Jazz Camps Reboot! DownBeat’s International Jazz Camp Guide


Bluesman and educator Fernando Jones teaches the blues whenever and wherever possible—in person or online.

(Photo: Glenn Kaupert)

Last summer’s Jazz Camp season can be summed up in a word—virtual. Like so much of our lives during the pandemic, most camps did what jazz people do best, improvise. They found ways to give students the best jazz experience possible online.

It wasn’t the same, for sure. But those camps served as rays of hope during woefully cloudy times.

So, with that same improvisational spirit, jazz camps for 2021 look to reboot. While gathering listings from 80 jazz camps around the globe, DownBeat found that some will remain virtual, most aim to deliver in-person experiences with heightened sanitary and safety protocols and many are looking at ways to do both.

Also, the jazz camp experience isn’t just for jazz any more. As highlighted in our Camp Guide, found here, Chicago bluesman Fernando Jones has two in-person camps scheduled for this summer in Chicago and North Carolina. The Los Angeles College of Music has an in-person rap and hip-hop camp as well as its Summer Xperience delving into many layers of music making and entrepreneurship.

As a result, jazz camps may never be the same again. They will be even better training grounds for the next generation of musicians, artists, entrepreneurs and well-rounded people.

DownBeat’s complete Jazz Camp Guide can be found here. DB

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