NEW! Learn to play the fundamentals of Latin Jazz.
Spring 2022: weekly September-December.
Fall 2023: weekly February – May.
VAPA Center, 700 North Tryon Street, Charlotte
JazzArts Charlotte extends its successful JazzArts Academy programs with a NEW instrumental offering for youth.
Led by renowned Latin Jazz educators, students will play repertoire in a Latin Jazz orchestra and learn fundamentals including clave rhythms, improvisational theory, Latin Jazz history and stage presence. This is a unique opportunity for student musicians grades 7-12 to study an exciting facet of jazz that combines the chords and improvisational techniques of traditional jazz with the Latin instruments and rhythms.
Woodwinds, Brass, Rhythm Section, and Percussion Players are encouraged to join.
Julio Jeri is a trumpet artist originally from Peru. He has served as director, conductor, or musician for the Charlotte Jazz Orchestra, Children’s Theater of Charlotte, Central Brass Band, Orquesta K’che, and many more. Julio holds a bachelor’s degree from Wingate University, a master’s from UNC School of the Arts, and is currently pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts in trumpet performance at UNC Greensboro. He teaches privately at University of North Carolina School of the Arts Community Music School and has taught at numerous middle and high schools across North Carolina. It is his passion to share the gift of music, collaboration, and perseverance and to mentor students.
Johnny Conga has been performing for 55 years, as a world renowned “multi-percussionist-specialist”, in the Art of Afro-Cuban/Caribbean drumming and music. As a performer, he has been in 150 bands, done 17 international tours, and worked with over 100 major artists including Paquito D’Riviera, the Jackson Five, Willie Bobo, and Gloria Ganyor. As educator, Johnny is an ethnomusicologist, teaching a Latin jazz style percussion and drum curriculum for over 35 years. Johnny started playing the congas professionally at age 16 in New York, has traveled and performed all over the world, and now calls North Carolina his home for the past several years.
Middle and high school student musicians with at least one year on their instruments are encouraged to participate. Auditions will be held mid-September, at VAPA Center. Dates TBD.
Tuition & Fees
We are able to offer accepted student scholarships that cover the cost of participation, making this program free for all students.
This program is made possible through special grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina and Arts & Science Council.
Thanks to our friends sharing the news with their communities.
Take a look at some of these interviews and performances from Fall 2022 for a bit more description from JazzArts Charlotte CEO Lonnie Davis and instructors Julio Jeri and Johnny Conga.