Everyone says it slows down to a crawl on the Treasure Coast every summer, and maybe that’s true for some, but anyone who is involved with Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society knows that summer is growing season — that’s right — growing season.
For the past few years, the professional musicians involved with Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society have proved they don’t just know how to talk the talk; they also know how to walk the walk and practice what they preach by hosting a summer jazz camp for students ages 14 to 94.
Most summer camps involve arts and crafts and maybe swimming and a game or two, but as you can imagine, Summer Jazz Camp is decidedly different and unique. For two weeks, students come to the camp from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily and jump right into the music, having a chance to play with the professionals and learning how to improvise, change keys on the fly, and even how to scat like a natural, all while having a great time and learning from musicians who’ve played with the likes of Duke Ellington, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Tormé, Johnny Mathis, Styx, Lawrence Welk, Dionne Warwick and so many more household names.
Because of the tremendous talent and passion of the participants, this year, there’s a third, advanced Summer Jazz Camp that will delve into the finer points of jazz and blues performance both instrumental and vocal. Led by the legendary Larry Brown, the Advanced Instrumental Jazz Camp will feature Brown on piano, David Einhorn on bass, Claudio Berardi on drums, JB Scott on brass and Gene Bruno on saxophone. That means your young musician — or you — could have a chance to learn from and perform with some of the country’s most accomplished musicians.
If vocal stylings are more your thing, eight-time Downbeatmagazine award-winning vocalist Lisa Kelly will be leading an intensive vocal boot camp for one week only, and what you’ll learn in that one week of individualized instruction could take you from karaoke clown to polished performer. Whether you’re 16 or 66, these camps are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn and live out your lifelong dream … and they’re surprisingly affordable, too.
The first two weeks of Summer Jazz Camp, which are slated for June 12-16 and June 19-23, run $135 per week or $250 for both weeks. The Advanced Jazz Camp, June 26-30 is $175, and the same week’s Vocal Boot Camp is $165.
If you’d like to be a star — or at least learn to perform like one, call today to save your space for this year’s jazz camps at the Sunrise Black Box Theatre and the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society’s Jazz Shack on the River. Call 772-460-JAZZ (5299) to register, or register online at www.jazzsociety.org.