saxophonist Thomas Chapin under the baton of trumpeter Dave Ballou. The orchestra played original arrangements by Chapin and some new ones by Ballou.
For LJF 2016 and its Generations of Jazz celebrating 20 years of Litchfield Jazz Camp, the camp’s Music Director, saxophonist Don Braden, has arranged music from the band Earth Wind & Fire and singer/songwriter/pianist and musical genius, Stevie Wonder. We are calling this one Earth, Wind & Wonder.Band members are all extraordinary players in their own right and colleagues on staff at Litchfield Jazz Camp. This performance features trumpets –Dave Ballou, Russ Johnson, Jean Caze and Nick Roseboro; trombones – Peter McEachern, and Joe Beaty; saxophones – Kris Allen, Tom Finn, Don Braden, Albert Rivera, Mike DiRubbo, and Andrew Hadro, bass – Sean Pentland; drums- Cory Cox; and piano – Jen Allen. Two stand-out former long-time campers are featured, vocalist Allegra Levy and trombonist Nicole Connelly. Allegra, who N ew York Times Jazz Critic Ben Ratliff called ““…fresh”, “…exotic… and beyond the ordinary” is now making her mark in and around NYC after a recent 7-month residency at Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel. Nicole is finishing her performance degree this year at Towson University. Don Braden has served as LJC’s Music Director for since 1998.
Bios of the players can be found on our website-www.litchfieldjazzcamp/teachingartists.com.