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Vermont Jazz Center Presents: Emerging Artist Festival

Vermont Jazz Center
Emerging Artist Festival
November 2nd and 3rd

For Immediate Release

What: Vermont Jazz Center’s Two Day Emerging Artist Jazz Festival
When: November 2nd and 3rd
November 2nd as part of Gallery Walk in Brattleboro at the River Garden, Echo, The Lounge, 118 Elliot, The Boys and Girls Club of Brattleboro.
Featuring: Ensembles from BUHS, Keene State College, The Putney School, Jeremy Sturgeon Quartet. Headliner – Planet Kniffen
November 3rd at the Vermont Jazz Center.
Ensembles: Montpelier Union HS, UMass Amherst, UVM, individual artists Talyn and Kalif Neville, Headliners: VJC Young Lions, Sonic Asylum, King Klave
How Much: Friday, November 2nd, Free
Saturday, November 3rd, $20 General Admission, students admitted free of charge

Two days of Jazz Featuring Emerging and Established Young Artists
In Fourteen Performances

The Vermont Jazz Center is excited to present its first annual Emerging Artists Festival on Friday evening, November 2nd in downtown Brattleboro during Gallery Walk and all day Saturday, November 3rd at the Vermont Jazz Center. This event is in collaboration with area schools and colleges, the Boys and Girls Club, Strolling of the Heifers, BrattRock, Youth Services, Gallery Walk and the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance. The VJC’s goal is to use this annual Emerging Artists Festival to cultivate a greater interest and deeper knowledge of jazz amongst younger audiences, to connect with our region’s youth and ultimately boost their attendance throughout the year. As a participatory event, VJC’s Emerging Artist Festival will break down barriers to accessing the arts, especially for the region’s young people.

The Festival begins with a Friday night Jazz Walk in downtown Brattleboro, piggybacking on the town’s well-established monthly Gallery Walk, The opening evening includes local, young groups performing at restaurants and arts venues from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

After the Gallery Walk performances, at 9:00, the VJC will present a free concert with one of the festival’s headlining acts, Planet Kniffen, at the River Garden. This free concert, in collaboration with the Strolling of the Heifers, will provide an opportunity for the young musicians who have performed during the Jazz Walk to come together with friends and family to enjoy a top-notch example of jazz performed led by the Los Angeles-based drummer Darryl Kniffen,who will be flying in exclusively to perform and instruct at this festival.

The Festival continues on Saturday at performing at the VJC’s concert hall beginning at 1:00 PM. Juried high school and college-age groups will perform during the afternoon followed by a Q + A session with the headlining artists. The Festival will culminate with performances by the headliner groups.

Summary of Events:
11/2/18 — Friday Evening Jazz Walk
Youth bands will all perform at downtown restaurants and performance venues as part of Brattleboro’s monthly Gallery Walk event. Confirmed venues include the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club (feat. BUHS Jazz Band, Keene State College Jazz Band and Rei Kimura Duo), 118 Elliot Street (feat. Archer Parks Trio), The Lounge (feat. Jeremy Turgeon Quartet), and Echo Restaurant (feat. UMass’s Kaplan-Padula Quintet).

After all these groups have finished their sets, the VJC invites everyone to the River Garden at 9 PM for a free concert with headliner band Planet Kniffen.

11/3/18 – Saturday
1:00 – 5:00 PM
The VJC will present youth artist performances and educational workshops at the Vermont Jazz Center (72 Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro VT 05301). Local school and college groups including Khalif and Talyn Neville, Montpelier HS Jazz Ensemble, Amherst College’s Ascension, Amherst College Alumni group SCOBI, UMass’s Brecker Brothers Combo (directed by Jeff Holmes) and the UVM Postbop Ensemble (directed by Ray Vega, host of VPR’s Friday Night Jazz). There will be a Q+A with members of the Young Lions, Sonic Asylum and King Klave.

5:10 – 10:30 PM
In the evening, these headliners will perform the Festival’s main concert event at the Vermont Jazz Center performance space. The evening concert will begin at 5:00 with the VJC Young Lions and, following a dinner break, will continue with two groups from New York: Arcoiris Sandoval’s Sonic Asylum and Amaury Acosta’s King Klave at 8 PM

Headliner Bios:

Planet Kniffen: Performing Friday at The River Garden, 9 PM
Planet Kniffen’s release, “Dreamland” climbed to #5 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album chart the week after its release. Darryl was named Outstanding Teacher of The Year by the University of Vermont. He currently teaches music at Stoneman Elementary in Pittsburg, CA. He has also taught at Arlington Memorial High School in Arlington, VT, SUNY Adirondack, and Readsboro and Twin Valley Elementary Schools. Darryl has performed with Chilean vocalist Natalia Bernal, Freddy Shehadi, Richard Boulger, Saturday Night Live saxophonist Alex Foster, pianist Peter Primamore (The Today Show), trombonist Maximillian Sholl (PitchBlak Brass Band) and many others.

