Q&A: Summer Jazz Camps

From: Paul Arnold (arnet@alliance.net)
What's your recommendation for a college guitar/bass player intersted in an intensive summer jazz learning experience? I've played in several bands, including my college's jazz band, but am ready for something more. Where could I go to really challenge myself?

Paul, there are a lot of great choices you can make this summer for an intensive jazz camp situation. It all boils down to what you're looking for.

Spefically for guitar players, the National Summer Guitar Workshop holds clinics in several places across the country. Topics include jazz, rock, studio and songwriting. The East Coast venue features clinics with players such as Pat Martino, Mike Stern and Jim Hall, among others. The proximity to the New York jazz scene is a great attraction also. Imagine going to a great clinic in the daytime then hopping the train to Manhattan to catch a world class act that night.

For a strictly jazz experience, the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps are a good choice. They are week-long camps held in Chicago and Louisville in which you will play in big bands and combos and rub elbows with jazz greats like David Baker, J.J. Johnson and others. This camp offers many opportunities for improvisation and forming student ensembles according to your skill level. You can contact the University of Louisville for more information.

I would be remiss in not mentioning one more camp. The Shell Lake Jazz Camp in northern Wisconsin is an intensive 1, 2 or 3 week learning environment where you have daily guitar clinics, big band and combo rehearsals, guitar ensemble rehearsals, performances, jam sessions and nightly faculty concerts. This is a well respected clinic, the oldest jazz camp in the US. And, the guitar teacher there is none other than Yours Truly. Call the Shell Lake Arts Center at (715) 468-2414 for details. And tell 'em Bob Patterson sent ya!

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