Mike Lawson • Archives • March 1, 2002

For serious jazz students, the summer can be a time to take their playing to the next level. The various summer jazz camps located across the country offer students unique opportunities to improve their technique, style, soloing and improvisational skills through intensive summer courses and workshops. These camps feature professional musicians and clinicians who help guide students in their jazz education. Many offer the opportunity to perform concerts with the best jazz musicians of their age group.

In this Report, School Band and Orchestra presents an alphabetical sampling of some of the numerous jazz camps in session this summer.

Jamey Aebersold’s Summer Jazz Workshops
California, Kentucky, Washington
This workshop series teaches jazz improvisation in the styles of artists like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and more. The week-long workshops offer hands-on instruction in jazz improvisation in a small group setting. Workshops are being held at the University of Louisville, Ky., from June 30 to July 5 and July 7 to July 12. Two-day “Anyone Can Improvise” seminars, conducted by Jamey Aebersold in a classroom/lecture format, are being held in Louisville, Ky., June 29-30; Pleasant Hill, Calif., Aug. 10-11; Seattle, Wash., Aug. 14-15. For more information, visit the Web site.

Bands of America – Summer Symposium
Illinois State University, Normal, Ill.
Part of the Bands of America Summer Symposium held June 24-29 at Illinois State University, the Jazz Camp has a student-to-faculty ratio of about eight to one. Top-name artists in concert nightly include Tower of Power, Maynard Ferguson, Dave Koz, Rhythm & Brass and the Caribbean Jazz Project. The summer camp also offers training for directors, taught by university jazz faculty. The camp is designed to challenge every participant at every level of musical and performance experience and to help each participant grow in areas of personal development and responsibility. For more information, visit the Web site.

Blue Lake – Fine Arts Camp
Twin Lake, Mich.
Blue Lake’s Jazz Program is organized with ensembles of standard Big Band instrumentation. More advanced students are assigned to the Gold Jazz Band, while the others are assigned equally between the remaining jazz ensembles. The daily schedule for jazz students includes large ensemble rehearsals, sectionals, technique classes, improvisation, and a listening course. Students also have the opportunity to attend performances by faculty members and other outstanding musicians. For more information, visit the Web site.

The Britt Institute
Jacksonville, Ore.
Britt’s Instrumental Jazz Camp – June 17-22 – includes instruction in all aspects of jazz performance. Participants are placed in small combos and big bands based on ability and experience. All intermediate and advanced musicians, ages 14-19, are welcome. The all-star faculty will guide each student’s daily study of improvisation, small and large jazz ensemble performance techniques, jazz theory and jazz history. Evenings feature faculty concerts, jam sessions and recreational activities as well as opportunities to hear jazz, blues and pop artists at the Britt Festivals venue in Jacksonville. Visit the Web site for more information.

Camp Encore/Coda
Sweden, Maine
This music education camp features various jazz ensembles for students interested in participating. The Jazz Band is for the most advanced instrumentalists. Members of this group must have strong sight-reading and improvisational skills. Lab Jazz Band is for beginning to intermediate instrumentalists who are interested in developing their jazz skills. Lower Camp Jazz Band is open to all younger campers who would like to participate in a beginning jazz ensemble. For more information, visit the Web site.

Eastman School of Music Summer – Jazz Studies
University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.
Among its summer offerings, the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, N.Y., features a Summer Jazz Studies program. This intensive two-week program for serious jazz students includes large and small jazz ensembles, improvisation, theory, history and instrumental masterclasses. Students study and perform with members of Eastman’s renowned Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media faculty. This program is recommended for students planning to audition for the Eastman Bachelor of Music degree program in Jazz Studies. The program runs from June 23 to July 5 and is directed by Fred Sturm.

Interlochen Arts Camp
Interlochen, Mich.
Three jazz ensembles – Jazz Band, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Workshop – are offered as part of the Interlochen Arts Camp, which runs in two four-week sessions beginning June 15 and July 15. (Students in band or orchestra may also audition for jazz ensembles.) According to Interlochen, the three ensembles will be formed to study and develop stylistic and technical competence in jazz performance. Big Band as well as combo literature will be studied and performed. Auditions are required; see Web site for specific audition information.

