The Mount Ascutney Community will host its first "Umbrella Concert" on Saturday, August 5th, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. featuring the Amherst Jazz Orchestra. The concert will be held on the Albert Bridge School Field in Brownsville, Vermont. Bring your picnic and enjoy an evening of big band jazz.
The Amherst Jazz Orchestra is a professional big band whose mission is to explore and preserve the music of America's original art form. The group includes a potent horn section - five saxophonists, five trumpeters, four trombonists - as well as a guitarist, bassist, and drummer. The music presented, from rare and historical big band works to some of the newest original music for contemporary jazz orchestra, makes Amherst Jazz Orchestra a unique ensemble.
The band's membership, developed over twenty years, is something of a who's-who of players and teachers from Western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley and Five College region, though some members hail from farther afield, like the Berkshires, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. The ensemble comprises some of the finest professional jazz musicians in Western New England, including professors from the music faculties of the University of Massachusetts, Holyoke Community College, Amherst College, Westfield State University, Keene State College, and Dartmouth College.
Led by Musical Director, David Sporny, the group has had distinguished guest conductors such as Gunther Schuller, Herb Pomeroy, David Berger and Andrew Homzey. Their extensive list of guest artists includes Karrin Allyson, George Garzone, Jeff Holmes Quartet, Shelia Jordon, Jamie Baum, Claudio Roditi, Lew Soloff, Chris Vadala, Peter Madsen, John Fedchock, Peter Erskine, David Golostchokin, Greg Abate, Yusef Lateef, Yellowjackets, Ernie Watts, Rufus Reid, Steve Turre, Marvin Stamm, Arturo O'Farrill, and John Abercrombie. On August 5th, the AJO will feature guest vocalist, Ethel Lee.
"Umbrella Concerts" are sponsored by S.C.I.P. (School and Community in Partnership), Ascutney Winds, Go Play Outdoors, and Albert Bridge School. All proceeds from these concerts go to the Ascutney Musicians Fund, bringing artist/musicians to the Mount Ascutney Region to perform and teach. Tickets - $10. Umbrellas for light to moderate rain available, but in limited quantity. (Severe) rain date, Saturday, August 12th.