At the time of our youth camp selection, I have heard from Elijah Kennedy (and he promises to write more) about the marvels of his camp week and his gratitude for it. . . "the opportunity of a lifetime to meet the friends and professors of music as I have. I still keep in touch with many friends and have more of a passion to listen/play jazz music. We all talk about the times within that week with each other and the music we learned through it. I had no clue what the professors were talking about when technical jazz came into play. I just played whatever came out, but they indeed taught a year's full in a week. Without your support, my jazz experience/knowledge would have never reached where it is now. If l could, I would go again and experience it all. So again thank you much. The Jazz Camp will always stay a memory with me."
Every day brings us something fresh to enjoy and I’m thrilled that our Sunday gathering in May was an exceptional one. We had the pleasure of experiencing sixteen young and talented musicians entertain us with wonderful jazz. They were the Cabrillo Middle School Jazz Band, under the musical direction of a most qualified Mario Boccali. They opened their performance with “Sister Sadie”, with a one tenor solo by Bryson Edgar and was followed with “Fever”, well vocalized by Jackie Dixon. “Salt Peanuts”, with Tim Spaulding on alto and a one trumpet solo by Joey Papador, was intended to close out their performance, but the ovation was so great, they gave us an encore of “String of Pearls”. Drummer, Aaron Murray, is one of the four students we are sponsoring to jazz camp this summer. After their performance, many of the kids were up on the dance floor, learning a few of the steps of the older generation. A delightful experience.
Our Club, over the last three years, has been able to afford scholarships for seven young musicians to the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp (ages 12-18). We know that to keep our music alive we must expose the younger generations to this one musical heritage of our country. For those who are new to our Club and, as a reminder for others, I thought I would re-state the goal of the jazz camp we have chosen -- to ensure the survival of our music by "Passing the torch" from experienced jazz artists to young musicians. Sly Camp does so by focusing on improvisation, technique, harmony, scales and how to create jazz solos. They emphasize taking theory into practice by assigning students into bands with players of similar ability and experience during daytime-classes, and nightly performances and jam sessions, with both faculty and students participating. Feedback from their week from OUR students has been thrilling, and we have shared that with you; i.e., Curtis Blanck in the last issue. The number of students the Club can send depends on your support and attendance. Encourage your friends and family to attend each month and become members. I would like to extend my personal thanks for your help, enthusiasm, and goodwill.
By the way, one of the students, Kristin Mauricia, hopes to be home from Notre Dame for a Fall break and will try to be with us in October to thank us and perhaps join the Jammers. Also, the Cabrillo Middle School will entertain at one of our Spring events.
So, keep it going and growing and just maybe, we'll be able to send more kids next year!
SWINGING WHEN I GOT THERE -- AND I MEAN SWINGING!!
And, it was that way all afternoon. Eighteen swingin' Jammers -- many swingin' dancers -- and joyous spirit ever where. Among the Jammers was an old friend of mine visiting from Bass Lake (Berl Howell) who plays trumpet with his Yosemite Jazz Band And mother and daughter of the Mauricio Family -- Kristen to be one of our scholarships for Sly Camp this summer -- how poised she is and how well she played on "Bye, Bye Blackbird". Kristen plays trumpet and sax for Santa Paula High School Jazz Band and is studying piano (she watched Sam Hobel carefully).
We are proud to announce the acceptance of three of our young musicians to STJ S's youth camp this summer: Curtis Blanck drummer and senior at Royal High School in Semi Valley (you heard him at our April gathering, sitting in with the Jammers, doing a marvelous job); Aaron Murray, drummer and eighth grade student at Cabrillo Middle School in Ventura (you will be able to hear him in May, as the Cabrillo Middle School Jazz Band entertains us); April Greenlaw, eighth grade student at Rio Del Valle Junior High School in Oxnard, a key clarinet-player in that school's junior band.
We had great music all afternoon from the Jammers, it was a thrill to have our first-accepted youth-camper on board -- Curtis Blanck on drums.
From Curtis Blanck: "The jazz camp was easily the best, and most exciting week I've ever experienced. Everyone there (from the teachers to counselors, and even the campers) had so much to teach me. I wish I could share all the stories and good memories and tell about all of my friends that I made, but this letter would never end if I did. I enjoyed the camp so much, I'm applying to be a counselor for next year, and I am willing to pay for it myself. It was easily one of the best, if not the best, experience in my life, and it definitely re-awoke my passion for drumming. I cannot thank you guys enough for sending me.
You have given an opportunity that millions of kids only dream about, and all I can say is thank, thank you, thank you. I hope many, many other kids get to go because it's the experience of a lifetime. Thank you again."
It was an extremely joyful day at our October get-together. Not only did we celebrate our dedicated Jammers and present them with a small token of appreciation - a calculator, but we also were graced by Kristen Mauricio, one of the students we sponsored to the jazz camp last summer. Kristen was lovely and eloquent as she personally thanked everyone for the opportunity she was given, and then joined the Jammers on the last set, playing a trumpet solo on “Undecided”. Alto Sax and Piano are two other instruments she handles well. We hope she’ll join us again the next time she has a school break from Notre Dame.