The Hartt Community Division’s (HCD) Latin Jazz Program is in its second year and expanding into the Simsbury community with new sessions for middle school, high school, and adult students. Ed Fast, founder of Conga-Bop, directs the program. HCD’s Simsbury location is at Simsmore Square, 540 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury.
In addition to the new Simsbury sessions, HCD continues to offer three sessions for middle and high school at the University of Hartford (200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT). This program is for musicians with at least two years of playing experience who are interested in the Latin Jazz genre. Tuition is $330 for the year. The ensemble is open to all saxophones, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, percussion, bass, piano, and guitar. Vocalists are also welcome. Interested students may join the program by contacting the Program Manager, Margaret Wyporek, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 768-4451. More information about Ed Fast’s Latin Jazz Program is available at hcd.hartford.edu.
Latin Jazz Program Schedule:
Middle and high school sessions at The Hartt School, University of Hartford
- Tuesday, 4:30 to 5:30 pm
- Tuesday, 5:30 to 6:30 pm
- Tuesday, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Middle and high school sessions at Simsmore Square
- Monday, 5:30 to 6:30 pm
Latin Jazz sessions for adults at Simsmore Square
- Monday, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Hartt’s Latin Jazz Program presents an opportunity for young musicians to participate in a unique ensemble that focuses on study and performance of classic through contemporary Latin and Afro Cuban jazz repertoire. The program is geared towards serious students who wish to be challenged by more advanced repertoire and concepts in this idiom.
Throughout the school year Mr. Fast and the program participants work together to develop a premiere ensemble that will explore, study, and present compositions by the masters of the genre. It is this aspect of the ensemble that makes it unique to other jazz groups in greater Hartford. The ensemble places a specific emphasis on the music that resulted from a fusion of Latin American and jazz influences in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Hilton Ruiz, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Machito, Eddie Palmieri, and Fort Apache are a just a few artists who are most often identified as musicians of this style and period.
Members of Hartt’s Latin Jazz ensemble will explore concepts of Latin jazz harmony, voicing, bass function, and improvisation through the study of music for mallet instruments. Distinctive rhythms are also an integral part of the tradition. All instrumentalists will become familiar with Latin jazz rhythms including Mozambique, Afro-Cuban 6/8, Rumba, and Cha-Cha-Cha. Participating percussionists will also have the opportunity to work with traditional instruments like conga, bongo, timbale, clave and guiro and learn about the evolution of the drum set and its role in the percussion section.
For a preview of the 2013-2014 watch the video of the summer 2013 Latin Jazz Program.