Brazilian Jazz Harp Immersion 

@ Uaná Etê, Brazil 

upcoming edition: July 19-29, 2018 

first editin: July 5-15, 2016 



Contact us: 




Our dear hosts 


Mountain harping (Sabine after awakening the improv senses with the PIM students - Project for Integration through Music) 


PIM students playing harp history game 


Felice teaching Kurt to play the harp! 


Sunrise walk #1 


Percussion class 


Kurt's Corner halfway the hill 


Our youngest participant 


Ricardo teaching basslines & more.. 


Kurt's Gramophone Sunny Sunday Session 



"A huge Muito Obrigada to Brenda, Sabine, Kurt, Cristina and Ricardo for all their hard work to make last summer's jazz immersion  

a reality. We were at Cristina and Ricardo's beautiful retreat center in the country outside Rio. The people were all so friendly, the food incredible, and the vibe one of sharing and an intense love for music of many genres-jazz, blues, and of course, Brazilian music styles.  

We began early and worked all day and sometimes into the night! So much music and instruction jam packed into the ten day course! The performances were amazing and the special guests that Cris and Ricardo invited were very inspiring. We enjoyed every minute spent in Brazil and the students learned so much and we all had an incredible experience of friendship and music!" 

- Felice Pomeran

Brazilian Jazz Harp Immersion 



The 2nd edition of the BJHI will take place on 19-29 July, 2018


Sign up now to join us at the beautiful Uaná Etê Music Garden for a life-changing jazz harp experience! 


The faculty for this edition includes, Park Stickney, Deborah Henson-Conant, Cristina Braga, Ricardo Medeiros, Kurt Schwab and others. 


View the full info flyer here



Imagine a beautiful retreat in the Paraíba River Valley, rolling green hills and a temperate climate, in the Atlantic forest, only two bus hours from Rio de Janeiro…  

You are at Uaná Etê Music Garden


In this magical place, harpists from all continents will get together and immerse themselves in the world of jazz, with a special focus on Brazilian Latin Jazz.  


Guided by an eclectic faculty of local specialists and international jazz educators, you can explore the basics (and secrets...) of jazz, and really get into Bossa Nova and Samba in the very place where its root rhythms originated over 200 years ago. 


Jazz tradition & freedom of expression 

Chunky theory & the art of improvisation 

Atlantic forest atmosphere & Brazilian cultural heritage 

Campfires & good company 


View the 2018 brochure here! 

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Below is some info about the 2016 edition. This should give you a pretty good picture of what 2018 will look like until more particulars will be published about that. 

Also, we will be adding some video here as well, so check back for even more inspiration (or nostalgia;). 



The faculty line-up included renowned Brazilian harpist & singer  

Cristina Braga (host), eminent jazz harpist Carol Robbins, Berklee College  

of Music harp teacher Felice Pomeranz, Latin jazz expert and bass player Ricardo Medeiros, and the Jazz Harp Foundation’s education crew, with saxophone player & jazz education expert Kurt Schwab, and harpists and JHF founding board members Brenda Dor-Groot and Sabine Meijers. 



Sunrise walks: Every morning after breakfast, we awaken the senses with a one hour Atlantic-Rainforest-inspired outdoors session, often involving walking combined with another physical focus (rhythm, voice, etc.). 

Theory: freshly fueled up with oxygen we proceed with theory classes; There are 'brain gymnastics' type classes, also covering 'the stuff you just got to know', as well as lessons on how to transfer that theory to the harp. 

Bootcamp! Kurt's pedal workout (and lever for the fearless), much loved and feared at the same time, a must for modulation mastery. 

Melodic Workout, Bassline Workout & Percussion Class: specialized workouts, taught by a saxophone player, a bass player, and a percussionist. 

Focus area group lessons: in the afternoon, it is time to work on a selection of songs and subjects, guided by jazz harp specialists Cristina Braga, Carol Robbins and Felice Pomeranz. They all have their own focus and style and every group will get sessions with each of them. 

Play-along: a very important aspect of playing jazz concerns playing with other musicians, defining one's role, communicating with other players, etc. We are working on this in guided play-along sessions with recorded bands as well as with live musicians. 

Sundown Jam Sessions: to put your play-along learnings into practise, and just have a good time together, we're holding some informal jam sessions. 

Harpy Little Big Band: prepare to work hard ànd have fun at the rehearsals led by Sabine and Brenda, with jazz harp ensemble arrangements of their own and others, possibly performed at the end of the week. 

Kurt's Gramophone: former Jazz Harp Academy attendants will know - nothing beats sitting back with your ears open and being guided through the jazz repertoire by Kurt with his vast record collection, his wit and infectious enthusiasm! 

Dancing: now let's shake things up - there are classes on Brazilian Dance, enabling you to really feel the rhythms that you're learning to play. For learning/watching even more music&motion heritage, we're inviting a Jongo Dance group.  

Singing: for those looking to improve their singing, there's a facultative singing class. 

Private lessons: the course even includes 30-minute private lessons. We will try to accomodate requests for teachers of choice, but will advise as well. More private lesson time can be purchased separately and is, of course, depending on availability. 


And, to relax, enjoy and absorb even more jazz & Brazilian Cultural Heritage, we had a Brunch at the Pool, the Open Fire Circle of Jazz Wisdom, and not to forget: a Fundraiser Lindy Hop Ball! 



We expect to form 3 groups by level (experienced beginner, intermediate, advanced), but except for theory classes, group harp lessons and play-along lessons, most activities will be done all together, or sometimes in different constellations. 

*this information is intended to give you an idea about the course setup, however it is not an absolute and guaranteed overview. 


PIM - Project for Integration through Music 

On top of all that, on July 7-9, 2016, we had the pleasure of hosting the young harp pupils of the local PIM Institute (Project for Integration through Music). They had their own mini-immersion, improvising and swinging it with 3 days of playful lessons by Sabine and Brenda. With many thanks to their teacher Rayana do Val, and to Camac Harps for their support. Here's a small video report: 





Uaná Etê is a true retreat, where the outide and inside are very much connected. You will spend quite some time in the open air (probably even some harp classes!). 

The various buildings are connected with walking paths, and offer space for lessons as well as lodging. A few more private rooms are available, next to small group accomodation, and if it fills up there's even place for tents on the grassland, and hotel rooms at the hotel 'next door'. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will all be prepared and served on-site. 



With any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at (your message will reach Sabine Meijers and Brenda Dor-Groot @ the Jazz Harp Foundation, as well as Cristina Braga). 





The incredible location of the retreat in the Atlantic Forest near Rio 


Intro gathering 


Felice teaching outside 


PIM students hopping the pentatonic scale 


PIM students swinging performance! 


Immersion students past-performance with Harpy Little Big Band 


Dancing with the Capoeira group 


Back to serious theory stuff 


Pre-GPS positioning by listening to the sounds of the forest 


Private lesson in Kurt's Corner 


Top of the Hill 


Lindy Hop Ball! 


Deep forest walk with dear friends 


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