LONG BRANCH, NJ – When the 2010 edition of the annual Summer Jazz Fest hits the Jersey Shore for five weekends beginning July 9, the Monmouth County-based Jazz Arts Project will be presenting its usual eclectic array of featured artists — a roster that spans the generations from a veteran of the Dorsey Brothers bandstand, to a very recent graduate of Berklee College of Music.

Bridging the generations is a big part of the Project’s mission to expose audiences of all ages and backgrounds to “America’s Classical Music.” And, as an internationally recognized conductor, arranger and music scholar, artistic director Joe Muccioli has offered young musicians an opportunity to develop a real appreciation for jazz, through hands-on ensemble playing and the mentorship of some of the most sought-after figures on the contemporary jazz scene.

Muccioli, whose formidable résumé includes having led the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (and who works with dozens of budding Blue-Eyes each year during his popular Sinatra Birthday Bash concerts) will be organizing a series of four free Summer Jazz Masterclass Workshops, presented concurrent with the Jazz Café slate of events taking place at Two River Theater on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, NJ — birthplace of the iconic Count Basie and a destination town that’s hosted some of the biggest legends in jazz.

Scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on select Saturdays for the duration of the Jazz Café series, the workshop sessions are keynoted on Saturday, July 10 with a rare chance for young violinists to learn about jazz violin from a modern master, the rising star Aaron Weinstein. On the following Saturday, July 17, the workshop moves to the Salvation Army building at 210 Fifth Avenue in the regional music capital of Asbury Park, NJ, where a seminar on general ensemble playing will be augmented with a special 3:00 p.m. appearance by the Russian-born trumpet ace and music educator Valery Pomonarev.

The workshop series returns to the Two River Theater for the final two 4:30 p.m. installments; a session with the versatile vocalist Marlene Verplanck on July 24, and a lesson in polyrhythmic percussion featuring drummer, bandleader, and producer Cecil Brooks III on August 7.

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Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean in residency at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park
Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean at Langosta

There’s still time for musicians of all ages and levels to register for the events, by emailing [email protected] or calling (732)746-2244 — and attendees are encouraged to bring their instruments and perform for the guest artist, or just observe and learn in a relaxed, pressure-free setting.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...