Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society - Summer Jazz Camp
Beginning in 2004, Channel Cities Jazz Club (CCJC) has sponsored a total of 30 high school and middle school jazz band students to attend the Sacramento Summer Youth Trad Jazz Camp (Trad = Traditional).  One more student is scheduled for the camp in 2018. Our sponsorship includes paying the weeks tuition plus some travel expense money for each student.

Summer 2019

Hello, my name is Saul Moran and I have a history with jazz music. It’s odd to think about my personal story and relationshipJazz Camp Saul Moran with music because of how intertwined it has been with my life. My entire family has some sort of connection with music and it was an omnipresent force in my life. From my dad’s stories of playing guitar and singing to every pretty girl in his pueblo to watching my sisters perform at concerts with their school bands.

My start on music officially began in the 6th grade, but my passion began with just listening to good music. I remember listening to rock and ‘60s jazz and following along with the horn section parts. I’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument and create beautiful music. So, by the time I entered middle school and learned to play, I’ve already had an appreciation for music ingrained into me. I started on the Alto, but switched to the Bari after a year. Once I started on Bari, I started looking for bands that have it and feature it heavily. I asked my middle school band director and the first thing out of his mouth was to look up Tower of Power and Pepper Adams. My band director was so happy to have a Bari player that was enthusiastic about playing in low brass. After listening to them for a bit, I was exposed to brass bands like Canadian Brass, Youngblood Brass Band, and Lucky Chops. These bands combined with the ones previously mentioned made me want to strive for greatness. Listening to these types of bands on repeat eventually led to a need to keep growing and improving after feeling stagnated in middle school band. I decided to enter the Hueneme High School Marching Band when I entered eighth grade. It was really difficult to manage going to practice before and after school, especially with having to memorize my music for the first time. My time in marching band isn’t as important as the people I met and the pep band that opened a path to jazz.

Though almost everyone I met was great, but there’s about 4 people that had the biggest impact on my musical future: Mr. Norwood, Jhon, Michael, and Tony. Norwood has been extremely supportive and helpful in helping me grow through technical skills and more reference bands and styles of music. Norwood was also the one who gave me the most opportunities to play good music, including this chance, Michael helped open me to more classical music styles. I have a belief that classical music is focused solely on technical skill and listening to it can help one develop a sound and better oneself. Both of those two helped me slow down and focus on my technical skills. The two that started me on my path to jazz was Jhon and Tony. Jhon was my role model when it came to saxophone playing and peak excellence. He always broke out into a little jam with the pep band at the time and improvised over the songs. He was a god in my eyes, and I wanted to reach his level. He showed me a couple blues of blues scales and just told me “go ahead.” He pushed me to jump in with both feet into improvisation. He gave me a couple pointers and then just left me to my own devices. Recently, he came to visit so I challenged him to a sax battle. We both messed around a bit on our saxes over a drum beat and it was a great experience. It was akin to a conversation with a dear friend. It was like ribbing each other a little. He complimented me a bit, so I felt like I hit a huge milestone in my musical achievements. Tony is a completely different story to what Jhon did for me. Tony isn’t much of role model, especially not in his freshman year. His impact comes with the pep band I help him lead, Spirit of Thor. He is the official leader of Spirit of Thor and he’s opened routes to start improvising over actual music. He’s also led to some personal developments of mine that helped make my music more relaxed and beautiful. Spirit of Thor is the only place I have to improvise so I have a limited capacity of creativity. That’s why I hope to go to this camp.

I would love to attend this Jazz Camp. Everything I’ve heard about the camp has painted it as an experience of a lifetime to just enjoy music and be a better musician. I hear that the instructors are exceptional musicians and fun people. I also see this as a chance to gain so actual guidance to how to improvise better by looking to Dixieland jazz and swing styles. The roots are always a good place to build a foundation and this camp is a chance that I can’t overlook.

Thank you for listening to me and giving me a chance. I hope I’ll be able to make it in and meet a bunch of wonderful people. It’ll be a great experience to play sax with a group of enthusiast musicians. Thank you for your time.

