Jen Allen is a pianist, composer, author and educator. She frequently performs in New York, the Northeast and in venues throughout the world including the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, Cambridge Festival of the Arts, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Greater Hartford Monday Night Jazz Series, as the leader of her own groups or as a member of other creative music ensembles.
In 2011, Jen was chosen as one of only eight pianists from around the world to participate in the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her first book, Sitting In: Jazz Piano (co-authored with pianist, Noah Baerman) is published by Alfred. It received the of Music Inc. Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award, 2015. Her debut album,“Pieces of Myself,” features original compositions for jazz trio and quintet.
Allen has degrees in performance and composition from The Hartt School and UMASS Amherst. She continues to compose music for big bands, studio orchestras and smaller ensembles. She has taught at The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and The University of Hartford, and is currently visiting lecturer at Trinity College and on the piano faculty at Litchfield Jazz Camp.
This is Jen Allen’s Litchfield Jazz Festival debut as a leader. She will conduct the Litchfield Jazz Ensemble (a slightly smaller version of Litchfield Jazz Orchestra) from the piano and has done all the music for it from the treasure trove that is the music of two other brilliant women, Carly Simon and Carol King. Ensemble members are:
Special guest for this performance is the 10-year-old piano prodigy and Litchfield Jazz Camp student, Brandon Goldberg. Both these young people are on their professional way already. Veronica, the daughter of vocalist Stephanie Nakasian and pianist Hod O’Brien, at age 22, is a 2016 graduate of Frost School of Music who made her first appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center at age 11, and and most recently in 2015 with Michael Feinstein. Brandon Goldberg began playing piano by ear at age 3. He studies both classical and jazz piano and has appeared at Jazz at Lincoln Center at the invitation of Monty Alexander and at the Apollo Theater and the Blue Note Jazz Club as the guest of McCoy Tyner. He composes his own music and hopes it will inspire people.
LJO members also include: Pete Mceachern, Don Braden, Dave Ballou, Jean Caze, Andrew Hadro, Kris Allen, Robin Bytas, Sean Pentland and Nicole Zuraitis on vocals.