Directors
Laura Pierce and Michael Kolodny

Laura Pierce 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.

 

 

Laura and 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.

 

Vocalist Laura 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.

Saxophonist Michael 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.