Spring - Summer 2018
Jazz Camp StudentI’ve played piano since I was in first grade but kept my focus on classical music until this past school year.  During class sign-ups, it wasn’t clear if wind ensemble would be able to fit into my busy schedule and my music director, Paul Hunt, offered me to sign up for jazz band and to be honest, I was pretty reluctant at first.  I’d listened to some jazz ballads before that I knew and loved, but I had never really gotten into jazz.

On my first day of class, I instantly fell in love with jazz.  I made so many new friends and was able to learn so much so quickly.  We only meet three days a week, but in that time I’m able to learn and experience so much.  The first song I learned to play was Herbie Hancock’s
Cantaloupe Island. I had heard the song previously but never really put much thought into it. Now, I can play it instantly from memory in probably around five different keys.  I froze the first time I was asked to play a solo and still get nervous, but I’ve become so close with everyone in my band that I know they’ll always be helpful and

The director chooses pieces, we we read them, we play them, and it's done. I love that in jazz supportive and I love them forIndia Hill that. Through this school year, I have learned to love jazz and am so grateful my music teacher convinced me to join.  We’ve had so many wonderful concert opportunities and get to learn so much fun, amazing music. In the more traditional ensembles our we can choose to play almost anything we please and can arrange and edit it however we so choose, and we just get to be so much more
 independent and creative. I really hope I’m able to attend camp this summer to gain more jazz experience and improve and make new memories to last a lifetime.

~India Hill

During camp activities.
This past week at jazz camp, I’ve made so many memorable experiences. My band was called “It’s Our Money andIt’s Our Money and We Want It Now! We Want It Now!!” The members were myself on piano, Evan on drums, Brayden on bass, Morgan on alto sax, Kate on clarinet, Aaron on trumpet, Eric on trombone, and our vocalist, Maya. Throughout the week, we played three different styles of songs— two upbeat ones, a mid tempo one, and a ballad. When we had our semi-private lessons, I was able to learn so much from Curtis and Jason, and it was wonderful working with Daisy, another pianist my age. One of my favorite experiences at camp was going on a hike to the riverbed and to go swimming. The water was icy cold, but we all had so much fun together in the water and sung songs on the way back. My time at the camp was amazing and I definitely plan on attending again next year! Thank you so much, Channel Cities Jazz Club for sponsoring me and affording me such a wonderful opportunity.
~India Hill

Spring - Summer 2017
2017 Jazz Camp JoleaI am Jolea Moes, and I play the alto saxophone at Cabrillo Middle School. I plan to attend the Sacramento Trad Jazz Camp this coming summer, and I am delighted to say that the Channel Cities Jazz Club has decided to sponsor me. There are many things I hope to get out of this camp, but mostly, improvement of my soloing skills and the friendships I will make with fellow musicians are what most excite me about this amazing opportunity.
      I have been playing jazz for about three years now, and in my perspective, I have a limited knowledge on this topic, but I do have strong insight on it. To me, jazz is the most adaptable type of music to every musician out there. From soloing to adding your own glissando, anything is possible to create the most dramatic and pungent music. Diverse is another way I would describe jazz. Imagine playing a latin etude, you play it a couple times and then you get bored, well you have bossa, swing, bebop, and so many more types of jazz to choose from.  I am never tired when playing jazz because there are endless possibilities. I do not always have the skills to play the musical ideas that I get in my head, so in the act of expanding my knowledge of jazz, I can become an even better musician.  
      By going to this camp, I open myself up to unique learning opportunities and will be surrounded with others who are also passionate about Jazz music. My understanding is that at the camp, there will be an emphasis on turning theory into practice, and soloing will also be emphasized. Jazz is something that seems to come natural to me, and I am certainly motivated to become the best player I can be, so I am confident that I will be up for the challenges I am sure to encounter while at the TRAD camp.  From my sources, the camp sounds like a lot of fun, but I also see attending as a way to come out of my comfort zone and really be immersed in the culture of jazz. I want to find the right balance between fun and hard work while at the camp, and I also want come back more confident in my soloing skills.  My ultimate goal is to go for it and have the time of my life learning new things!
2017 Jazz Camp AdrianHello my name is Adrian Martin, I am 16 years old and I am a student at Rio Mesa High School.
I was a part of the school Jazz band and have been playing jazz for two years now.
I have also been playing the Alto Saxophone for 4 years.
I plan on taking advantage of this opportunity to meet new people and learn different styles of playing.

