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Hartt School Community Division

Jazz and Popular Music

Jazz and Popular Music (JPM) provides students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of contemporary styles, from jazz to rock and world music to pop. JPM inspires students to look at collaboration through multiple lenses in order to develop their own identity within a musically diverse community.

JPM is a dynamic community of musicians coming together to explore their craft. Keeping our ensembles small and student-centered, students will gain musical experience within a supportive space that encourages them to push beyond their comfort zones. 

To begin private lessons please e-mail Private Lesson Coordinator Jessica Rost at hcdlesson@hartford.edu. To audition for a JPM ensemble, please visit our Ensemble Audition page.

Jazz and World Music

Esther Shuyue Cao
Chinese Music Tradition Instructor
HCD Music

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Gonzalo Cortes
Flute; Jazz Studies
HCD Music

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Ken Fischer
Piano; Jazz Studies
HCD Music

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Jordan Jacobson
Trombone; Jazz Studies
HCD Music

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Joseph McCarthy
Percussion; Jazz Studies
HCD Music

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Luke Nelson
Ensemble Coordinator: Jazz and Popular Music; Composition Faculty; Ukulele; Guitar
HCD Music

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John Charles Thomas
Trumpet; Jazz Studies
HCD Music

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The Classes

This class is closed for Spring 2022. Fall 2022 class dates to be announced.

Designed for students with at least one to two years of experience on their instrument, Hartt’s Introduction to Jazz Improvisation will inspire students to jump into soloing, improvisation and jazz.  Presented with a multi-modality approach, students will learn authentic blues vocabulary, develop digital patterns on their instruments, conquer introductory jazz theory, and attain sequential choice lyrical melodies.  All will be in the context of celebratory Second Line New Orleans music, in which students will soak up new ideas while having fun and playing together! Designed as a true ‘first’ jazz/soloing experience, our instructor, James Antonucci, will instill a culture of curiosity, exploration and fun while taking those ‘first’ steps! 

Instructor:

James Antonucci 

DATES:

Saturdays 8–8:50 a.m.  

  • Jan 29 
  • Feb 5, 12, 26
  • Mar 12, 26
  • April 2, 23, 30
  • *Snow Date: March 19—Make-up class in cases of weather closure 
Tuition:

$175 PL rate/$225 non-PL rate

This class is closed for Spring 2022. Fall 2022 class dates to be announced.

For students that have had an introduction to jazz and/or improvisation, that also have three years of experience playing their instruments.   Students will continue their development by diving into major blues vocabulary and its applications.  They will learn how to ‘sound’ chords and voice lead common progressions while continuing to attain idiomatic vocabulary derived from the towering figures of jazz.  They will also be introduced to beginning, blues-based transcription while playing together every class.  Using many different approaches, students will be able to soak in vital improvisation instruction and will be provided with a plethora of resources to work with each week.

Instructor:

James Antonucci

Dates:

9–9:50 a.m.

  • Jan 29 
  • Feb 5, 12, 26
  • Mar 12, 26
  • April 2, 23, 30 
  • *Snow Date: March 19—Make-up class in cases of weather closure 
Tuition:

$175 PL rate/$225 non-PL rate

Ukulele class offers an entry into the world of ensemble playing on an instrument that is easy to learn and played around the world. Beginners and seasoned players are encouraged to join this class, as we learn the basics of melody and chord playing on music from Rock to Bach. Students will learn by ear, playing together as an ensemble, while developing musical skills along the way. Students will supply their own ukuleles.

PARENTS! Don’t let your students have all the fun! This class will provide you with a unique musical experience. Pick up a ukulele and join the band!

Please e-mail Luke Nelson to express interest in this course.

The Ensembles

Acoustic Guitar

American Roots music covers a wide range of styles, from Blues to Bluegrass, from string bands to the Folk Revival music of the 60s. Much of this music is personal, political, and powerful and here’s your chance to join the band! Playing the music of Pete Seeger, the Carter Family, Odetta, Bob Dylan and more, you can let your voice be heard. Players at every level are invited to join, using limited music reading and lots of ear training to develop authentic roots performances. The group is sure to improve your playing and listening skills while giving you a chance to be heard! 

The class is open to vocalists and students who play guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo or string bass, or any other folk instrument! Don’t miss this chance to be part of the next Folk Revival! Grades 7 to adult, classes meet for an hour each work, starting in early September. 

Percussion

Our funk band is designed for advanced players who want to go deep into this exciting jazz-based style. Repertoire from 50’s Hard Bop to contemporary funk masters allows for tight ensemble playing and plenty of room for improvising. Mastering the challenges of this music will help you build your technique, develop your ear and give you a strong sense of groove.  

This class is open to strong jazz and funk students who play trumpet, trombone, all saxes, guitar, keyboard, bass and drums. Grades 9-12, classes meet for an hour each work, starting in early September. 

Hartt Harmony

Ages: For students in grades 9–12 
Requirements: Auditioned ensemble.
Rehearsal Time: Wednesdays, 6–7 p.m.
Length of course: 30 meetings

Tuition: $420 for HCD private lesson students, $505 for all others

This chamber vocal ensemble will help students develop their best singing and listening skills while creating a beautiful blended sound. Featuring close harmony and innovative original arrangements, this group will focus on the art of vocal harmony and the joy of collaboration. The music will be challenging and the work demanding but always fun and rewarding.  

Hartt Harmony is limited to 4-6 singers, creating a tight vocal ensemble.  

Clarinet

The Hartt Jazz Combo is designed for students looking for a chamber-sized ensemble to develop their playing in the jazz style; improvising, and increasing their knowledge of classic jazz tunes. From Blues to Be Bop, the Jazz Combo is a training ground for future jazz players, working in the great tradition.  

Students will develop their collaborative skills in this smaller ensemble, and have the opportunity to explore improvisation at length. The language and history of jazz will be part of the process, as we study the legends and explore this essential art form. Students should be able to read music and have an understanding of the jazz style to be part of this ensemble. Find out how far your jazz playing can go in a combo setting that lets you be heard. If you want to sing jazz and get the chance to front a jazz band, we are looking for you, too!

The class is open to vocalists and students who play trumpet, trombone, French horn, all saxes, clarinet, flute, guitar, piano, bass or drums. Grades 7-12, classes meet for an hour each work, starting in early September. 

Hartt’s Rock Band is designed to offer students a collaborative environment in which they can develop their individual musicianship, study classic Rock literature, and be part of a band. Each student will receive training and coaching in these areas, while working with fellow students to create their own versions of the music. Students are expected to read some music, but more time will be devoted to developing a musical ear and creating a unified band sound.  

The class is open to vocalists and students who play electric guitar, keyboard, bass guitar or drums. Grades 7-12, classes meet for an hour each work, starting in early September. 

Bass

This combo is designed for high school students who play violin, viola, acoustic guitar, clarinet, accordion or string bass. Jazz, improvisation, collaboration and cultural literacy are all part of this chamber ensemble, based on the legendary Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Repertoire will be supplied by the originator of the style, the great Django Reinhardt, and will provide music that is respected around the world for its unique combination of folk-like simplicity and daring virtuosity. You’ll polish your technique while jamming with your friends! If you are looking to improve your profile and develop your style, this is the class for you. Find your musical voice in this challenging and exciting ensemble.

The class is open to students who play acoustic guitar, violin, viola, string bass, clarinet or accordion. Grades 9-12, classes meet for an hour each work, starting in early September.

Together, we can ensure the gift of an unparalleled performing arts education is available to all.