Jazz Improvisation Camp

Unfortunately, due to health concerns we have canceled the 2020 Summer Music Camps @ UO. Full refunds will be issued to those who have already submitted payment. Feel free to contact us with any questions: and we look forward to seeing you in 2021.

A letter from our director, Paul Krueger:


Hello everyone,

I hope you and your friends and families have been able to stay safe and healthy during these unfortunate times. This will likely come as a surprise to no one, but I am still disappointed to write today to announce the cancellation of the 2020 University of Oregon Summer Jazz Improvisation Camp.

We have held off on an announcement until now in order to consider data and guidance made available by the Oregon Health Authority, and to consider moving to an online format for this year’s camp. After considering all options, we have decided that cancellation would be the most appropriate way to proceed. We are planning on having our camp return in July 2021, when we hope that some of the current social distance restrictions will not be necessary, and we will be able to provide the educational quality and social experience that has made our camp special over the years. We will be issuing refunds to those of you who have already made payments for this year’s camp.

While we’re very disappointed to cancel the camp, we in the University of Oregon Jazz Studies program hope to offer other opportunities for interested students throughout the 2020-21 school year, so hopefully we’ll be seeing you even before our next camp in July 2021. You can follow both the School of Music & Dance and the Jazz Studies program on Facebook and on Instagram to keep apprised of things going on in our program.

With that said, we understand that many of you are still looking for engaging learning experiences this summer, and we encourage you to reach out to our camp faculty if you would like to take some online lessons. Especially for those of you who have attended camp previously, I’m sure the returning faculty would appreciate the chance to catch up a bit and – as always – share their love of music with you. See our camp faculty and their email addresses below.

Thank you – we’re looking forward to seeing many of you in July 2021, if not sooner!

Paul Krueger

Instructor of Jazz Studies

Director of the Summer Jazz Improvisation Camp


Camp Instructors (rates for online lessons will vary)

Steve Owen, saxophone/composition  |

Paul Krueger, trumpet  |

Mike Denny, guitar  |

Tyler Abbott, bass  |

Torrey Newhart, piano  |

Josh Deutsch, trumpet  |

Hashem Assadullahi, saxophone  |

Dave Glenn, trombone  |

Nicole McCabe, saxophone  |

Jason Palmer, drums  |

The University of Oregon Summer Jazz Improvisation Camp is for junior-high through high-school aged instrumentalists wanting to develop skills in the art of improvisation. The camp is designed for musicians with advanced improvisation experience as well as for performers wanting to learn how to improvise for the first time. The University of Oregon Jazz Studies faculty and a team of the region’s finest jazz artists/educators work with students at this week-long, work-intensive camp.

The University of Oregon Jazz Improvisation Camp is open to all wind, percussion, guitar, bass (upright or electric), and piano players who are completing grades 7 -12. Graduating seniors are welcome! A recorded audition is required to attend this camp as well as submission of the camp application form with parental permission.

Courses and Activities
8 to 10 coached improvisation ensembles (students will be placed according to skill)
Jazz Theory/Materials class
Daily master classes
Pattern/ Ear-training class
Repertoire/Listening class
Evening concerts
Evening jam sessions
Recreational activities

Lodging and Meals
Students will be housed in UO Residence Halls and will be served all meals in the Residence Hall Cafeterias. UO Jazz Studies Majors are selected to serve as dorm counselors and are required to live in the dorms the entire week of camp in order to adequately supervise students and care for their safety while in the dorms. Group recreation activities are also planned and supervised by the counselors.

