Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Kids Are Alright

A Summer Camp Inspires Many to Find Their Own Beat



Saxophone player Mike Casey, who attended the Litchfield Jazz Camp as a teen, currently has songs featured on Spotify.

Photo by Airen Miller Photography

In 1981, Vita Muir founded Litchfield Performing Arts. Today the organization is not only a fixture in the international jazz scene but has been producing promising young jazz musicians since 1997. 

Litchfield Jazz Festival is known for bringing jazz legends like Ray Charles and Dave Brubeck to Litchfield County. The festival also features up and coming young musicians including Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Michael Mayo Quintet. 

In 1997 Litchfield Performing Arts added to its repertoire a camp aimed at youth with serious interest in jazz. Every summer the camp draws between 350 and 400 jazz students. This year camp will be held at the Gunnery School in Washington.

The camp combines education with experience. One of the keynote events for campers is attendance at the two day Litchfield Jazz Festival where they listen to jazz greats and have the opportunity to perform on the secondary stage in front of festival crowds. Many campers come full circle, eventually appearing on the mainstage as their careers progress. 

Three camp alumni making waves in the jazz scene today are saxophone player Mike Casey, bassist Matt Dwonszyk, who also teaches at the summer camp, and drummer Corey Garcia. Together they are the Mike Casey Trio and they are changing the game when it comes to record production for young jazz musicians. 

Eschewing the traditional path of finding a record label to represent them, Mike Casey self-produced and promoted their latest album, something practically unheard of in the young jazz scene. The plan worked, earning them hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify. Their rendition of Norwegian Wood currently streams on the “State of Jazz” playlist and is their third song to be featured on Spotify. 

Their next album, Stay Surprising: Live at The Side Door is due out this spring to be followed by a tour. They will be in Litchfield April 28 at Tavern off The Green for an album release show. (For tickets click here)

Mike Casey is the first to admit that jazz can be a difficult genre for both audience and performers alike.

“Jazz has become this eat your vegetables kind of music in a way, and yes it is incredibly deep music, complex at times,” he says, “but it is there for enjoyment just like any other music.” 

Finding balance between music appreciation and simple enjoyment is key when it comes to educating young music students in order to avoid frustration and dispel stigma. 

“Litchfield Jazz Camp does a great job balancing those two things,” says Casey. “I’m a teaching artist as well, and when you’re teaching jazz it is so complex that students can get easily discouraged. The Festival and camp take a balanced approach to presenting the music, giving equal value to both sides.”

It is in part this balanced approach that makes Litchfield Jazz Camp unique in the world of music education programs. Muir and her team assemble the best of the best to instruct campers. Student testimonials describe the educational experience of a lifetime, a place where many learn more in a single summer than they have in every hour of music instruction they’ve had up to that moment. 

In as much as Litchfield Jazz Festival is a fixture in the jazz scene, Vita Muir’s commitment to the art is helping shape the next generation of jazz musicians right here in our own backyard. The 2018 Litchfield Jazz Festival is slated for July 28 to 29 at the Goshen Fair Grounds.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us    

Sign-up for our event 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

April 2018

As a part of our emerging artist program, Hunt Hill Farm is calling for Artists for the 5th Annual Student Arts Expo – REAP (Ruane Emerging Artist Program). Submissions from emerging artists...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
44 Upland Road
NEW MILFORD, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

The perfect combination of crispy, flaky, buttery goodness!  It’s not as hard as you might think to make your own.  It just requires some knowledge and a few “tricks of the...

Cost: $85

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

KMR arts presents the work of renowned artist and visionary Kim Keever  Opening reception is on Saturday April 7th at 3-6 p.m.  Keever's landscapes evoke the aesthetic...

Cost: Free

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington , CT  06794
View map »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Harrison “Whitey” Jenkins new artwork opens on Friday April 6 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

The Loft Gallery will host Washington CT abstract artist, April Crumrine. April’s series of brightly colored paintings will be on view from April 12 through May 20, 2018. An artist’s...

Cost: free

Where:
Loft Gallery at The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: Susan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

As a part of our emerging artist program, Hunt Hill Farm is calling for Artists for the 5th Annual Student Arts Expo – REAP (Ruane Emerging Artist Program). Submissions from emerging artists...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
44 Upland Road
NEW MILFORD, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

KMR arts presents the work of renowned artist and visionary Kim Keever  Opening reception is on Saturday April 7th at 3-6 p.m.  Keever's landscapes evoke the aesthetic...

Cost: Free

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington , CT  06794
View map »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Harrison “Whitey” Jenkins new artwork opens on Friday April 6 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week session exploring the History of 20th Century American Literature in 5...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Website »

More information

The Loft Gallery will host Washington CT abstract artist, April Crumrine. April’s series of brightly colored paintings will be on view from April 12 through May 20, 2018. An artist’s...

Cost: free

Where:
Loft Gallery at The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: Susan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

As a part of our emerging artist program, Hunt Hill Farm is calling for Artists for the 5th Annual Student Arts Expo – REAP (Ruane Emerging Artist Program). Submissions from emerging artists...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
44 Upland Road
NEW MILFORD, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

KMR arts presents the work of renowned artist and visionary Kim Keever  Opening reception is on Saturday April 7th at 3-6 p.m.  Keever's landscapes evoke the aesthetic...

