Jazz Improvisation Camp

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. Steve Owen, director of the award-winning Jazz Studies program at the University of Oregon, 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! An audition tape/CD 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 22nd
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 23rd-26th
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 27th
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. You do not need to send an audition if you are a returning Jazz Improvisation camper, a 2017 or 2018 All-State Band Participant, an Oregon Jazz Festival Scholarship Winner or a 2017 or 2018 State Solo Contest Top-three Finisher on the instrument you will play at camp. All recorded audition should be a CD (please no mini CDs) or a digital file e-mailed to CDs/ recordings do not need to be professionally recorded. CD’s must be marked with camper name and instrument. E-mails need to include camper name, instrument and all recorded files must be clearly named. The audition is due by June 1st however, we recommend submitting the audition by May in the event the camp fills. Once full, 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)

Placement Auditions
During auditions on July 22nd, 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 70 students. Early application is recommended. The camp is likely to meet its capacity before the application deadline of July 2, 2018. Submitting your application by July 2nd 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 make it clear on this website.

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
Jazz Improvisation Camp What to Bring
Jazz Improvisation Camp Tentative Schedule
Jazz Improvisation Camp Campus Map
Summer Music Camp Rules and Regulations
Summer Music Camp Medical Form

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