The Vermont Jazz Center is dedicated to creating and preserving jazz through the presentation of workshops, concerts, and instruction to a broad constituency of artists, students, and the general public.
The history of the Vermont Jazz Center reaches back to the early 1970's, when the late founding Director, jazz guitarist Attila Zoller, would invite numerous musicians from New York City to unwind and create at his home in Newfane, Vermont.
Renowned jazz artists such as George Mraz, Sir Roland Hanna, Ron Carter, Lee Konitz, Don Friedman, Jimmy Raney, and Kenny Barron grew to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of southeastern Vermont. From these beginnings grew the renowned summer workshop series, which evolved into the Vermont Jazz Center.
In 1997 Zoller passed the torch to pianist, Eugene Uman, who together with his wife, Elsa Borrero and Board President Howard Brofsky, developed the jazz center into a year 'round program that hosts monthly concerts featuring some of the world's most innovative jazz musicians. Thanks to Borrero's financial and production skills, Brofsky's wisdom, Zoller's tremendous contacts, the help of generous supporters, a deeply committed board of directors and numerous friends and volunteers, the jazz center evolved to manifest Uman's vision to provide a nurturing environment where concerts, workshops, weekly jam sessions, classes in jazz history, ensembles and private lessons are held.
The Jazz Center is now run by Managing Director Mindy Haskins Rogers, along with the Board of Directors, Educational Coordinators Howard Brofsky and Jamie MacDonald, Administrative Assistant Robby Roiter, Summer Workshop Coordinator Beth Kiendl, Jam Session Coordinator Paul Arslanian, and the support of a strong, grass-roots community of musicians and jazz lovers. Uman who is on sabbatical in Colombia, S.A. continues to serve as Artistic Director.
Today the Vermont Jazz Center is located in Brattleboro's Cotton Mill Hill Complex; the site includes a classroom, office space and 120-seat performance hall. The pleasant, loft-style space is reminiscent of New York's SoHo district; it claims favorable acoustics and is equipped with an ample, lighted stage, a Yamaha C7 grand piano, a Yamaha Oak-Custom drum set, and Mackie PA equipment.