BRATTLEBORO — The Vermont Jazz VSEnter will present its fourth annual festival of emerging artists on Saturday, November 13. The event promotes new ideas and people affecting the future of jazz, music that encourages creativity and praises game-changing artists.
This year, we’ll partner up with the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and feature one of their instructors, Haitian turntable player Val Jeanty (Val-Inc).
On Wikipedia, Jeanty is identified as a “afrofuturist “which integrates” the rhythms of Haitian voodoo with instruments. “ She will perform with 11 musicians from around the world who represent the mission of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.
Founded and directed by NEA Jazz Master Terri Lyne Carrington, the Institute welcomes “students of all genders and sexual identities to achieve the goal of true gender diversity in the field. [of jazz]. “
Its aim is to create “a more level playing field for all who pursue a career in jazz with the aim of working for a necessary and lasting cultural change in the field” through “corrective work. [that modifies] the way jazz is perceived and presented, so that the future of jazz is different from its past without making many creative contributors to the art form invisible.
The key to the Festival of Emerging Artists is its educational component.
Six young jazz ensembles from four regional schools will present short ensembles during the day and will be supervised by members of the Institute. These aspiring jazz musicians will receive helpful feedback that will inspire them to further their studies, appreciate the lineage of the music, and expose them to new and creative ideas.
The schools represented are Brattleboro Union High School (Steve Rice, principal), Amherst College (Bruce Diehl, principal), University of Massachusetts Amherst (Jeff Holmes, principal) and Northfield Mount Hermon (Ron Smith, principal).
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In an insight interview found on Roulette Concert Archive, Jeanty discusses his concept of working with electronics, using the Korg Wavedrum, Akai MPC sampler, effects pedals and turntables as a medium to represent the “organic” spirit of its culture inspired by drums.
Jeanty’s grandmother was a Mambo, a priestess in the voodoo tradition who performed healing work and guided others through complex rituals. Jeanty grew up in a Vodou family, surrounded by drums and rituals.
At the age of 4, the tambou (conga-type) drums “moved” her and asked her to play them. As a teenager, Jeanty saw a DJ with a turntable; it was inspired by the sounds he created and the movement he created as he alternated between the decks, moving left to right as if they were congas.
She was also excited about the possibility of working with more than two drums at a time: using samples and drum machines, she could create soundscapes with 20 drums.
Her cultural / spiritual path leads Jeanty to approach her music like a prayer.
She explained that when she creates music, “It’s not just me, it’s what the mind wanted to express. We’re not writing the song, we’re just the ship, watching the song get lucky enough to be part of the process.
Val Jeanty works with a wide range of artists, such as Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh, Kris Davis, Jaimie Branch, Matt Shipp and Ravish Momin.
She collaborates with Terri Lyne Carrington, platinist; Tracie D. Morris, percussionist; and Anthony Braxton as sound engineer.
Jeanty’s performances have been presented in New York (at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music) and abroad (at the Saalfelden Jazz Festival in Austria; in Switzerland; at the Jazz in la Villette in France and at the Venice Biennale in Italy).
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Jthe making Val Jeanty as educators and performers will be graduate students of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice: Ángela Varo Moreno (violin), Milena Casado (flügelhorn), Katie Webster and Jonathan Reisin (saxophones), Hidemi Akaiwa and Camila Cortina (piano) , Nadav Lavie, Gerson Lazo Quiroga and Devon Gates (bass), and Francesca Remigi and Lily Finnegan (drums).
Over the years, the Jazz Center has presented shows featuring emerging artists, all of whom have pursued distinguished careers.
Some of these musicians are Lakecia Benjamin, Pasquale Grasso, Samara Joy, ArcoIris Sandoval, Roxy Coss, Godwin Louis, KingKlavé (Amaury Acosta), Julius Rodriguez, Caili O’Doherty, Caroline Davis, Melissa Aldana, Integriti Reeves, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Carolina Calvache, Marquis Hill, Jaleel Shaw, Mimi Jones, Jazzmeia Horn, Jonathan Barber, Harold López-Nussa and many more.
In 2018, the Jazz Center hosted the presentation of emerging artists to include master classes and performances by young regional jazz groups. Festival attendees from previous years include Keene State College, The Putney School, VJC Youth Jazz Ensemble, Cate Byrne Quartet, Zack Bartolomei, Jeremy Turgeon, Amherst College Zumbyes, Rei Kimura, Archer Parks, Planet Kniffen, Khalif and Talyn Neville, the lycée de Montpellier, the Ensemble Post-Bop of the UVM and the Young Lions of the VJC.
The Vermont Jazz Center is delighted to present a festival that illustrates the great potential of our music for the future. The only way that this will be possible is with the support of the community. This festival is presented in honor of the memory of Jonathan Flaccus, a man deeply attached to the arts.
During his rich life, Flaccus, a longtime Windham County resident, intentionally supported the Jazz Center, promoting causes he firmly believed in, especially youth participation. This concert is sponsored by Flaccus’ widow, Marcy Hermansader.
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Tthe public is invited to all parts of the day.
The performances will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Groups of students from across the region will be mentored by members of the institute throughout the day and attend a master class at 4:15 p.m. with Jeanty and members of the Berklee Institute.
The festival will end with a performance at 8 p.m. by Jeanty and members of the Institute.
The entire event is open to vaccinated people (please bring proof and ID).
All parts of this event are free to students and members of the LGBTQ community. For others, admission to daytime in-person events is $ 20, and the Outright Vermont evening in-person concert will feature throughout the afternoon events.
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