2006-2007 News

Jam Session

Note our upcoming jam session on Sunday, April 22 at 9:30pm. This is an annual session to welcome the new accepted students. We typically meet several incoming students who will invigorate our program. The session is open, naturally, to our existing students as well....so all are welcome! Exquisite food will be available. Join us!

More Jazz!

With the end of the semester rapidly approaching, we look to the calendar to keep track of the various jazz performances coming up. We hope you can attend any and all of these! Here is a breakdown:

April 19 Jazz @ Schwemm's Featuring Black Coffee and Birthtones (9:30pm)

April 20 Black Coffee performs at Big Y (5:15pm)

April 21 ACJE performs at Williams College Jazz Festival (10:00am)

April 22 Jam Session to welcome accepted students (9:30pm)

April 27 Birthtones Combo to perform at Amherst Senior Center (2:00pm)

May 4 Clinic/Lecture with Santiago Cerda in Buckley (2:00pm)

May 6 Combo concert featuring Supreme Court and Birthtones (3:30pm)

May 6 ACJE Open Dress Rehearsal in Buckley (8:00pm)

May 7 ACJE Concert featuring new composition by Santiago Cerda, in Buckley (8:00pm)

May 9 Combo Concert featuring Black Coffee, the Pentagons, and Music 36 (7:30pm)

May 11 Combo Concert featuring Unshaded and the Nomads (7:30pm)

Upcoming Thesis Concerts!

The month of April will usher in two more jazz-based thesis concerts. Roberto Rodriguez will present his Thesis Recital on Saturday, April 7 at 8:00pm. This will feature the Amherst College Jazz Ensemble and Unshaded. Alex Rodriguez (no relation) will present his Thesis Recital on Saturday, April 14 at 3:00pm. He will feature music performed by the Jazz Ensemble with special guest, Jeff Holmes on Trumpet, as well as small group numbers backed by the Blue Nomads and the Funk Department. A special nod should go to Jazz Ensemble vocalist Amrita Vijayaraghavan who will present her Senior Thesis concert on Sunday, April 8. Stay tuned for more details on all of these concerts!

Coltrane Lecture

Dr. Lewis Porter will present a free lecture on the life and music of John Coltrane. This will take place in room 212 of our Music Building at 3:30pm on Thursday, March 15. Dr. Porter has written a biography on Coltrane (1998) and plays jazz piano. He is the founder of the Master's Program in jazz studies at Rutgers University.


Jazz returns to Schwemm's Coffee House for a four performance series, the third of which takes place on 3/15 at 9:30pm. Featured will be two student combos, Unshaded and Supreme Court. Please do check them out and support live music.

Pics Available!

You can find a few pics from our several of our Fall Jazz concerts by clickinghere. Enjoy! You may need to scroll down qquite a way to find the actual pics.


Jazz returns to Schwemm's Coffee House for a four performance series, the second of which takes place on 3/8 at 9:30pm. Featured will be EJQ-featuring our own Prof. Poccia on reeds and guest artist Rob Faulkner on trumpet. These concerts are free and open to the public. Please do check out EJQ and support live music.

Thesis Performance!

Join us on Friday, March 2 at 8:00pm in Buckley Recital Hall for Pat Savage's Thesis Composition Recital. Pat wrote a four-movement piece depicting the daily life and agendas of Calvin and Hobbs. Pat worked hard to bring together several performing forces from within the department, including the Jazz Ensemble, the Funk Department, and two acapella groups. It's a free concert and bound to be a blast!

Wes Montgomery Tribute Concert

Amherst Adjunct Faculty Guitar teacher Joe Belmont will present the music of Wes Montgomery in concert on Sunday, February 11. This will be the kick-off jazz event of our semester. Featured with Joe will be other Amherst Adjuncts Claire Arenius (drums) and Paul Arslanian (piano). Bassist Dave Shapiro and saxophonist Bruce Diehl will round out the group. The concert is free and open to the public and takes place in Buckley Recital Hall at 7:00pm.

Guitar Summit

February 17 will launch one of the most exciting concerts of our musical year. We will host a concert at 8:00pm in Buckley Recital Hall featuring 6 guitarists from the Pioneer Valley. These include Mark Applegate, Joe Belmont (our inhouse guitar teacher), Freddie Bryant '87, Bob Ferrier, Joe LaCreta, and Adam Larrabee (a resident of Boston, but a frequent musical guest at AC). Genevieve Rose (our resident bass teacher) and Scott Drewes (drums in Air Force Band) will be the accompanists. Each of our guitar guests will perform with one of our 6 jazz combos, and then perform solos/duos/trios, and they'll even have one number with all 6 having a good old-fashioned battle! The event is a benefit for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Admission is charged, but free for students making a canned food donation. Adults pay $5, or $3 with a canned food donation. Please be in touch with Bruce Diehl with any questions: (413) 542-8308.

