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Dinner and Hot Latin Jazz at Compass School Dec. 13th

WESTMINSTER, VT- On Saturday, December 13th, Compass School will host a Caribbean dinner and a musical performance by Eugene and Julian’s Latin Party Band featuring renowned musicians Eugene Uman and Julian Gerstin.

Eugene Uman is a pianist and composer who has performed with Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, George Mraz, Jimmy Heath, Donald Byrd, and many others. Uman has written over 120 wide ranging jazz compositions; three of his original compositions were recorded by Latin Jazz star Sammy Figueroa on his 2005 Grammy Nominated CD. Uman appears in numerous ensembles including The Convergence Project, the As Yet Quintet, and Zabap, and he is the director of the Vermont Jazz Center and serves as an adjunct professor of music at Amherst College and Marlboro College.

Julian Gerstin, Ph.D. is an ethnomusicologist and percussionist specializing in music of Africa and the Caribbean. He has taught at Wesleyan University, Clark University, Marlboro College, and is currently at Keene State College. His percussive explorations have led him from the folk traditions of Ghana and Cuba to popular music from Nigeria to Brazil, as well as jazz styles from New Orleans brass bands to avant-garde experimentalism. He currently appears with the Caribbean jazz group As Yet Quintet and the Afrocuban dance ensemble Grupo Palo Santo among others.

Eugene and Julian will bring their 5-piece Latin Jazz Party Band to the Fiesta where they will surely be ripping it up! Don’t miss it!

The evening begins at 6:00 p.m with a fabulous, multi-course Caribbean dinner, and concurrently there will be a silent auction which will include gift certificates to area businesses, fine arts, furniture, clothing, and much more. All-inclusive tickets for dinner and music are just $15 adults and $10 students – a fun and very affordable night out!
All proceeds of the evening will benefit the Compass junior class Global Connection trip to the Dominican Republic. The Global Connections Program focuses on cultural immersion and international understanding. It is an integral part of the junior class curriculum through which Compass provides a transformative experience to inspire students to broaden their horizons, bond as a group, and work for social justice. This year the class will travel to the DR where they will have a period of full immersion home stays in a rural Dominican village, and will engage in community service and travel across the country.

The Global Connections Program began in 2003 and since then Compass has had over 100 participants travel to the Mexico/Arizona border, India, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. Former participants have been inspired to make international social activism a key part of their lives. For example, Jake Saunders of Westminster returned to the Mexico border for his senior project to volunteer with No Mas Muertos, an organization that gives aid to lost migrants in the Arizona desert. Katelin Wilton of Putney dedicated her college years to working with HIV-infected teens in West Africa and was nominated for a Rhodes scholarship for her work. Sophie Taylor-Havens of Saxtons River is currently in Thailand studying agriculture and development.

This fundraising dinner and concert is key to making this travel program affordable to all 11th graders regardless of family income. Come out, hear some great music, eat delicious food, and support this unique opportunity. Admission is $15 for adults $10 for kids and students and $45 for families. Tickets will be available at the door or can be purchased ahead of time from Compass School (802-463-2525) or at these outlets: Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, Swirl in Putney, and Everyone’s Books in Brattleboro.

The Compass School is an innovative, nonprofit, nonsectarian independent day school in Westminster, Vermont founded in 1999. It offers an exciting educational option for area students in grades 7 – 12.