Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Attila Zoller and The Vermont Jazz Center
One of the main venues for jazz in Vermont is located in Brattleboro, not in Burlington. It was the vision and hard work of the Hungarian-born guitarist Attila Zollar who founded the Vermont Jazz Center in 1974, a space for creativity with classes in addition to vigorous and imaginative live performances from world class jazz artists.
Attila Zoller was trained classically by his father, a professional violinist. He escaped Hungary in 1948 just before the permanent Soviet blockade of the country, hiking across the mountains to Austria, carrying just his guitar and a few articles of clothing.
Encouraged by visiting American jazz musicians (especially Oscar Pettiford and Lee Konitz) Attila moved to the U.S. after winning a scholarship to study at the Lenox School Of Jazz. He studied with Jim Hall, roomed with Ornette Coleman an ended up playing in groups led by Chico Hamilton and then Herbie Mann.
He was one of the few to play across several styles, from swing to bop to free jazz.
Each year the Vermont Jazz Center offers a concert that serves to remember and honor it's founder, Attila Zoller. This year’s concert is this Saturday April 16th and features a trio led by guitarist John Abercrombie, a long-time friend of Attila Zollar, with Gary Versace on organ and Adam Nussbaum on drums.