Biography

Performance

Uman has performed with Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, Dave Stryker, George Mraz, Jerry Bergonzi, Chris Vidala, Jeff Galindo, Bobby Sanabria, Carlos Averhoff, Bobby Bradford, Jimmy Heath, Donald Byrd, Billy Pierce, Carl Grubbs, John Lockwood, Pete Yellin, Bob Gullotti, the Rod Levitt Orchestra, the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band (where he serves as musical director) and many others. His current working ensembles are the Convergence Project with cellist Eugene Friesen, trombonist Jeff Galindo, saxophonist Michael Zsoldos, bassist Stomu Takeishi and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. He is also a member of the world music ensemble As Yet Quintet, with percussionists Julian Gerstin and Todd Roach, clarinetist Anna Patton and violinist, Miamon Miller. He also plays with various jazz groups and a “Afro-Caribbean Free Jazz” project called Zabap.

A sample of Uman’s recordings include The Convergence Project, As Yet’s Strange But True, various projects with vocalists including Jill Connolly, Mark Anagnostopulos, Louise Taylor, Spencer Lewis and others. He can be found on recordings by Claire Arenius (When Worlds Touch You), Carlos Averhoff (unreleased), Estados Alterados, Derrik Jordan’s Braziliance and many others.

Composition

Uman has written over 120 jazz compositions that have been arranged for various musical ensembles ranging from big band to world music ensembles to rock. Three of Uman’s original compositions were recorded by Latin Jazz star Sammy Figueroa on his 2005 Grammy Nominated CD In Walked Sammy. Uman was commissioned by the Big Band of Medellín to create a composition entitled Blues para Urabá and by the Windham Symphony to create Prelude to Infinity. He is currently writing the music for a collaborative full-scale musical with Stephen Stearns that will be presented at the New England Youth Theater. Uman served as MacDowell Colony Fellow in composition in March of 2011.

Administration and Concert Production

Uman has been director of the Vermont Jazz Center since 1997. During his tenure of the 36 year-old 501c3 non-profit, the Vermont Jazz Center has grown into an esteemed concert venue where performances by internationally recognized jazz artists are complemented by community outreach and educational programs including a renowned summer jazz workshop that attracts students from around the world. He is a co-founder of the EAFIT Jazz Festival which evolved into the Festival Internacional Medellín de Jazz.

Uman has produced over 160 Concerts for the Vermont Jazz Center with such notable artists as Roy Haynes, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Oscar Stagnaro, Luciana Souza, Soul Live, Henry Grimes, Kenny Wheeler, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, Jimmy Heath, Myra Melford, Sonny Fortune, John Abercrombie, Lee Konitz, William Parker Quartet, Vic Juris, Marilyn Crispell, Billy Bang, Avishai Cohen, Sheila Jordan, Bobby Sanabria, Jerry Bergonzi, Raphe Malik, Valery Ponomarev, Peggy Stern, Ben Monder, Attila Zoller, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Billy Pierce, James Williams, Badal Roy, Dave Liebman, Luis Perdomo, Daphnis Prieto, Yosvany Terry, George Mraz, Jovino Santos Neto, Robert Glasper, Gary Smulyan, Gretchen Parlato and many others.

Education, Teaching and Community Service

Uman received his masters in Jazz Performance and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Queens College in New York where he received a Eubie Blake Scholarship. He also attended advanced workshops led by Eddie Palmieri, Dave Liebman, Ran Blake and others. Uman has taught in New York City at the Third Street Music Settlement and in Medellín, Colombia at El Colegio de Musica, Universidad de Antioquia and Universidad EAFIT. He designed the curriculum and initiated the Jazz Studies program at the Universidad EAFIT. He currently teaches at the Vermont Jazz Center and is adjunct professor of music at Amherst College and Marlboro College. He has taught for ten summers at the Governor’s Institute of the Arts and Jazz Vermont, and is director of the Vermont Jazz Center Summer Jazz Workshop. Uman has taught classes and workshops in Jazz Styles (History), Jazz Theory, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Composition, Music Appreciation, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz and Poetry and Jazz Piano.

Uman is active in his community and received a Community Person of the Month Award. He has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations, was a member of the Brattleboro Town Arts Committee for two years.

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