The Monterey Jazz Festival’s Summer Jazz Camp is back. | Monterey County NOW Intro

Agata Popęda here with a reminder that it’s not too late to register for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Summer Jazz Camp for college and high school students.

The Monterey Jazz Festival is rebooting the in-person camp experience after two years of virtual experiences. Act quickly though; registration closes Monday, June 20. The week-long musical adventure will kick off on Monday, July 11, and Claire Kim-Shin, the newest education specialist who has just joined the team, says the camp can accommodate even young people with no previous musical experience.

That being said, “many of our students are very serious about studying jazz,” explains Kim-Shin. “We have instructors for many instruments and are working to accommodate students.” Each morning, the group of campers – 75 is their “maximum occupancy” and they still have places left – will be welcomed by a concert by the faculty; the cohort will learn things like the life (and struggles) of a professional musician, as well as the history of women in jazz. “I can see the kids are very excited,” Kim-Shin says of the contestants.

Jazz Camp was founded in 1986 and was held at Monterey Peninsula College each year until 2016 when it moved to Stevenson School in Pebble Beach. “Guess MPC had been under construction for a while,” Monterey Jazz Festival marketing associate Tim Orr wrote when asked about the camp’s history. “We also had our first overnight option in 2016. I believe 2022 will be Christian’s first physical visit to camp due to the pandemic which has hampered the past few years.

By “Christian” Orr, we mean Christian Sands, the American jazz pianist and composer. Sand’s third album Either water (2020) received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. Sands will be involved this year, along with other musician-educators: Gerald Clayton, director of MJF’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and Katie Thiroux, director of Next Generation Women in Jazz, among the group. Artists in residence like these have been camping since 2004; the first was violinist Regina Carter.

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The main idea is to expose children to real jazz and real musicians who can answer questions and guide students in their discovery of music. The Monterey Jazz Festival uses its network to connect mentors and future young talent to enrich both sides and foster a love of jazz.

It’s a virtuous circleand which contributes to making the Jazz Festival a dynamic element of the local music scene.

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