Young local musicians will learn from their Finnish counterparts this July as part of Ray Blue’s inaugural Pro-Am Ensemble International Exchange Program.
Five Finnish Conservatory students ages 17-23 who attended Blue’s Jazz Ensemble Workshops in March arrived in New York July 1 and stay until July 11 to be part of multiple CCC Pro Am performances.
and other clinician musicians involved with CCC will hold workshops, master classes and jam sessions with the two groups of students. They will then end the program with three performances, two of which are in Peekskill.
This is the fourth year of the Pro-Am program, which stands for professional and amateur because the program brings professional mentors together with students with a passion for jazz. The CCC is a non-profit organization that runs jazz workshops and master class programs throughout the country and internationally. It was created in 2002.
“Out mission is to promote jazz education and performance in schools, colleges and communities. I thought it’d be a good experience for students to meet and work with professionals, work with other students who they may not be familiar with. Get an opportunity to interface and develop relationships,” Blue said.
This year’s local students include:
John Winton, a Lakeland High School graduate, who is heading to Vassar college in the fall, on the saxophone; Jonah Koen, a 12 year old saxophone student from Peekskill, and Daniel Rivera, a 20-year-old Peekskill resident.
In addition to bringing an international element to the program this year, Ray Blue has joined with local modern dance instructor Andrea Elam for the group’s second performance.
“Andrea had idea of us collaborating with music and dance -to bring the live music into the equation,” Blue said.
Elam’s dance students will choreograph and dance to African and improvisational jazz music that Blue has provided and perform with the Pro-Am Ensemble at the Hudson Valley Contemporary Center for the Arst on July 8 at 3 p.m.
The CCC program is made possible through an ArtsWestechester grant and public support.
“This is being made possible from the proceeds from the in March,” Blue said. “I want people to know that this is where their money’s gone and we appreciate it.”
Enjoy the Pro-Am Ensemble at their July 7, 8 and 10 performances:
July 7, 8 p.m. at the Bean Runner Café
July 8, 3 p.m. at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, a collaboration with modern dance instructor Andrew Elam and student dancers.
July 10, the John Burkes Gillespie Auditorium at the Bahai Center, University Ave. 11th St., NYC 8 p.m.
Finnish participants include; Jyri Ekholm, Drums; Salla Jarvinen, Trumpet and Vocal; Ville Viertoli, Guitar; Samu Repo, Bass; and Rauli Viltala, Instructor/Guitarist will attend. American student participants are Sean McQuaid (a Pottsdam College student)-19 from Ossining –
Trumpet; John Winton (a Lakeland High School, 17, who is heading to Vassar college in the fall) Saxophone; Satish Robertson, Trumpet. Jonah Koen, a 12 year old saxophone student from Peekskill, and
Daniel Rivera, a 20-year-old Peekskill resident.
Clinicians include; Ray Blue, Saxophone, Composer and Ensemble Director; Vince Corozine, Arranger; David Gibson, Drums/Percussion; Tony Jefferson, Drums/Vocal, Radam Schwartz, Organ/Piano; Waldron Ricks, Trumpet and Marvin Horn, Guitar.