Gunn Welcomes 2022 Litchfield Jazz Camp and Festival

Don Braden & Vita Muir, Litchfield Jazz Festival

From July 3-31, The Frederick Gunn School will welcome the staff and campers of Litchfield Jazz Camp to campus, along with the 2022 Litchfield Jazz Festival, July 29-31. The school first partnered with Litchfield Performing Arts, the non-profit organization that produces the camp and festival, in 2018 and is excited to host another summer of live jazz performances in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos  Arts and Community  Center (TPACC).

Jazz After Work
Community members are welcome to attend “Jazz After Work,” a series of free concerts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 4‒28 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. in Tisch Family Auditorium, featuring renowned Litchfield Jazz Camp instructors.

Every Friday night, the community is welcome to attend performances by student combos, also from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.  in the Tisch Family Auditorium.

The 27th Annual  Litchfield Jazz Festival
View the full lineup here. Tickets are available here for the following events:

Friday, July 29, at 5:45 p.m. in TPACC - The Litchfield Jazz Fest Opening Gala. Tasty hors d’oeuvres will be complemented by vintage French wines from VanDoren Vineyards, with music by Litchfield Jazz Camp’s outstanding players. Proceeds support Litchfield Jazz Camp need-based scholarships.

Friday, July 29  at 7:30 p.m. in TPACC - Concerts begin with an opening set performed by this summer’s #1 LJC Combo in the Tisch Family Auditorium, followed by one of the most exciting headliners of the year, vocalist Samara Joy. While still at SUNY Purchase’s jazz program, from which she graduated last year, Joy scored a first-place win in the prestigious Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Other accolades have followed. Among the latest, Joy was named the winner of the 2021 JazzTimes Readers Poll for #1 Best New Artist, and also in the category of Best Vocalist. She has already toured internationally and performed at New York City jazz venues and is booked on most major summer jazz festivals across the country this year. This will be Joy’s first Litchfield Jazz Festival appearance. She will be joined by Pasquale Grasso’s Quartet, with Ben Paterson on piano, Ari Roland on bass, and Keith Balla on drums. An emerging star himself, Grasso won the 2015 Wes Montgomery International Guitar Competition and has recorded for Sony Masterworks.

Saturday, July 30, at 11 a.m. outside TPACC - The festival goes into full swing with a top Litchfield Jazz Camp combo warming up the audience outdoors for a day of Mainstage shows that will please every jazz lover.

Saturday, July 30, at 11:30 a.m. in TPACC - Opening the Mainstage lineup is award-winning drummer and pianist Anton Kot. Kot began his studies at LJC on drums at age 10. He is now a student at NYU who led his own band at the Detroit Jazz Festival last fall. A commissioned composer, his set features standard jazz works and some of his own. Kot leads a star-studded Litchfield faculty band, with Don Braden on sax, Avery Sharpe on bass, Julian Shore on piano, and Jean Caze on trumpet.

Saturday, July 30, at 1 p.m. in TPACC - Grammy-winning virtuoso harmonica player Gregoire Maret performs with his Litchfied  band, featuring Romain Collin on piano and Matthew Stevens on guitar. The extensive list of heavy-hitters who have enlisted Maret for their own projects include Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson, and Marcus Miller.

Artist Talk - Litchfield’s own Albert Rivera will host a talk with world-renowned clarinetist/saxophonist and raconteur Ken Peplowski, who has a long and stellar career in jazz and is as funny as a standup comic.

Refreshments, Lunch & Art - Refreshments will be available for purchase on the Quad and lunch served in Solley Dining Hall, opposite the Auditorium. An art exhibit by well-known artists Danielle Mailer and Steve Soklin will be on view exclusively for festival patrons on Friday evening and all day Saturday, in the Perakos Family Cares Gallery in  TPACC.

Saturday, July 30, at 3 p.m. in TPACC - The festival lineup continues with guitarist Mark Whitfield, an extraordinary player who was a Litchfield Jazz Camp faculty member before he was whisked away for what proved to be a very, very, long touring career with, among others, trumpeter Chris Botti. Whitfield appears here with his son, Davis Whitfield, on piano, Barry Stephenson on bass, and Joe Farnsworth on drums.

Saturday, July 30, at 5 p.m. in TPACC - The day of music will come to a joyous close with the Ken Peplowski Quartet. Peplowski is featured on saxophones and clarinet, with Ehud Asherie on piano, Peter Washington on bass, Willy Jones III on drums, and special guest Houston Person on tenor. Peplowski, considered one of the swinging-est players out there, has a career that spans 50 years. He began playing clarinet at age 10. A year or two later he was playing Polish weddings. He has a discography and touring career that won’t quit, with artists like Charlie Byrd, Dick Hyman, Leon Redbone, Mel Torme, Bucky Pizzarelli, George Shearing, Hank Jones, Peggy Lee, and scores more. 

Sunday, July 31 in Bourne Courtyard - The festival delivers one final day of music with its popular al fresco  Jazz Brunch, featuring a menu by Charlene Dudka ‘s Ciesco Catering and music by the Albert Rivera Ensemble, with Rivera on alto and soprano saxophones, Nicole Zuraitis on vocals, Don Braden on tenor sax, Sam Dingle on bass, Ian Carroll on drums and Alejandra Williams on piano. Early ticket purchase is recommended.

Photographs of the 2019 Litchfield Jazz Camp and Litchfield Jazz Festival at The Frederick Gunn School by Lindsey Victoria Photography

Additional Images