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The Haven at Lagond Welcomes Local Musicians for Live Jam Sessions

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Weekly jam sessions take place Sunday nights at The Haven at Lagond.

For Charlie Lagond, Co-founder and Musical Director of Lagond Music School in Elmsford, music has been a life-long passion and the work of his soul.

The not-for-profit music school has been a staple in Westchester for the past 15 years, started in an attic in White Plains with about 35 private students, mostly kids.

Over time, Charlie expanded into a new and larger space in Elmsford and began to diversify, welcoming adults to his growing group of student musicians.

Just two months ago he took another step to reach out to musicians all over Westchester County and beyond, hoping to attract the broader musical community with weekly adult jam sessions – a place where passionate musicians can congregate, kick back, grab a drink and jam with well-known guest artists.

The weekly jam sessions take place Sunday nights at The Haven at Lagond, a rehearsal and performance space featuring two fully equipped professional soundstages located on the main floor of Lagond Studios. Each week spotlights a different genre and well known guest musicians. Anyone with a desire to play, age 18 and older, can join the jam on stage and sit in with peers.

Charlie Lagond, Co-founder and Musical Director of Lagond Music School in Elmsford.

“It’s a great opportunity to network, to meet and play with professional musicians,” Charlie told The Examiner during a recent interview. He welcomes practicing and professional musicians of every skill level to bring their instruments and participate in the interactive sessions. “Our goal is to cultivate a musical haven for anyone who wants to express their love for music and their dedication to furthering their skills,” Charlie adds.

In the few weeks since the jams started a few local musicians have found work after meeting and playing with professionals during the sessions. And musicians have discovered they can use the Lagond facility as a resource.

With over 35 years experience as a professional musician, Charlie can call on some distinguished names in the field and they are happy to show up at the Sunday jams. For many years he toured, performing around the world with artists including Chet Baker, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Bernard Purdie, Chuck Mangione, The Jackson Five, the Temptations, Natalie Cole, and Kid Creole & the Coconuts, with whom he has performed at several presidential inaugural balls and at a Command Performance by request of Princess Diana. He also spent time working on Broadway and in television and film. Charlie is a strong believer in the power of live performance. “Music is intended to be performed live,” he says.

Charlie, who began his career in music at the age of nine, playing the clarinet, begins each Sunday jam with a stage performance featuring the night’s special guest and a house band. “This sets the mood,” Charlie says. “Then depending on the type of music being played, we will invite a guitar player to the stage, for example, who will play with the professional musicians.”

Charlie controls the flow of musicians on and off the stage during the jam. Musicians are welcomed to perform on a first come, first served basis.

There is no fee to perform and no fee for spectators, who are welcome. Refreshments and drinks from the bar do carry a price, with all proceeds going to the not-for-profit educational organization.

Different music genres are featured on a regular monthly schedule. There is no jam on the first Sunday of the month, and no jam if a month has a fifth Sunday.

Rock Jam is featured every second Sunday; Jazz/Latin on third Sundays; and Funk/Soul on fourth Sundays.

Doors open 7 to 10 p.m. at the The Haven at Lagond Music School, 9 Haven Street Elmsford.
The upcoming schedule features Rock Jam on June 11; Jazz/Latin Jam on June 18; and Funk/Soul Jam on June 25.
On June 30,The Haven at Lagond will feature a night of musical exploration and jazz improvisation. Jean-Michel Pilc will perform two sets (7:30 and 9 p.m.) alongside bassist Sam Minaie and drummer, Lagond’s very own Jerad Lippi. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Pilc is a world-renowned pianist that has worked with numerous giants in the music field including Harry Belafonte as his musical director and pianist. He is also a member of the internationally acclaimed Pilc/Moutin/Hoenig Trio. He currently resides in Montreal where he is Associate Professor and Jazz Area Chair at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal.

For more information call 914-345-0512 or visit

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