A full house was on hand as we celebrated Jazz Appreciation Month. To make it more special, we had the pleasure of the Cabrillo Middle School Jazz Band to entertain us, dressed in all black and well organized as they took the stage. They are led by their Musical Director Mario Boccali, a dedicated and talented teacher who guided the students through a fine performance. They kicked off their first song, Groovin’ High, popularized by Dizzy Gillespie and based in the chord structure of the old tune, Whispering. Then came Neal Hefti’s Splanky, A Night In Tunisia and they finished with Thelonious Monk’s Straight — No Chaser. These kids range in age from 12 — 14 years and it really was a thrill to enjoy their talents.
A couple of months ago we announced that we were able to send seven kids to Jazz Camp with our scholarship fund. Well, they went the last week in July and from what I understand, they had a blast and also learned a tremendous amount about traditional jazz. Below is a thank you letter we received from one of the students, Wesley Bakewell, and I thought you’d enjoy reading it. It’s because of your generous donations, as well as the support of our club through your attendance and bringing in friends, that we are able to do this, and I extend my heartfelt thanks to you.
“Dear members of the Channel Cities Jazz Club: As you know, your generous donations have sent my friend Josef Sartee and me on a trip to Sacramento for the TRAD Jazz Camp. I cannot thank you enough for this. You would not believe how much I learned, how many friends I met, or how much fun I had during those five days. We played six hours a day, which was incredibly exhausting, but also gave us time to learn three songs almost perfectly by the end of the trip. I met the world-renowned guitar and banjo player Howard Alden, and got to play with him a few times as well. He gave me things to practice, and they have started already to expand my ability. Anyway, I learned more in this trip than I would have in a year with my private teacher (no offense to him). I am definitely returning next year. I thank you for this experience.”
One of our scholarship students, Amanda Lassich and her mom surprised us with an appearance at the club and Amanda got up and said a few words of appreciation to all of you for her opportunity to attend jazz camp. Check out the article in another section of the newsletter for more information about our scholarship fund, our Jazz Camp scholarship, students, and the Jazz Camp itself.
THE CHANNEL CITIES JAZZ CLUB SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Our scholarship fund was extremely well endowed this year. Your enthusiastic support of the club and the additional donations by some members gave us a healthy amount to use. In addition, the Martha Simpson Scholarship Fund, which honored the memory of Martha and her love of this music, brought in another $1,550.00 This allowed us to submit seven young musicians to the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society summer camp and we’re pleased to report they were all accepted!
Coming from three different Ventura County schools, they are: Wesley Bakewell, Guitar; Josef Sartee, Tenor sax, - Cabrillo Middle School.
Daniel Yu, Tenor sax, - Rio Mesa High School.
Logan Givan, Guitar; Amanda Lassich, Bass, Flute and Guitar; Chris Cronin, Drums; Francisco Marguez, Trombone, Guitar, - Santa Paula High School.
The camp is focused on improvisation, with the emphasis on taking musical theory into practice. A total of 90 students are accepted and they are placed into ten groups of nine, based on their ability and experience. The campers receive semi-private lessons, group instruction, and attend theory classes. They also have nightly performances and jam sessions. All of this is interspersed with nature hikes, recreation and relaxing. As they state in their brochure, this is a way we can “Pass the Torch” from experienced jazz artists to young musicians, as a means of keeping this music alive. So again, many thanks to all of you who are helping in this endeavor.
We will pass on their comments and observations to you when they return.
More Letters from Jazz Camp StudentsFrom Logan Givan:
I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you sponsored me to go to the Sacramento Jazz Camp. I had such a great time. I liked how we performed in front of the camp every day. It gave me experience with playing in front of my peers. I learned a lot more about music theory as Well. It increased my knowledge of music. I also learned how to play with people I’ve never met before and working together with them. I made a lot of new friends that I am still in touch with today. I have a new appreciation for traditional jazz that I didn’t have before and even got to play a banjo! Again, I had a great time and I hope to go again next year. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
From Daniel Yu:
Thank you very much for your sponsorship which allowed me the opportunity to attend the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp. While I was there I had the opportunity to learn from and play with some of the ?nest Traditional Jazz musicians while also meeting other students and people my age interested in jazz. As part of our daily schedule we took jazz theory classes, had private lessons, and gave a concert each evening, which eventually led to our ?nal day where we had the opportunity to perform at a Jazz Club in Sacramento. It was a wonderful experience, and I would like to thank you for making it possible for me to attend the Sacramento Jazz Camp.
From Josef Sartee:
Thank you so very much for the opportunity to attend the STJ S jazz camp. I had a wonderful time and I learned a lot. My playing abilities have increased tremendously this past week. I made lots of friends and I met many amazing musicians. Thanks again.
From Chris Cronin:
Thank you for allowing me this chance to learn about the style of jazz called traditional jazz, and also for the opportunity to better myself in Jazz Drumming. This week of camp has been a great experience. I met a lot of new people and friends, and I better learned my role of playing jazz drums. I hope that I am able to come back next year, and thank you for everything.
From Amanda Lassich:
Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to attend Jazz Camp at Sly Park. I had a time of my life. Attending this camp helped improve my playing as well as my knowledge in Jazz. Coming here helped me improve on soloing as well as reading chords. Camp was very enjoyable and I met many lifelong friends. I’m hoping to attend once again next year. Once again, thank you so much. I now feel that I am a better player and I am more con?dent in my playing. Thank you!
From Francisco Marguez:
I would like to thank you for the opportunity that you have given me to attend the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp. I’ve had a great time and I have learned so many things. I can’t wait to get back to my Jazz Band and share all this valuable information with my fellow band members. I cannot thank you enough for this fantastic opportunity that you have given me. This camp has helped me so much and I appreciate everything you have done for me.