Cost: Free

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington , CT  06794
View map »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Harrison “Whitey” Jenkins new artwork opens on Friday April 6 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Last year the CDC publicly announced that cases of Lyme disease are vastly underreported, and that 300,000 people are diagnosed each year in the U.S., which is 10 times as many as officially...

Cost: 10.00

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St N
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

As a part of our emerging artist program, Hunt Hill Farm is calling for Artists for the 5th Annual Student Arts Expo – REAP (Ruane Emerging Artist Program). Submissions from emerging artists...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
44 Upland Road
NEW MILFORD, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

KMR arts presents the work of renowned artist and visionary Kim Keever  Opening reception is on Saturday April 7th at 3-6 p.m.  Keever's landscapes evoke the aesthetic...

Cost: Free

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington , CT  06794
View map »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Harrison “Whitey” Jenkins new artwork opens on Friday April 6 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

The Loft Gallery will host Washington CT abstract artist, April Crumrine. April’s series of brightly colored paintings will be on view from April 12 through May 20, 2018. An artist’s...

Cost: free

Where:
Loft Gallery at The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: Susan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

As a part of our emerging artist program, Hunt Hill Farm is calling for Artists for the 5th Annual Student Arts Expo – REAP (Ruane Emerging Artist Program). Submissions from emerging artists...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
44 Upland Road
NEW MILFORD, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

KMR arts presents the work of renowned artist and visionary Kim Keever  Opening reception is on Saturday April 7th at 3-6 p.m.  Keever's landscapes evoke the aesthetic...

Cost: Free

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington , CT  06794
View map »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Harrison “Whitey” Jenkins new artwork opens on Friday April 6 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

The Loft Gallery will host Washington CT abstract artist, April Crumrine. April’s series of brightly colored paintings will be on view from April 12 through May 20, 2018. An artist’s...

Cost: free

Where:
Loft Gallery at The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: Susan
Website »

More information

The Five Points Gallery Annex will be showing selected works from Ian Roche's Pastel on Sheetrock Series II beginning April 19th.  The 4'x8' pieces are based on people...

Cost: Free

Where:
Five Points Gallery Annex
17 Water Street
(2 Doors Down from Main Gallery)
Torrington, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: Five Points Gallery Annex
Telephone: 917-301-4397
Contact Name: Pamela McCann
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

As a part of our emerging artist program, Hunt Hill Farm is calling for Artists for the 5th Annual Student Arts Expo – REAP (Ruane Emerging Artist Program). Submissions from emerging artists...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
44 Upland Road
NEW MILFORD, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

KMR arts presents the work of renowned artist and visionary Kim Keever  Opening reception is on Saturday April 7th at 3-6 p.m.  Keever's landscapes evoke the aesthetic...

Cost: Free

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington , CT  06794
View map »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Harrison “Whitey” Jenkins new artwork opens on Friday April 6 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

The Loft Gallery will host Washington CT abstract artist, April Crumrine. April’s series of brightly colored paintings will be on view from April 12 through May 20, 2018. An artist’s...

Cost: free

Where:
Loft Gallery at The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: Susan
Website »

More information

Join in at the Litchfield Community Center on the 3rd Friday of each month through June for a light lunch, live music and even some dancing! Jan 19 Feb 16 March 16 Apr 20 May 18...

Cost: $7

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Rd
Litchfield, CT
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In this presentation you will hear many compelling reasons why you should consider a natural approach to lawn care. The presenter, Chip Osborne, is a professional horticulturalist with over...

Cost: HHG Members $30 | Non-Members $35

Where:
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Hollister House Garden
Telephone: 860-868-2200
Contact Name: Pamela Moffett
Website »

More information

As a part of our emerging artist program, Hunt Hill Farm is calling for Artists for the 5th Annual Student Arts Expo – REAP (Ruane Emerging Artist Program). Submissions from emerging artists...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
44 Upland Road
NEW MILFORD, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Connecticut's vernal pools are about to fill with life! Vernal pools are used by many species and are essential to supporting the health and biodiversity of our forests. Animals that rely on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Smyrski Farm
237 Merryall Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust
Telephone: 860-927-1927
Contact Name: Elizabeth
Website »

More information

New Morning Market will hold its much anticipated Earth Day Celebration on Saturday April 21st from 11am-4pm.  Savor local and artisanal food samples from popular vendors including 88 Acres,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St N
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Website »

More information

KMR arts presents the work of renowned artist and visionary Kim Keever  Opening reception is on Saturday April 7th at 3-6 p.m.  Keever's landscapes evoke the aesthetic...

Cost: Free

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington , CT  06794
View map »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Harrison “Whitey” Jenkins new artwork opens on Friday April 6 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

The Loft Gallery will host Washington CT abstract artist, April Crumrine. April’s series of brightly colored paintings will be on view from April 12 through May 20, 2018. An artist’s...

Cost: free

Where:
Loft Gallery at The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: Susan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

All That Glitters

A visit to the fairy-tale workspace of master gilder Carol Leskanic

What’s All the Buzz About?

Mason bees make great neighbors––and how you can help add them to your area

Flowers

Bringing them inside

Art of It: Nature’s Colors

Making a Trade

Martha Stewart and Bunny Williams' gardens are favorites of the annual Trade Secrets––May 19-20
Edit ModuleShow Tags