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  • Pamela Froman

Vibe Summit XXVI

Jazz is an extremely vibrant style of music with its different styles and beautiful musicality. The Los Angeles Jazz Society, founded in 1983, works to elevate the image of jazz and its artists in the community. Their mission is to excite, educate and engage with the vibrant rhythms and sounds of the only indigenous American music – jazz.


Los Angeles Jazz Society is putting on their unique annual concert – Vibe Summit XXVI. Now in its 26th year, Vibe Summit XXVI celebrates the vibraphone, a musical instrument in the percussion family, and it's influence on jazz. Vibe Summit XXVI is a conglomeration of some of music's greatest vibe players in an afternoon of entertainment to benefit the educational programs of the Los Angeles Jazz Society.


"There are so many different types of jazz. You've got cool jazz, contemporary jazz, Avante Garde, and big band, among others," says Scherr Lillico, coordinator of Vibe Summit XXVI. "You really have a wide variety of music that can be called jazz and jazz has such a long history – it goes back to the early 1900’s."


Vibe Summit XXVI showcases performances by a host of leading jazz vibraphone artists who will celebrate this year's honoree – Patrick Burke of San Diego. Artists performing include Burke, Larry Keller, Kahil Sabbaugh, Bob Leatherbarrow, Dave Olds, Eldad Tarmu, and more! They will be backed up by a rhythm section including Tateng Katindig on piano, Richard Simon on bass, and Paul Kreibich on drums.


"It's an opportunity for vibe players to all get together and share stories, share music and share ideas," says Scherr.


Jazz is known for its improvisation and stunning arrangements. "For example, within the Thelonious Monk style, one song might last for 15-20 minutes. Then you'll have a singer like Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tierney Sutton or Monica Mancini who will perform a song written with a specific jazz arrangement," says Scherr. "That song may have started as a jazz piece, or maybe it was a standard given a new jazz arrangement making it sound completely different."

Proceeds from Vibe Summit XXVI benefit Los Angeles Jazz Society's educational efforts to keep jazz alive such as their Jazz in Schools program reaching into LAUSD schools and the Bill Green Mentorship Program. Jazz in Schools brings jazz combos into 30 to 40 schools each year. They teach the history of jazz, explain the instrumentation, and jazz is all about.


"As so many of the music and arts programs have been cut from the schools, we fill a small void and give children an opportunity to learn about jazz. By reaching them at a young age, they learn about jazz and all types of music, and many may enter that field," says Scherr. "We're opening their ears and their senses to music beyond what they may hear on the radio."


The Bill Green Mentorship Program takes place every January where the Society auditions young adults from middle or high schools. 20 to 25 of those students are chosen to receive a 10-week mentorship in their chosen instrument. They also participate in a recording session and are able to perform at a brunch at Catalina Bar and Grill which celebrates their achievements.


Another project, the New Note Commission, allows a young jazz composer to create a new piece that is performed at the Angel City Jazz Festival.


In additional to other events and programs, they also sponsor the Santa Barbara Jazz Camp – an intensive four-day program for students of all ages, mostly adult jazz musicians.

Vibe Summit XXVI will be held Sunday, June 23rd from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Elk's Lodge, 20925 Osborne St., Canoga Park. Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 for Jazz Society members, or join the Los Angeles Jazz Society onsite for $35 and gain admission for $10.


Membership in the Jazz Society supports their youth educational programs, also offers members discounts at various jazz clubs and L.A. Jazz Society events including the Annual Jazz Tribute Awards & Concert – this year on October 5thhonoring Lee Ritenour, Jane Monheit and others. (Society Membership levels vary from $25 to $150.)

For more information on Vibe Summit XXVI and the Los Angeles Jazz Society call (818) 994-JAZZ or log onto www.lajazz.org

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