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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 with any of the JPM faculty, please e-mail Private Lesson Coordinator Jessica Rost at hcdlesson@hartford.edu. To sign up for an ensemble audition, please e-mail Ensemble Coordinator Luke Nelson at lunelson@hartford.edu.

Jazz Studies

Steven Bulmer
Bass; Jazz Studies
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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Doug Maher
Guitar; 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
HCD Music

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John Charles Thomas
Trumpet; Jazz Studies
HCD Music

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The Ensembles

American Roots Ensemble

Acoustic Guitar

Ages: For students in grades 7 and up 
Requirements: Limited music reading required.
Rehearsal Time: Mondays, 6–7 p.m.
Length of course: 30 meetings

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

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, 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 jam with other “fans of Folk.” Instrumentation includes guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, bass and voice, although other instruments will be considered. Don’t miss this chance to be part of the next Folk Revival!

New Beat Combo

Piano

Ages: For students in grades 9–12 
Requirements: Auditioned ensemble.
Rehearsal Time: Wednesdays, 5–6 p.m.
Length of course: 30 meetings

 Tuition: $615 for hcd private lesson students, $790 for all others

New Beat Combo is a jazz band with an emphasis on groove. From Soul Jazz to Bossa Nova to lo-fi Be Bop, New Beat will provide a setting for swinging, personal music making. This ensemble welcomes all woodwinds and brass, along with rhythm players who want to develop their best sense of rhythm.

This combo will be limited to 4-5 players to give everyone a chance to be heard.  

Hartt Harmony

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.  

Middle School Jazz Combo

Saxophone

Ages: For students in grades 6–8 
Requirements: Auditioned ensemble.
Rehearsal Time: Thursdays, 6–7 p.m.
Length of course: 30 meetings

Tuition for middle school jazz combo:
$615 for hcd private lesson students, $790 for all others

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 great length. The language and history of jazz will be at the center of the process, as we study the legends and explore this great 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.

The course is limited to 4-5 winds and a rhythm section.

Funk Band

Percussion

Ages: For students in grades 9–12 
Requirements: Auditioned ensemble.
Rehearsal Time: Thursdays, 7–8 p.m.
Length of course: 30 meetings

 Tuition: $615 for hcd private lesson students, $790 for all others

Funk Band is a high-level ensemble, playing everything from Hard Bop to Modern Funk with an emphasis on style, soul and the blues. This band will have an electric sound that will pump out music you can move to. Funk Band will give students plenty of room to develop their best soloing chops while contributing to a hard driving, tight ensemble where everyone is digging in. If you’re looking for a hard-hitting jazz experience, this is it! 

The course is limited to 3-4 winds and a rhythm section. 

Hot Club

Bass

Ages: For students in grades 7–12 
Requirements: Students are expected to read music.
Rehearsal Time: Saturdays, 2–3 p.m.
Length of course: 30 meetings

Tuition for hot club:
$420 for hcd private lesson students, $505 for all others

Following in the tradition of the legendary Quintet of the Hot Club of France, this chamber jazz ensemble focuses on improvisation and group interplay, especially for string instruments. Students who are accomplished on the violin, viola, cello, bass or guitar have the opportunity to build skills of self-expression in a jazz band designed for them. Repertoire will be supplied by the originator of the style, the great Django Reinhardt. This is music that is respected around the world for its unique combination of folk-like simplicity and daring virtuosity.

Beyond the strings, Hot Club music can be played on smaller wind instruments and accordion, keeping the group sound light. The combination of European folk music with American swing, often referred to as “Gypsy Jazz” will provide plenty of room for growth for top musicians. If you are looking to improve your profile and develop a personal style, this is the class for you. Find your musical voice in this challenging and exciting ensemble.

The class is limited to 3 guitars, 3 violins or violas, 1 cello, 1 bass, 2 wind instruments, and 1 accordion. No amps allowed!

 

Trad Jazz Combo

Clarinet

Ages: For students in grades 9–12 
Requirements: Auditioned ensemble.
Rehearsal Time: Saturdays, 3–4 p.m.
Length of course: 30 meetings

 Tuition: $615 for hcd private lesson students, $790 for all others

The Hartt Trad Jazz Combo is designed for students who want to play the original jazz tunes in the authentic style. Music from New Orleans, including the work of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and many more will challenge and excite jazz students who are interested in the roots of this music. The language and history of jazz will remain at the heart of what Trad Jazz will do, as we dig into the start of it all, laying the right foundation for all jazz to come. If you want to get that foundation in your playing, or you just love this music, this is the combo for you! Trumpets, clarinets, trombones, and yes, tuba are welcome to try out for Trad Jazz Combo, along with pianists with a strong left hand, drummers with a strong kick, and guitarists who love to strum hard! This is fun, challenging, deep music; the very first words in jazz!

The course is limited to 4-5 winds and a rhythm section.

Hartt Rock Band

Ages: For students in grades 6–12
Requirements: Students are expected to read music.
Rehearsal Time: Saturdays, 4–5 p.m.
Length of course: 30 meetings

 Tuition: $615 for hcd private lesson students, $790 for all others

Hartt’s Rock Band brings together students of Rock to form a personal contemporary ensemble that stands firmly on the shoulders of the great Rock legends of the past. From the early masters to the Rock stars of today, this group will cover and create challenging, exciting music. Students will develop their listening and collaborating skills, while digging deep into the music. Some music reading and chord knowledge is expected.  

This course is limited to 2-3 singers, 2-3 guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums.   

The Classes

Ukulele Class: Adults

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.

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