Tentative Schedule
You will receive a full itinerary in your information packet, sent approximately one month prior to camp.
Sunday, July 18
12:00 Registration and Dorm Check-In for Drums, Bass & Guitar (then unload equipment at School of Music)
12:45 Registration and Dorm Check-In for All Campers
2:00 General Meeting (parents invited)
2:45 Auditions & Theory Placements
5:30 Dinner, evening concert and dorm meeting

Monday- Thursday, July 19-22
7:00 Breakfast
8:30 Jazz Theory/Materials
9:30 Master Classes
10:30 Small Group Rehearsals
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Patterns/ Drum Set / Piano
2:00 Topics in Jazz
3:00 Small Group Rehearsals
4:30 Afternoon Faculty Concerts
5:30 Dinner
7:30 Evening Jam Sessions
9:30 Camp Dismissed
10:00 Curfew
11:00 Lights Out

Friday, July 23
7:00 Breakfast
8:30 Jazz Theory/Materials
9:30 Master Classes
10:30 Small Group Rehearsals
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Final run-throughs
3:00 Final concert (parents are highly encouraged to attend)
5:30 Dorm check-out


An audition recording is required for new campers only. Returning members of the Jazz Improvisation camp, 2020 All-State participants, 2019 or 2020 State Solo Contest top-three finishers (on the instrument you will play at camp), and scholarship recipients do not need to submit auditions.
All recorded auditions should be a CD (please no mini-CDs) or a digital file e-mailed to CDs/recordings do not need to be professionally recorded. CDs must be marked with camper name and instrument. E-mails need to include camper name, instrument, and all recorded files must be clearly named.
Auditions are due by June 1st. Applicants will be notified of their status within two weeks of submitting their audition. Acceptance to the camp is based on whether we feel they will benefit from our curriculum, and priority is not given to more advanced players, but rather on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend submitting an audition by May (at the latest) in the event the camp fills. Once full, a notice will be placed on the website, and auditions will be considered on a waitlist. 

Winds, Guitar, Piano and Bass:
Major scales in as many keys as possible (two octaves if possible).
2 to 3 minutes of either a classical or jazz solo piece
Optional 2 to 3 minutes improvising over a blues or jazz standard (This can be an excerpt from a concert or a recording of you playing along with a Music Minus One CD (Jamey Aebersold CDs).

16 measures of as many of the following time feels (on drumset) as possible:
Medium Swing at m.m. = 138
Bossa Nova at m.m. = 132
Samba at m.m. = 100
Funk at m.m. = 88
Up-tempo Swing at m.m. = 108
2 to 3 minutes of a recording of you with an ensemble (not necessarily a jazz ensemble)

Combo Placement Auditions 
During the live combo placement auditions on July 19, be prepared to play a portion of a jazz solo or etude. We will also ask you to try your hand at improvising and to play a few scales. Drummers will be asked to play basic swing, rock, and Latin beats, as well as to “trade fours”. DON’T WORRY! If you’ve never improvised or are unfamiliar with basic beats, then this IS the camp for you. EVERYONE is here to learn. The purpose of the audition is to place you in a combo with other campers of similar skill.

Registration Deadline

Our camp is able to accommodate a maximum of 85 students. Early application is recommended. The camp is likely to meet its capacity before the application deadline of July 1, 2021. Submitting your application by July 1 does not guarantee you a spot in the camp. You may be placed on a waiting list if the camp is full. If the camp becomes full, we will post a notice on the website.
Scholarship recipients – in order to reserve your spot in the camp, we ask that you register and accept your scholarship by May 1. If you have decided not to attend the camp, we would like to know by May 1 (or sooner if possible) so that other applicants may be considered. Do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions/concerns.

What Next?
Once you have registered we will send you a confirmation letter of acceptance after reviewing your audition tape and an account balance sheet. Please expect a maximum of two weeks to review audition tapes. Once you have been accepted, we will send you a packet of information about one month before camp begins. For your convenience, you may download this information as it becomes available below.

Downloads and Links
Camp Application
Make A Payment
Jazz Improvisation Camp Detailed Information (available in June)
Jazz Improvisation Camp What to Bring (available in June)
Jazz Improvisation Camp Tentative Schedule (available in June)
Jazz Improvisation Camp Campus Map (available in June)
Summer Music Camp Rules and Regulations
Summer Music Camp Medical Form




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