For instrumentalists and vocalists from 7th grade and up, including adults. In daily three-hour sessions (with breaks), we focus on the music of the great jazz pianist and composer Horace Silver, including tunes such as Song For My Father, Doodlin', and Senor Blues that have entered the repertoire of jazz standards. This camp is designed for instrumentalists and vocalists with approximately two or more years of musical experience who are interested in expanding their familiarity with jazz, as well as players with jazz experience who are interested in expanding their repertoire. Students registering for camp are encouraged to send a short recording of their playing to give us an idea of their musical skills and interests. There will also be an opportunity for students to share a short piece, selection of scales, or (for chord players) a chord progression on the first day of camp in a one-on-one setting. Neither of these are required, but they are ways in which we can learn about student skills in the interest of providing appropriate challenges. For all players, this camp offers a unique focus on small-ensemble interaction and vocal-instrumental collaboration. Depending on availability of space, we may alternate separate vocal and instrumental sessions with full-group sessions. Depending on how many vocalists register, we may combine small vocal ensemble work (duos, trios, etc.) with vocal solos.
Tom Cleary studied jazz performance at Hampshire College, where his teachers included Yusef Lateef and Archie Shepp, and music education and classical piano performance at the University of Vermont, where his teachers included Sylvia Parker and Elizabeth Metcalfe. As a pianist and keyboardist he has had extended collaborations with artists including Phish bassist Mike Gordon (with whom he did a number of tours between 2008 and 2014), James Harvey, Ray Vega, Patricia Julien, and Jamie Masefield. With vocalist Amber deLaurentis, he co-leads the quartet Birdcode, which released the album You Are Here in 2019; his work as an arranger and player can be heard on deLaurentis' solo albums Innocent Road and Hey Sadie, as well as Burmese Panther by guitarist/composer Paul Asbell. He has accompanied artists including Clark Terry, Lester Bowie, Fontella Bass, Ernie Watts, Judi Silvano, Joe Lovano, Joan Rivers, and Steve Earle. As a composer, his work has been commissioned and recorded by groups including Social Band and Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. In 2017 he collaborated with director/playwright Peter Harrigan on the musical Mill Girls, which was revived in 2022 by the Saint Michael's College fine arts program in an online production available on YouTube. He teaches in the jazz studies program of the UVM Music Department, the Flynn jazz program, and his home studio. More info on teaching topics and approaches can be found on his blog on the UVM website, Birdfeed.
Amber oversees the vocal jazz program at University of Vermont, where she teaches voice and co-directs the UVM Jazz Vocal Ensemble with husband Tom Cleary. Amber also maintains a private studio of voice and piano students. Amber regularly performs alongside Tom Cleary as a member of jazz quartet Birdcode, which recently released its first recording, You Are Here. As a songwriter, Amber released her second full-length record, Innocent Road, in 2019, and is currently working on her next release. She has performed with jazz artists including pianist Marcus Roberts and Judi Silvano. Amber has previously performed with Ben Folds, opened for Patti Larkin, Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, NRBQ, Tom Paxton, Marshall Crenshaw, Five for Fighting, Alana Davis, and Entrain. In 2002, among a field of 1,200 entrants, Amber’s band won the northeast finals of Discmakers’ Independent Music World Series.