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Vermont Jazz Center Receives Chamber Music America’s 2014 Acclaim Award

Vermont Jazz Center to Receive Acclaim Award from Chamber Music America CEO, Margaret Lioi
Date and Time: October 18th, 2014, 8:00 PM
Location: Vermont Jazz Center, 72 Cotton Mill Hill, #222, Brattleboro, VT, 05301
Activities to include: Concert with MacArthur Award Winner, Dafnis Prieto and Si o So Quartet. Quartet is comprised of Dafnis Prieto (drums), Peter Afelbaum (saxophones), Manuel Valera (piano), Johannes Weidenmueller (bass).  Speeches from Ms.. Lioi and invited representatives
Confirmed visitors: Representatives from Vermont Arts Council (most likely Alex Aldrich, director), Mollie Burke, State Representative for Windham County
Also Invited: Representatives from offices of Senators Sanders and Leahy, Congressman Welch and Governor Shumlin
Tickets available online at, or by calling 802 254 9088, ext. 1 or at In the Moment Records, Main St. Brattleboro

Vermont Jazz Center to receive award from Chamber Music America
The Vermont Jazz Center will receive an Acclaim Award from Chamber Music America on Saturday, October 18th at 8:00 PM during a concert offered by Cuban drum virtuoso, Dafnis Prieto.  The concert and award ceremony will take place at the Vermont Jazz Center, 72 Cotton Mill Hill, in Brattleboro, Vermont.
The CMA Acclaim award recognizes “extraordinary cultural contributions in a locality or region.” The CMA Acclaim award is offered by Chamber Music America ( an institution that serves thousands of members through  grants, commissions, networking opportunities a monthly magazine and an annual conference in New York City. CMA’s definition of chamber music “encompasses myriad forms including contemporary and traditional jazz, classical and world genres.”  Their membership includes musicians, presenters, educators, patrons, managers and producers.  
The CMA Acclaim Award honors two arts organizations nationally each year who have served their community by providing access to art and culture. The Vermont Jazz Center is a jazz education and performance-based institution located in Southeastern Vermont.  They serve a much larger community through a monthly concert series, an annual summer jazz workshop, on-going classes, a community big band an emerging artist series, weekly jam sessions and outreach to local schools.  The radius the VJC serves reaches over an hour’s drive into rural Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts; many of the students that attend their summer jazz workshop are from overseas.  About 1/3 of the students who attend VJC programs receive financial assistance. VJC is recognized as a high caliber performance venue where people can expect to see and hear artists who regularly perform in top jazz clubs in New York City and at esteemed festivals. VJC’s policy is that jazz should be accessible to all, regardless of one’s financial situation. All concert-goers are given the opportunity to volunteer in exchange for entry. Students from area schools are given free entry due to an arrangement with the local schools.
The CMA’s Acclaim Award is tailored to recognize the accomplishments of organizations that are generally “off the radar.” The VJC fits that criteria perfectly; it provides services and access to art for those living in a rural area with limited connections to live art and music education. 
Chamber Music America CEO, Margaret Lioi will come to Brattleboro to deliver the award to the Vermont Jazz Center.  Ms. Lioi has been CEO at CMA for over 14 years.  She holds a masters degree in piano performance from New England Conservatory and and an M.B.A. in Arts Administration from SUNY Binghamton.  Ms. Lioi was Director of Development for Spoleto Festival, Senior Director of the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival and Executive Director of the Eleanor Naylor Dana Charitable Trust.
The CMA Acclaim award will be offered to the Vermont Jazz Center on Saturday, October 18th, during a concert by Dafnis Prieto’s Si o So Quartet. Prieto is a Cuban drum set virtuoso who can play over a tumbao with the best of them (as he did for many years with Eddie Palmieri).  His performances reach beyond Latin jazz and incorporate elements of classical music, spoken word, electronics and swing as well as exploratory and spontaneous forms.  Dafnis Prieto was lauded by the Library of Congress who stated that he is “unquestionably one of the important leaders of the New Latin Jazz movement.”  He is also the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” grant, an award given to artists who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work.” Prieto has also been recognized by CMA:  In 2005, he recieved a Commissioning Grant from the CMA’s New Jazz Works Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  He will appear at the VJC with his longtime collaborators in Peter Afelbaum (saxophones), Manuel Valera (piano), Johannes Weidenmueller (bass). 

The Dafnis Prieto Si o So Quartet will perform at the VJC on Saturday, October 18th at 8:00 PM. This concert is made possible due to generous financial support from Diana Bingham. We are appreciative for ongoing support from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Hospitality for our artists is provided by the Hampton Inn of Brattleboro. VJC publicity is underwritten by the Brattleboro Reformer, WVPR, WVEW and WFCR.
Tickets for the Dafnis Prieto Quartet at the VJC, October 18th, are $20+ general admission, $15 for students with I.D. (contact VJC about educational discounts); available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1.