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Our Jim Holbrook, (with help from Hank Johnsen), has shepherded the Jazz Club efforts for 2008 to send four deserving young people to the Sacramento Jazz Camp this summer. The Jazz Club pays all the direct expenses for the accepted students’ week at the camp, plus some additional financial support to help cover their travel expenses to and from Sacramento. The qualifying students this year are as follows:

From Rio Mesa High School
(Lisa Fleming, Music Director): Katie Gregory
Grade l0, trombone and reeds; Stephanie Raymond
Grade 12, alto sax, Piano
Tony Aiello, Grade 12, electric bass.

From Santa Paula High School
(Doug Kadansjy, Music Director)
AngelPerez, Grade 11, Trombone, and electric bass.

I was really pleased with the way our “experiment” worked out at our
August Jazz Club meeting. Couldn’t be prouder, actually, if these young men had been my own kids.

How about the music presented by the “805 Experiment”? Their thoughtful, diverse, interesting, and challenging program of jazz-musician favorites included: the beautiful and familiar Autumn Leaves, a l950 song written by Joseph Kosma with lyrics by Johnny Mercer; a bossa nova with many aliases, (Black Orpheus, Mana De Carnival, or A Day in the Life Of a Fool), written by Luis Bonfa in 1966; the classic number by Miles Davis from his 1959 album titled “Kind of Blue”, So What; the haunting song from 1944 by Thelonious Monk and Cootie Williams, ‘Round Midnight; and finally the funky Herbie Hancock tune (introduced, I think, on his 1973 “Head Hunters” album), Chameleon. It was a great job by the entire ensemble but I would be remiss if I didn’t offer some special kudos to Daniel Lessler, the leader and pianist for the “805 Experiment” combo. Daniel quite obviously is a talented and accomplished young musician who seems completely comfortable in his leadership role while playing in an advanced jazz idiom. All of these young musicians are so very deserving of our encouragement and support; lets invite them back again sometime soon.

We have asked some high school students to form a small jazz combo apart from their musical groups at school - a “garage band” if you will - to come and play our first “Jammer set” using music of their own choosing that they work out themselves. There will be four young musicians, all of whom attend Rio Mesa High, who will set up and be ready to play for us at 1:00 PM on Aug. l7th. They have labeled their group “The 805 Experiment” led by Daniel Lester, grade 12, on piano, Daniel Yu, grade 10, on saxophone, Tony Aiello, grade l2, on electric bass and Jimmy Frando, grade ll, on drums. We want to urge you to come early to hear and support these young musicians.

Daniel Yu was one of our Jazz Camp students last year, and we are sending Tony Aiello this year. The idea for this effort grew out of a discussion at our July Jazz Club business meeting, and Jim Holbrook volunteered to make the contacts to see if he could generate some interest among the students. Thanks to Jim, we now will get to see if this could perhaps become a regular form of outreach to young musicians who are interested in learning about and playing jazz.

Letters from The Campers

From Emily Rocksvold:
I was extremely excited to receive a scholarship to attend the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Camp.  At first I was nervous to go, but once I got there I was glad I had made the right decision. While attending camp I was able to expand my knowledge on music theory in my daily intermediate music theory class. I also improved my skills as a musician and learned new techniques and a new style of music. I had never played “Dixieland Jazz” before, but by the end of camp it had become one of my favorite styles of music to play. Throughout the week I overcame my fear of playing in front of large crowds, especially when it came to soloing. One of my favorite aspects of camp was the individual tutoring we received from the professors. I learned so much from Westy, who taught me how to make up bass lines to each piece of music, and from Corey, who was our director for band 2, “The Wrong Way Rabbit Gang”. Overall, I enjoyed meeting new people and learning and developing my musical skills. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.

From Katie Gregory:
I am incredibly grateful that I have been given the opportunity to attend camp this year. Every aspect of my experience here has been both educational and enjoyable. During the week, I feel that I have improved greatly as a performer and a musician, and I approach the coming year with anticipation. My time at the Sacramento Youth Trad Jazz Camp has surpassed all of my expectations. Thanks for providing me with this opportunity.

From Tony Aiello:
Thank you so much for allowing me to attend the Jazz Camp in Sacramento. I had a blast and learned a lot. I had never played any Dixieland Jazz music before coming to the camp. (I mostly played swing and be-bop.) I not only learned about trad jazz but, in general, I learned a lot about music. I advanced my knowledge of music theory and different styles of jazz.  I had a blast and I know that I will tell all of my friends and hopefully influence them to attend the camp.

From Angel Perez:
I want to take the time to say “thank you” for the opportunity to come to this great camp. It was definitely a wonderful experience and well worth the cost to come here - it was not a waste of your money! What I have learned at this camp I will apply to the way I play my instrument and will stick to me always. I have most definitely learned what I wanted to learn before coming here, so I feel accomplished leaving this camp. Thank you once again - I’ll always remember this experience and what I learned.

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