The Young Lions: Performing Saturday at VJC, 5 PM
A group formed by alumni of the VJC’s Summer Workshop Program including Franz Robert, Malik McLaurine, Jahian Cooper-Monize, Zach Trombley and Ben Barnett. Most of the members live and are active in New York City, and the focus of much of their activity revolves around a hip club on West 10th Street called Smalls. The Young Lions have been playing together for many years. In August 2018, they performed as a featured act at the VJC Summer Faculty Concert performance after being coached by acclaimed trumpeter Jason Palmer. They are planning to record their debut album at Guilford Sound.

Arco Iris Sandoval’s Sonic Asylum: Performing Saturday at VJC, 8 PM
A vehicle for pianist Arco Iris to explore her original compositions with some of the top names in NYC. She is the recipient of a Fulbright award and holds a Master’s degree in jazz piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Sandoval has won several ASCAP young jazz composer awards as well as being a semifinalist at in the Montreux Solo Jazz Piano competition. She has been a participant in the Mary Lou Williams Festival, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program and the Metropole Orkest Arrangers Workshop. Ms. Sandoval has also performed at major festivals throughout the world including the Telluride Jazz Festival, the Tucson Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Summer Festival, and many others throughout China, Europe, India, South America, and Mexico.

King Klave: Performing Saturday at VJC, 8 PM
A group led by drummer Amaury Acosta that includes Godwin Louis on alto saxophone, Javier Santiago (piano, Fender Rhodes, and synths), Paul Wilson (synths and key-bass) Michael Valeanu (guitar and the leader on drums and percussion). Acosta has played or recorded with Candido Camero, Jose James, Paquito D’Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, Ambrose Akinmusire, , Luques & Zaccai Curtis, Marcus Strickland, Casey Benjamin, John Ellis, Joe Sanders, Boris Kozlov, Charles Tolliver, Ben Williams, Robert Glasper, Kris Bowers, John Ellis, Pedrito Martinez, Isreal “Cachao” Lopez, Osmany Paredes, George Cables, Kenneth Whalum III, Sean Jones, John Hicks, Mark Whitfield, John Benitez, Arturo O’Farril, Yosvany Terry, Taylor Eigsti, Jaleel Shaw, Jeremey Pelt, David Bryant, Logan Richardson and many others. King Klave’s promo pack says: “What if you could merge Questlove and JazzyJeff into one performance artist? The answer is King Klave, the nom de guerre for the solo electronic production project of Amaury Acosta. Through his search for a fresh sonic spectrum, Amaury combines his complex Jazz Funk HipHop beats with the sonic textures of his Afro Cuban roots, a dominion created by incorporating drums with technology.”

The VJC is using the Festival as a platform to assist nationally emergent jazz artists at a critical stage in their careers. The Festival also offers local young professionals and aspiring performers an opportunity to perform on a professional stage and be featured in a VJC showcase. As part of Saturday’s schedule, multigenerational audiences will have the chance to dialogue with performers during Q&A sessions and clinics with our headlining bands. As with all VJC events, there will be options for people to volunteer in exchange for participation in the Festival.

Catch the fire of youth involvement in jazz and join the VJC community in the excitement surrounding this event. Admission to all of Friday’s shows are free and open to the public. Saturday’s activities at the VJC are $20 for general admission, students admitted free.

The VJC is grateful to a host of individuals, foundations and businesses that have made this multi-pronged event possible. Thanks to the musicians many of whom are performing for free or below their normal fee. Special thanks to financial sponsors: Janet and Jeremy Birch, Dave Snyder/Guilford Sound, Diana Bingham, Vermont Arts Council, The Thomson Trust and Edward Jones. Thanks to the numerous collaborators including Strolling of the Heifers, The Lounge at Duo, Echo Restaurant, 118 Elliot, The Boys and Girls Club of Brattleboro, Youth Services, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, Brattleboro Downtown Alliance, Gallery Walk, BrattRock, Music departments of Brattleboro Union High School, UMass, University of Vermont, The Putney School, Montpelier High School. Thanks to the following in getting the word out – Chris Lenois, the Brattleboro Reformer, The Commons, WKVT, WVEW, and VPR and its Friday night jazz host Ray Vega. A huge thank you to all the committee members and volunteers who make this endeavor possible.

Tickets for the Emerging Artist Festival at the Vermont Jazz Center are $20, general admission, free for students with I.D., available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at, by email at Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Handicapped access is available by calling the VJC at 802 254 9088.

Arcoiris Sandoval

King Klave/(U)nity

Planet Kniffen