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Latin Jazz Ensembles

Rhumba, mambo, cha-cha-cha, Afro Cuban 6/8 and more!

Ed Fast, Director

  • If you are interested in joining the Hartt Community Division’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, please contact us at (860) 768-4451 or harttcomm@hartford.edu. Or fill out our online interest form below!

Latin Jazz for Middle School and High School
Coaching begins October 2015

Designed for serious middle and high school percussionists, the Latin Jazz Percussion Ensemble gives its members the hands-on opportunity to develop understanding of the many Afro Cuban rhythms heard in Latin Jazz. Ensemble members will work with traditional instruments like conga, bongo, timbale, clave and guiro and learn about the evolution of the drum set and its role in the percussion section. In addition, students will explore concepts of Latin Jazz harmony, voicing, bass function, and improvisation through the study of music for mallet instruments. This ensemble rehearses weekly (24 sessions over the course of the year) and performs music written by masters of the genre, including Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, Eddie Palmieri and Hilton Ruiz.

This ensemble is for the serious Middle and High School percussion student seeking to explore Latin Jazz through the study and performance of classic Latin Jazz repertoire. Participants must have at least two years of playing experience.

Hartt's Latin Jazz program for middle and high school students has the following available sessions:

  • Tuesday, 4:30 to 5:30 pm at the Hartt School
  • Tuesday, 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Hartt School
  • Tuesday, 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Hartt School
  • Monday, 5:30-6:30 at Simsmore Square
  • Monday Handbook
  • Tuesday Handbook

Latin Jazz for Adults

This program is designed for adults who seek an outlet to study, rehearse, and perform classic jazz and latin jazz repertoire in a relaxed and friendly environment with likeminded friends and neighbors.

Repertoire will include pieces by Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Cal Tjader, and Tito Puente to name a few.

Charts will be tailored to group and individual ability, so adults of all levels will enjoy participating. 

Instrumentalisis of all kinds are encouraged to join including: 

  • All saxes, clarinet
  • Trumpet, Trombone
  • Bass, piano, guitar, and percussion


$330 per year
$330 per year for Communty Division private lesson students

A $25 registration fee may apply.


Ed FastSince 1995, Ed Fast has been involved in a variety of musical projects throughout CT, NY and around the world. Most recently, Ed was the drummer on the national tour of Chicago and he recently performed with Chita Rivera on the national tour of A Dancer's Life. In New York, he performed on Broadway as the drummer for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Radio City Music Hall and a sub for Chicago. Ed has also performed with Broadway touring shows in Moscow, China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. He was Music Director of the Hartford-based youth group, Latin Flavor at the Havana International Festival of Jazz (Cuba).

In the Hartford area, Ed has performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and at the Mohegan Sun Casino with such stars as Aretha Franklin, Charo, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Paul Anka and Martin Short. Ed has performed at the Bushnell with many national Broadway tours including Wicked, ShowBoat, Music Man and West Side Story. Ed is the leader and founder of Conga-Bop, a latin jazz ensemble.

Ed studied with Alexander Lepak and holds a BM and MM from the Hartt School of Music.

How to join this program

For more information, please contact us at (860) 768-4451 or harttcomm@hartford.edu.  Or complete the interest form below. 

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