Laura Pierce and Michael Kolodny
and Michael Kolodny co-direct Jazz Insight. Married since 1990, and performing
together for fifteen years, Laura and Mike are uniquely qualified to lead
this work. They each have over twenty-five years of teaching and performing
experience, having taught student musicians in ensembles, private lessons,
master classes and workshops. They've also taught non-musicians the art
of listening at interactive concerts, in the classroom - even in jazz clubs.
Mike live the "Jazz Life," but not in the conventional sense.
True improvisors, they are continually exploring new paths, taking chances,
being spontaneous, expressing their vision, being inventive, and having
fun along the way! From their move out of the cities into rural New Hampshire,
Laura and Mike have built a life based on jazz values and the jazz approach.
They built a small cabin with hand tools, and lived in it for a while. Each
year they grow a vegetable garden. They've gotten into a health-conscious
lifestyle of yoga, meditation and natural foods. Their most swingin' adventure,
though, has been building this initiative called Jazz Insight. Laura and
Mike feel that helping people tune in to the music is their spiritual calling.
All of the choices in their lives have come about, like jazz, from combining
intuition with logic, feeling with action, spontanaety with planning and,
most of all, being true to their creative vision.
Pierce is co-director of Jazz Insight. Laura has been singing jazz professionally
for over twenty-five years. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree
from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam
in 1980. Laura studied jazz voice with Maggi Scott at the Berklee College
of Music. She also studied jazz improvisation with Harvey Diamond, a former
student of Lennie Tristano. In Boston, Laura has appeared at many of the
top hotels such as the Copley Plaza, Park Plaza and Meridian, and in leading
jazz clubs including the Regattabar and Ryles. She has performed with the
Dave McKenna All-Stars and the Winiker Swing Orchestra. Laura has appeared
on Boston's WGBH radio shows Eric in the Evening with host Eric Jackson
and Music America with host Ron Della Chiesa, as well as on NH Public Radio.
Laura has taught piano lessons for twenty-five years. For the past ten years,
she has taught Kindermusik, the internationally acclaimed music and movement
program for young children.
Kolodny is co-director of Jazz Insight. Michael has performed in some of
the world's leading jazz venues, including the Blue Note and Carnegie Hall
in New York City. He has performed with Cecil Brooks III, Joe Hunt, Harvie
S (Swartz) and other jazz masters. A New York City native, Michael studied
in NY at the Aaron Copland School of Music and with tenor saxophonist Warne
Marsh. Michael has taught jazz for over twenty-five years, including private
students, middle and high school jazz band, master classes and workshops.
He has taught the art of listening through agencies such as the Brooklyn
Arts and Culture Association, Mountain Arts Program and Hospital Audiences.
Michael appeared on a WMUR TV News Profile in 2001.