As the weather warms up in Boulder, it means one thing at the College of Music: High school and middle school students from around the area will soon be here to experience the summer music camps on the CU campus.
In addition to the high school and middle school Summer Music Academies, happening this week and next, the college also hosts an intensive and interactive Summer Jazz Academy in July.
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies Brad Goode directs the camp. He says it’s an opportunity for young jazz musicians to focus on their art in a way they perhaps haven’t been able to before.
“In addition to serving kids who already have an interest in jazz, we want to get other kinds of musicians into it. We want to introduce them to the music and give them a chance to learn from real jazz professionals while they explore our campus.”
Members of the Thompson Jazz Studies Program faculty participate as instructors in the week-long academy, leading students in improv lessons and master classes and collaborating with them in combo settings.
“We don’t just teach them, we play with them all day long and each evening. And we always bring in a well-known guest artist to work with them as well,” says Goode, who boasts a professional jazz trumpet career that spans more than 35 years.
Now in its sixth year, the Summer Jazz Academy this summer brings in a guest artist who might be considered unconventional. Christian Howes doesn’t play sax or trumpet—he’s a violinist.
“Christian is recognized as one of the top jazz violinists in the world. He’s also a renowned educator and improvisation teacher for string players.
“We want to encourage violinists, violists and cellists to come to the camp, so we’re offering that option to them.”
In addition to giving potential future students the lay of the land at CU Boulder, the jazz academy is a learning opportunity for current College of Music students as well.
“Four of them will serve as counselors this year. They’ll get to interact and connect with the students, gain teaching experience and get a nice summer job opportunity.”
The CU Summer Jazz Academy is July 16-21. There are still spots available for participants; to register, visit the academy’s homepage. And if you want to listen to some cool summer jazz, stop by the Old Main Chapel every night at 7 that week for a free performance with camp participants and the Thompson Jazz Studies faculty.