Originally published in Earshot Jazz February 2013
Thirty-seven years ago, Frank DeMiero originated a non-competitive vocal jazz festival with one goal – to give every participant an opportunity to be inspired, learn and take home helpful advice to advance their artistry. He wanted to provide that opportunity after attending some educational festivals centered on competition, and judging a few, alongside notable guest teachers and artists. “A lot of people didn’t get to take home a trophy,” he says. “What [all learners] need at those impressionable years is exemplary opportunities.”
“Every year we do more,” DeMiero says. To make sure no one will be turned away, the festival added two more facilities this year and expanded workshops for instrumentalists and directors who work with vocalists. During the day, ensembles perform and clinicians provide immediate feedback. Participants then attend clinics to hone their skills.