Vermont Jazz Center Presents: Val Jeanty & the Berklee Institute of Jazz & Gender Justice

Who: Emerging Artist Festival

What: In-person concert and live stream event

Artists: Val Jeanty (Val-Inc) and 11 members of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice as well as Brattleboro Union High School (Steve Rice, director), Amherst College (Bruce Diehl, director), University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Jeff Holmes, director) and Northfield Mount Hermon School (Ron Smith, director).

When: Saturday, November 13th, 2021:

School performances from 1:00 to 6:00 PM

Masterclass at 4:15

Headliner concert at 8:00 PM

Where: In person at VJC, online event at and

In Person Show Cost – Afternoon events, $20. In person evening concert: $20 to $40 sliding scale; free for students and members of the LGBTQ community.

Tickets for In-person Show Available:  online at, by email at

Live Stream Cost: Free and open to the public, donations accepted

Accessibility Questions: Email


VJC Presents its 4th Annual Emerging Artist Festival featuring Val Jeanty and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice in Clinics and Performance on November 13th, 2021

The Vermont Jazz Center will present its fourth annual Emerging Artist Festival on Saturday, November 13th. The event promotes new ideas and individuals affecting the future of jazz, a music that encourages creativity and lauds game-changing artists. This year the Jazz Center will partner with the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and will feature one of their instructors, Haitian turntablist Val Jeanty (Val-Inc).

Performances will begin at 1:00 PM on Saturday: student groups from around the region will be coached by members of the institute throughout the day and will attend a 4:15 masterclass. The Festival will culminate in an 8:00 PM performance by Jeanty and members of the Institute.

The entire event is open to vaccinated individuals (please bring proof and ID) and is free to students and members of the LGBTQ community. Tickets for the 8:00 PM concert cost $20. Outright Vermont will be tabling throughout the afternoon events.

In Wikipedia, headliner Val Jeanty is identified as an “Afrofuturist” who incorporates “Haitian Vodou rhythms with electronic rhythms.” She will be performing with 11 musicians from around the world who represent the mission of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. Founded and directed by NEA Jazz Master, Terri Lyne Carrington, the Institute welcomes “students of all gender and sexual identities to achieve the goal of true gender diversity in the field [of jazz].” Its goal is to create “more equitable conditions for all pursuing careers in jazz in an effort to work toward a necessary and lasting cultural shift in the field” through “corrective work [that modifies] the way jazz is perceived and presented, so the future of jazz looks different than its past without rendering invisible many of the art form’s creative contributors.”

Key to the Emerging Artist Festival is its educational component. Six youth jazz ensembles from four regional schools will be performing short sets during the day and will be coached by members of the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. These aspiring jazz musicians will receive useful feedback that will inspire them to dig deeper into their studies, gain appreciation for the lineage of the music, and expose them to new, creative ideas. The schools represented are Brattleboro Union High School (Steve Rice, director), Amherst College (Bruce Diehl, director), University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Jeff Holmes, director) and Northfield Mount Hermon School (Ron Smith, director). At 4:15 the students will participate in a workshop with Jeanty and members of the Berklee Institute. The public is invited to all portions of the day.

In an insightful interview found on Roulette Concert Archives, Jeanty discusses her concept of working with electronics, using the Korg Wavedrum, Akai MPC sampler, effects pedals and turntables as a medium to represent the “organic” spirit of her drum-inspired culture. Jeanty’s grandmother was a Mambo, a priestess of the vodou tradition who performed healing work and guided others using complex rituals. Jeanty grew up in a vodou family, surrounded by drumming and ritual. At the age of four, the tambou (conga-like) drums “moved” her and called for her to play them. As a teenager Jeanty saw a DJ with a turntable deck; she was inspired by the sounds he created and the motion he created as he alternated between turntables, moving from left to right as if they were conga drums. She also was excited about the possibility of working with more than two drums at a time: using samples and drum machines she could create soundscapes with twenty drums. Her culture/spiritual path leads Jeanty to approach her music as prayer, she says: “I feel that everything I do is always a prayer – it evokes a natural state of being that can be accessed directly through sound.” She explained that when she’s creating music, “It’s not just me, it’s what the spirit wanted to express. We’re not writing the song, we’re just the vessel, watching the song become, lucky enough to participate in the process.”

Val Jeanty works with a diverse range of artists, such as Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh, Kris Davis, Jamie Branch, Matt Shipp, Ravish Momin and Terri Lyne Carrington as a turntablist, Tracie D. Morris as a percussionist, and Anthony Braxton as a recording engineer. Her performances have been showcased in New York City at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and internationally at SaalFelden Music Festival in Austria, Switzerland, Jazz à la Villette in France and the Biennale Museum in Italy.

Joining Val Jeanty as educators and performers will be the following graduate students from the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice: Angela Varo Moreno (violin), Milena Casado (flugel horn), Katie Webster, Jonathan Reisin (saxophones), Hidemi Akaiwa, Camila Cortina (piano), Nadav Lavie, Gerson Lazo Quiroga, Devon Gates (bass), Francesca Remigi, Lily Finnegan (drums).

Over the years, the Jazz Center has presented performances featuring emerging artists, all of whom have gone on to distinguished careers. Some of these musicians are Lakecia Benjamin, Pasquale Grasso, Samara Joy, Arcoiris Sandoval, Roxy Coss, Godwin Louis, King Clave (Amaury Acosta), Julius Rodriguez, Caili O’Doherty, Caroline Davis, Melissa Aldana, Integriti Reeves, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Carolina Calvache, Marquis Hill, Jaleel Shaw, Mimi Jones, Jazzmeia Horn, Jonathan Barber, Harold López-Nussa and numerous others. In 2018 the Jazz Center organized the presentation of emerging artists to include masterclasses and performances by regional youth jazz bands. Participants of prior-years’ festivals include Keene State College, The Putney School, the VJC Youth Jazz Ensemble, Cate Byrne Quartet, Zack Bartolomei, Jeremy Turgeon, the Zumbyes from Amherst College, Rei Kimura, Archer Parks, Planet Kniffen, Khalif and Talyn Neville, Montpelier High School, the UVM Postbop Ensemble, and the VJC Young Lions.

The Vermont Jazz Center is excited to present a festival that illustrates the great potential of our music moving forward. The only way that this is possible is through community support. This festival is presented in honor of the memory of Jonathan Flaccus, a man who cared deeply about the arts. During his rich life, Flaccus intentionally supported the Jazz Center, promoting causes he strongly believed in, especially youth participation. This concert is sponsored by Flaccus’s wife, Marcy Hermansader. Concert publicity is underwritten by The Commons and The Brattleboro Reformer. The VJC is also grateful to the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Humanities Council, the New England Foundation of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts for their support and increased efforts to stabilize the existence of arts organizations, especially during the pandemic.

Admission to the in-person day time events is $20, and the evening in-person concert is offered on a sliding fee scale from $20 to $40 per person and will be capped at 120 attendees. All portions of this event are free for students and members of the LGBTQ community. The online streaming of this concert will be offered free of charge but donations are welcomed and just a click away.  Please give generously and support live music. Access to the on-line event can be found online at and at



Val Jeanty Promo video:

Live Val Jeanty solo show:

Roulette Interview with Val Jeanty including recordings:

The Berklee Institute of Jazz & Gender Justice YouTube: “Berklee Together”

Spotify Playlist of Val Jeanty’s Music

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