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Vermont Jazz Center Organizes Virtual Summer Workshop

Victoria Wasylak • News • July 14, 2020

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The Vermont Jazz Center will celebrate its 45th season by offering an online version of its annual Summer Jazz Workshop from August 9-14, 2020. In the spirit of moving forward, the VJC has developed a structure to share the love of jazz and the wisdom of the faculty as a temporary replacement for its traditional summer jazz workshop in Putney, Vermont. This year’s program features an expanded faculty, a new take on masterclasses, plus two new features: “Hot Topics” and “Zoom Tunes,” as well as a composition course led by Helen Sung as part of our theory curriculum. 

Called “Zoom Into Jazz,” 2020’s workshop welcomes a handful of new masterclass instructors on bass (Linda Oh, Genevieve Rose, David Picchi), drums (Clarence Penn, Corey Fonville), piano (Shamie Royston, Maya Keren, Miro Sprague), trumpet (Rachel Therrien, Ray Vega), and saxophone (Felipe Salas) to complement VJC’s stellar faculty. The masterclasses will focus on different, daily topics – transcribing, comping, improvising, electric or acoustic instruments, and note sets.

“Hot Topics” in the evening will be conversations between two faculty members on topics that resonate with our times such as “Gender and Race in Jazz,” “Bird (Charlie Parker) at 100,” and “The Influence of Jazz on Other Cultures (and Vise Versa).” Each evening there also will be an opportunity to play a specified tune for other participants via Zoom and receive commentary. 

The structure of the overall program is divided into a two-hour morning and a three-hour evening session with afternoons available for private lessons (for an additional fee) and vocal repertoire sessions. 

In 2020’s Zoom into Jazz, the VJC aims to live up to a quote from community member Owen Neid: “The Summer Jazz Workshop is an experience that will inspire, excite, and occasionally frustrate, all in the hopes of making you the best musician you can be. It was wonderful to be able to learn in such a welcoming environment, surrounded by caring teachers, inspired students, and helpful staff.” 

For more information on VJC programs please visit the VJC website at For specific questions regarding curriculum and content, email Eugene Uman directly at 

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