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The Kids Are Alright

A Summer Camp Inspires Many to Find Their Own Beat



Saxophone player Mike Casey, who attended the Litchfield Jazz Camp as a teen, currently has songs featured on Spotify.

Photo by Airen Miller Photography

In 1981, Vita Muir founded Litchfield Performing Arts. Today the organization is not only a fixture in the international jazz scene but has been producing promising young jazz musicians since 1997. 

Litchfield Jazz Festival is known for bringing jazz legends like Ray Charles and Dave Brubeck to Litchfield County. The festival also features up and coming young musicians including Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Michael Mayo Quintet. 

In 1997 Litchfield Performing Arts added to its repertoire a camp aimed at youth with serious interest in jazz. Every summer the camp draws between 350 and 400 jazz students. This year camp will be held at The Gunnery school in Washington.

The camp combines education with experience. One of the keynote events for campers is attendance at the two day Litchfield Jazz Festival where they listen to jazz greats and have the opportunity to perform on the secondary stage in front of festival crowds. Many campers come full circle, eventually appearing on the mainstage as their careers progress. 

Three camp alumni making waves in the jazz scene today are saxophone player Mike Casey, bassist Matt Dwonszyk, who also teaches at the summer camp, and drummer Corey Garcia. Together they are the Mike Casey Trio and they are changing the game when it comes to record production for young jazz musicians. 

Eschewing the traditional path of finding a record label to represent them, Mike Casey self-produced and promoted their latest album, something practically unheard of in the young jazz scene. The plan worked, earning them hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify. Their rendition of Norwegian Wood currently streams on the “State of Jazz” playlist and is their third song to be featured on Spotify. 

Their next album, Stay Surprising: Live at The Side Door is due out this spring to be followed by a tour. They will be in Litchfield April 28 at Tavern off The Green for an album release show. (For tickets click here)

Mike Casey is the first to admit that jazz can be a difficult genre for both audience and performers alike.

“Jazz has become this eat your vegetables kind of music in a way, and yes it is incredibly deep music, complex at times,” he says, “but it is there for enjoyment just like any other music.” 

Finding balance between music appreciation and simple enjoyment is key when it comes to educating young music students in order to avoid frustration and dispel stigma. 

“Litchfield Jazz Camp does a great job balancing those two things,” says Casey. “I’m a teaching artist as well, and when you’re teaching jazz it is so complex that students can get easily discouraged. The Festival and camp take a balanced approach to presenting the music, giving equal value to both sides.”

It is in part this balanced approach that makes Litchfield Jazz Camp unique in the world of music education programs. Muir and her team assemble the best of the best to instruct campers. Student testimonials describe the educational experience of a lifetime, a place where many learn more in a single summer than they have in every hour of music instruction they’ve had up to that moment. 

In as much as Litchfield Jazz Festival is a fixture in the jazz scene, Vita Muir’s commitment to the art is helping shape the next generation of jazz musicians right here in our own backyard. The 2018 Litchfield Jazz Festival is slated for July 28 to 29 at the Goshen Fair Grounds.

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August 2018

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Meet the CT Clay Artists at a wine and cheese reception, Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 5-8PM.  This unique gallery exhibition includes a display of diverse ceramic art, as well as other...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
Telephone: 860-355-6009
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 Little Free Library at StoneHill, an official partner with the global sensation nonprofit that has registered more than 75,000 lending books boxes, is offering a week-long summer camp called...

Cost: $200

Where:
Community Center
23 South Street
Just off the Litchfield Green
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Little Free Library at StoneHill
Telephone: 203-770-4156
Contact Name: Rose Buckens
Website »

More information

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

In 1837, eighteen year old Victoria ascended the British throne, untrained and innocent. Those who would try to usurp her power underestimated this self-willed intelligent young woman whose...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06579
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is soaking up the last of summer with a week of FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at the Tapping Reeve Meadow. Starting...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is soaking up the last of summer with a week of FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at the Tapping Reeve Meadow. Starting...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KentPresents 2018 ideas festival, August 16-18. Meet and mingle with diplomats, artists, scientists, authors...leaders in every field. Experience it all in the intimate and bucolic...

