Spotlight On: Artists Collective’s Youth Jazz Orchestra & Performing Dance Ensemble

ImageFor six weeks this summer, twenty apprentices are enrolled in the Artists Collective’s two Neighborhood Studios programs: Youth Jazz Orchestra and Performing Dance Ensemble. Artists Collective is the only arts and heritage organization to host two studios in the same space.

Apprentices of the Youth Jazz Orchestra are being exposed to the history of jazz and African American music. They are learning concepts of improvisation and the art of composition, and arranging for a big band. They receive instruction in music theory, scales, portal harmony and other techniques. Apprentices also benefit from smaller Imageensemble groups where they can perfect their craft with the guidance of instructors and peers. One member of the orchestra in particular is an aspiring vocalist. She is diligently working on and mastering classic jazz standards, as well as harmony for a smaller vocal ensemble. The Artists Collective Youth Jazz Orchestra is under the direction of Master Artist-in-Residence, René McLean, and Music Coordinator, Obie Gereau.

ImageIn Performing Dance Ensemble, apprentices are learning a broad spectrum of dance techniques, in addition to the cultural influences that developed and derived from these forms through concentration on body mechanics.  Innovative and improvisational choreography have also been an integral part of dance compositions for the final performances. Film is also being incorporated in dance workshops to document the dancer’s growth during the six-week program. The Artists Collective Performing Ensemble is under the direction of Jolette Creary, Dance Coordinator, and Aqiida Gilbert, Rite of Passage Program Coordinator.

Apprentices of the Youth Jazz Orchestra and Dance Department will demonstrate and collaborate on performance pieces, while exploring their artistic expression for the final performances. This year’s production, entitled “The Color of Love,” will take place on Wednesday, August 8, and Thursday, 9 at 6:30 pm at the Artists Collective, 1200 Albany Avenue, Hartford. Call 860-527-3205 for ticket information.

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