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Usdan Center Showcases Expanded Jazz Program at 5/19 Open House

Jazzed Magazine • News • May 1, 2013

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Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, the nationally renowned Long Island summer arts day camp, will hold its final, free Open House for its 46th, 2013 season on Sunday May 19. Families may obtain information on the Center’s programs and tour the 200-acre woodland campus.

Usdan continues to add new programs. Most programs at Usdan Center, more than 40 in music, dance, theater, visual arts, creative writing, nature and ecology and chess, are open to all students within various age groups with no audition needed. New programs include a special three-week session July 22-August 9 (in addition to the four and seven-week programs beginning June 24); an expansion of the Center’s jazz program, encompassing three separate jazz ensembles: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

In addition, jazz stars regularly appear at the Center, performing and teaching master classes. Some of the artists who have appeared are Jimmy Heath, Arturo O’Farrill, Randy Brecker, Bobby Watson, Jane Monheit, Jon Faddis, Clark Terry, Ted Rosenthal and Marian McPartland. The Jazz Department was created in 1986 by Dr. Billy Taylor. The center, whose alumni include actors Natalie Portman, Olivia Thirlby and Jackie Hoffman, and singers Jane Monheit and Mariah Carey, has introduced the arts to more than 60,000 Tri-State Area children since its founding in1968. The Center is open to all young people from age 6 to 18. No audition is needed formost programs – rather, admission is based on an expression of interest in the arts. Each summer, 1,600 students are transported to the Center in air-conditioned buses each day. One-third of Usdan’s students attend on scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center has caused many to go on to arts careers.


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