Cost: $2,500

Where:
Kent School
1 Macedonia Road
Kent, CT   06757
View map »


Website »

More information

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Steep Rock’s Association’s Judea Garden presents, as part of a series of events celebrating the Garden’s 10th season of growing and giving, Summer Garden Abundance:  What to...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Telephone: 186-086-87586
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Meet the CT Clay Artists at a wine and cheese reception, Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 5-8PM.  This unique gallery exhibition includes a display of diverse ceramic art, as well as other...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
Telephone: 860-355-6009
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is soaking up the last of summer with a week of FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at the Tapping Reeve Meadow. Starting...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KentPresents 2018 ideas festival, August 16-18. Meet and mingle with diplomats, artists, scientists, authors...leaders in every field. Experience it all in the intimate and bucolic...

Cost: $2,500

Where:
Kent School
1 Macedonia Road
Kent, CT   06757
View map »


Website »

More information

The United States is a melting pot of various cuisines from Around the World. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample and enjoy foods from around the world by visiting area...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Light hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary glass of wine will be served. Music will be provided by Western Lands Trio. Please mark your calendar to come enjoy a social evening and support land...

Cost: $45

Where:
Sunset Meadow Vineyards
599 Old Middle St
Goshen, CT
View map »


Telephone: (860) 201-4654
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

The internationally renowned Slam Allen is a messenger of love. This dynamic entertainer uses the genres of Blues, Soul, R&B, and a touch of Rock and Roll to deliver powerful soul stirring...

Cost: $30

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Are you just dying to get some dirt under your fingernails this season? Come to Back 40 Farm for Friday Field Days and help us out with weeding, transplanting, hoeing, harvesting, and more! Who:...

Where:
Back 40 Farm
Washington Depot, CT


Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Meet the CT Clay Artists at a wine and cheese reception, Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 5-8PM.  This unique gallery exhibition includes a display of diverse ceramic art, as well as other...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
Telephone: 860-355-6009
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is soaking up the last of summer with a week of FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at the Tapping Reeve Meadow. Starting...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KentPresents 2018 ideas festival, August 16-18. Meet and mingle with diplomats, artists, scientists, authors...leaders in every field. Experience it all in the intimate and bucolic...

Cost: $2,500

Where:
Kent School
1 Macedonia Road
Kent, CT   06757
View map »


Website »

More information

Join the Litchfield Historical Society for Saturday morning walking tours exploring new themes and areas of the town. Walking tours last about an hour, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a...

Cost: Free for members; $5 for non-members

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

Saturday, August 18 •  4:00PM •  Music Shed With a first-rate choir and ensemble, coupled with Simon Carrington’s remarkable programming, this concert has always...

Cost: Tickets: $60 – $20, $10 (Young Adults 18-25), and Kids under 18 Free!

Where:
Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate, 20 Litchfield Road
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Telephone: 860-542-3000
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: August 11, 4-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. MAQUETTE: The Art of the Model is an exhibition of maquettes or models by many of the sculptors currently...

Where:
Washington Art Association
Gallery 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Washington Photographer Philip Dutton’s dramatic photos document The Chief Bigfoot Memorial Ride of 1990, a momentous event that helped commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Massacre at...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 186-086-87586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Farm-Fresh Market was created in 2007 with 15 local vendors, and has grown over the years to become a staple of the Litchfield Hills community throughout all seasons. We were so proud to be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Center School Parking Lot
Woodruff Lane
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-3871
Website »

More information

Meet the CT Clay Artists at a wine and cheese reception, Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 5-8PM.  This unique gallery exhibition includes a display of diverse ceramic art, as well as other...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
Telephone: 860-355-6009
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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