Happy 2007!

We take this chance to wish all a happy 2007! We have a busy Spring semester planned, including a Wes Montgomery Tribute Concert, a Guitar Summit, three thesis concerts as well as our usual array of jazz performances. Jazz @ Schwemm's will also present many Thursday evening concerts. Many of our students will perform as part of the annual January-term musical, City of Angels. Please check our listings of performances to stay on top of our offerings. Should be a great semester!

End of Semester!

Congrats to our students for a successful concert run. We served up six jazz concerts plus a live on-air WAMH Funk display in the span of 10 days! Congrats to the students for their music, their mutual support, and their collective energy to pull off this demanding schedule! We wish you all a great run through finals, and safe/happy holiday experiences!

End of Semester Concerts!

The Jazz Ensemble begins the intense 10-day series of jazz concerts marking the end of a successful semester. Join the Jazz Ensemble in Buckley on Friday, December 1 at 8:00pm for great music of Count Basie, Santiago Cerda, Woody Herman and others. There are four combo concerts, all in the Friedmann Room of the Keefe Campus Center, featuring on Dec. 4 (Pentagons/The Bagelry), Dec. 6 (Black Coffee/The Supreme Court), Dec. 8 (Unshaded), and Dec. 10 (The Blue Nomads) Concerts on Dec. 4, 6, and 8 will begin at 7:30. The concert on Dec. 10 will have a time TBA. Combined with our two final Jazz@Schwemm's concerts (see below), our nights will be full of some great music! Enjoy!

Jazz@Schwemm's-Remaining Concerts

Jazz returns to the Backroom at Schwemm's Coffee House on Thursdays (from 9:30-11:00pm) this semester. Tonight, AC student combo "The Supreme Court" will perform. Performers in this group include David Ullman, YP Zheng, Harry Milloff, Ian David, Channing Jones, and Sam Schiavone. On Nov. 30, EJQ will return for their final performance of the semester. Thanks to them for all their great music. THey will feature special gusest Ann Maggs, our jazz voice teacher at AC. On Dec. 7, Bruce Diehl will form a quintet to play some tunes he's always wanted to perform as well as some holiday-inspired jazz. Please make every effort to attend this event and support live jazz on campus!

Wes Montgomery Tribute Concert

Amherst jazz guitar adjunct faculty member Joe Belmont will perform a Wes Montgomery Tribute Concert at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 7pm. Joining Joe will be Amherst jazz piano and jazz drum adjunct faculty, Paul Arslanian and Claire Arenius, as well as Director of Jazz Studies, Bruce Diehl. Bassist Dave Shapiro rounds out the group. For more information, please see Joe's website

Website Passes 100,000!!

Sometime in the past month, our website had its 100,000th hit. The website was designed in 2001 by Adam Mullinax '02, and has averaged 20,000 hits each year. We're proud to have made this milestone, and hope that all of the hits provided the pertinent information being sought. Keep on visiting us for up-to-the-minute information on our scene.

Jazz 'Round Midnight

The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble will perform several jazz gems in their first ever concert taking place "Round Midnight". Literally starting at 11:30pm, this concert will follow a concert by the Orchestra (8:30pm) and is free. Amherst Jazz musicians will be involved in several other events throughout the Homecoming weekend, including a Jazz Jam Session at 10:00pm on Saturday, Nov. 11, and all 6 combos as well as the Jazz Ensemble will perform as part of Saturday's post-game reception in the Alumni Cage. Please join us!

Chile Excursion

The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble recently returned from a 4 performance concert tour of the central region of Chile. The hospitality was amazing and the audiences were appreciative as the group performed in Casablanca, Valparaiso, Limache, and Vina del Mar. Many thanks to the student participants, including many from the class of 2006 (and even one from 2003!). Thanks also to our festival host Ezio Passadore at the Pontifica Universidad Catolica De Valparaiso, and our support network here at AC-including David Schneider and Michael Kiefer. Pics will be posted soon.

Jazz at Schwemm's

Jazz returns to the Backroom at Schwemm's Coffee House on Thursdays this semester. Opening the performance series will be the EJQ (Eclectic Jazz Quartet). This group features professors from local colleges including our own Prof. Poccia. The quartet will begin playing at 9:30 and finish at 11:00. Please make every effort to attend this event and support live jazz on campus!

Happenin' Jazz!

Jazz students filled up the audition sheets as orientation roared past us on the calendar! We're primed to have 6 combos and our internationally-acclaimed jazz ensemble. Many thanks go to both our current and new students for the great energy and desire they have shown. This will be a great year!