(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Pianist Armen Donelian and saxophonist Marc Mommaas will perform a duo concert to benefit the Hudson Jazzworks Scholarship Fund at Hudson Jazzworks Studio (338 Kipp Road, Hudson) on Sunday, April 21, 2013, at 3pm. Now in its seventh season, the world-class Hudson Jazz Workshop offers a supportive context where musicians may focus intensively on personal expression. Under the guidance of master faculty/artists Donelian and Mommaas, participants are attracted from around the block and around the world. For several days in August, they experience accelerated artistic growth with other like-minded musicians, free from commercial pressures and academic prerequisites.
Every year, Donelian (an alumnus of Sonny Rollins’ band and a 25-year faculty member at The New School Jazz Program) and Mommaas (a Dutch native and cum laude graduate of Manhattan School of Music) invite a distinguished special guest to present a master class during the Workshop, and perform together in concert at the Hudson Opera House.
On Sunday, August 11, 2013, NEA Jazz Master vocalist Sheila Jordan (a resident of Middleburgh, N.Y.) will join them. Sheila Jordan was born in Detroit, raised in Pennsylvania’s coal-mining country, moved to New York City, and studied with Lennie Tristano and has sung with the likes of Charlie Parker and George Russell. Past HJW guests have included other Jazz luminaries including saxophonist David Liebman, pianist Jim McNeely, guitarist Vic Juris and vibraphonist Joe Locke.
The US Congress declared jazz “A Rare and Valuable National American Treasure” in 1987. Yet, unfortunately, in the Hudson Valley and Berkshire regions it is an underserved art form. When Donelian and Mommaas started their jazz workshop in 2006, they hoped to change that. But they had no idea their workshop would last so long or its name extend so far. They just loved playing and teaching together and wanted to have fun sharing their passion for Jazz during the summer in Hudson, where Donelian moved in 2005 from New York City.
When it was clear that the Hudson Jazz Workshop was a success, Donelian, Mommaas and HJW’s third board member, Rose Caldwell incorporated Hudson Jazzworks, Inc. as a non-profit organization in 2009. Since 2011, the group has received consecutive annual grants from the Columbia County Council on the Arts and the Bank of Greene County Charitable Foundation.
Private gifts have also buoyed the HJW Scholarship Fund. HJW’s academic partners — the Manhattan School of Music (NYC), the Rhythmic Music Conservatory (Denmark) and the Conservatory of Amsterdam (Holland) — each send one of their most deserving students to the Workshop on a tuition scholarship made possible by the Fund. This helps to maintain a high artistic standard in the workshop.
Admission is by donation and tax-deductible. Due to limited seating, phone reservations are required. Call 518.822.1640 to reserve seats.