KU Jazz Workshop – University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kans.
The KU Jazz Workshop is a week of instruction and performance in all aspects of jazz, with special emphasis on small group performance. The camp is open to high school students and adults. There is also a special teacher’s track dealing with jazz pedagogy and rehearsal techniques, available for college credit. The faculty includes performers and teachers offering personal instruction in jazz improvisation, combos, big band, jazz history, jazz theory and more, with masterclasses and ensembles tailored to the needs and abilities of each participant. Evenings feature faculty concerts, jam sessions and a final student concert on Friday afternoon. For more information, visit the Web site.

Loyola Jazz Band Camp
Loyola University, New Orleans, La.
The Loyola College of Music offers its Loyola Jazz Band Camp June 10-16. The camp is open to seventh through 12th graders, intermediate and advanced musicians. Participation is limited to students who play trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, guitar, drums or saxophone. To achieve balanced instrumentation, the number of players on each instrument will be limited. For more information, visit the Web site.

Mason-Dixon Jazz Camp
Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Penn.
Gettysburg College will host the Mason-Dixon Jazz Camp June 16-20. Sixty students in grades nine through 12 and band directors interested in learning about jazz or improving their leadership skills may participate in jazz combos, big bands, learn about jazz history and theory and develop improvisation technique. Denis DiBlasio and George Rabbai are the head clinicians, and Dr. Buzz Jones, chair of the Gettysburg College Music Department, is director of the jazz camp. For more information, contact Dr. Jones at

Bud Shank – Jazz Workshop
Port Townsend, Wash.
The Bud shank Workshop – designed to serve intermediate to advanced players, including outstanding high school students – provides a week of intensive study and interaction with internationally acclaimed jazz artists. The workshop includes improvisation, jazz theory, masterclasses, panel discussions and ensemble rehearsals. The camp’s name derives from artistic director Bud Shank, who plays alto sax. He has been a part of the international jazz scene for 50 years. For more information, visit the Web site.

Skidmore Jazz Institute
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The Skidmore Jazz Institute at Skidmore College is for students who are serious about improving their skills and learning about jazz while working with some of the masters in the field. Students range in ability from intermediate through adult. The two-week Skidmore Jazz Institute is held in collaboration with the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) School of Jazz Studies. The Institute’s faculty will work closely with students in jazz combos and workshops by day and perform by night. The program features daily combo and improvisational classes, private instruction, masterclasses and opportunities to perform. For more information, visit the Web site.

Stanford Jazz Workshop
Stanford, Calif.
The Stanford Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Camp is a summer jazz education program for students of all levels, ages 12 to 17, and for all instruments (including strings and vocalists). The program offers intensive musical training through a variety of classes, including theory, musicianship, masterclasses, jazz history, ensemble playing and private lessons. Each night of the jazz camp, members of the faculty perform in concerts. The last concert of the week is the student concert, in which every student performs with the ensemble they’ve been working with all week. There are two consecutive one-week sessions: July 21-27 and July 28-Aug. 3. For more information, visit the Web site.

University of Wisconsin Jazz Ensemble Camp
Green Bay, Wisconsin
The Jazz Ensemble Camp provides in-depth experience in jazz ensembles, instrument classes, jazz theory, improvisation, arranging and more. A final performance on the main stage of the University Theater is a professional production to which family and friends are invited. Jazz Ensemble instructors are professional performers and conductors from across the region and the country. Camp Director John Salerno has toured with the Spinners and the Jackson Five. He currently directs the jazz program at UW-Green Bay. For more information, visit the Web site.

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Jazz Workshop
Milwaukee, Wis.
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is offering its eighth annual Jazz Workshop for middle and high school students June 10 – 21. Top jazz instructors from the Conservatory’s faculty will lead the workshop, which is targeted at both the serious jazz student and the jazz novice. Two classes will be offered – Introduction to Jazz, for middle school students and high school novices; and High School Jazz Workshop, for experienced high school players. The beginners’ workshop teaches the basics through listening, demonstrations and playing opportunities. The High School Jazz Workshop includes small combo and special performance opportunities. For more information, visit the Web site.

This Report appeared on pages 34 – 38 in the March issue of School Band and Orchestra.

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