Jolea Returns from Camp

Adrian Returns from Camp
During the summer, I had the opportunity to go to a traditional jazz camp in Sacramento. There I learned many things and was able to apply them to my everyday playing. This includes reading chords, ear training and organizing and playing with a Dixieland style jazz band. With everything I got out of the camp, overall, the experience was the best, and most noteworthy.

Going to the camp was a little iffy for me.  It was the first time I was going to a sleep away from home at camp over the summer, the first time going to a camp alone, and the first time going to a jazz camp. Taking all of this on seemed unappealing. I was scared of playing in front of professionals and fellow peers, and this lead me to question myself. Would I be good enough? Would people judge me? The insecurity of not knowing what was going to happen next made me quake. One thought I couldn't get out of my head was whether or not I was going to make friends, or if I was going to be alone for the whole week. Though, as the time went on, my thoughts changed. The first day I was nervous, and the following day was just about the same. It was a feeling that took over my body and I couldn't handle it. Slowly, with the helpful and kindhearted counselors and staff, the days became better and more fun. By the third day, I was a happy camper! I bonded with the girls in my cabin and the people in my band. It seemed like the best camp in the world. This experience taught me that keeping an open mind, when going into any situation, is key.

The camp was perfectly structured to have a fun and productive day. Each morning, after breakfast, theory class would take place where we discussed chord changes, soloing licks, etc…. Then it was off to band rehearsal, where the real magic happens. You learn how to organize a traditional jazz band and play with other musicians. This is something I looked forward to every day. Then lunch took place for a good break. After lunch, sectionals and private lessons go on for an hour. This was a great way to really learn about our instruments and technique to playing and practicing. Again, we had band practice to put the final touches on the song we were planning on playing that night. Then we have a 1 ½ hour break to nap, practice, hang out, or, like every day, join in a new activity. This includes Cheetos and cream, volleyball, corn husking, air band, and so much more. Next is dinner, and soon down to the amphitheater for the nightly concert where each band plays a new song every night. At the end of the week, camp is concluded with a concert where family and friends can come watch. For me, this was the best time I ever had performing in front of an audience.

Jazz is an endless topic with so many things to learn, and the Trad Jazz Camp really did a great job at making sure each kid left with a new and strong understanding of music.  The first thing I learned was how to arrange a Dixieland band. This includes how any people in the band, what their jobs are, and how to compose a piece with each person playing a separate part that blends together. It is a very important thing to know as a musician and composer. The second thing I learned to do is deal with chords of any sort. Minor, major, dominant, augmented… Reading chords are tricky, so knowing the techniques and how to apply them is important. And this also goes along with soloing against any progression and how to quickly read the scales and apply them to your playing. This is how I absorbed the right technique and skills to enhance my ear and listening. Overall, I learned an abundant number of things and how to apply them to my playing. any musician can play a beautiful melody against any song. The third topic I ventured into during the camp was ear training and transcribing. I was never exposed to this in my previous years of playing, so I made sure this topic was cemented into my brain.

This summer I went to a jazz camp where I learned, experienced, and immersed myself in traditional Dixieland jazz. I realized, from my experience, that first thoughts are only thoughts and not facts. And that one should always be open minded and never jump to conclusions. I was also exposed to a perfect way to learn anything, quickly while extracting the most knowledge and key points. Altogether, the Trad Jazz Camp did so much for me and my playing.

But it would not have been possible without the Channel Cities Jazz Club.  They did so much in prepping and providing for me over the summer so that I would be ready for the camp. I could not thank the Jazz Club enough for what they brought into my life and exposed me to. They are a group of wonderful people that work so hard to give all kids an appreciation for jazz. Not only did I grow as a musician, but also as a person. Thanks Channel Cities Jazz Club.

~Jolea Moes
Cabrillo Middle School Jazz Band

The name of our band was The Planetary Society. 

  I had a very good time at this camp. I got to experience many different styles of playing a new form of jazz and how to improvise over it. I also had a great time meeting new people from all around the country that I still keep in contact with. Thank you for this opportunity.

~Adrian Martin

Spring - Summer 2016
Jazz is America’s music, our heritage, and it is as much a part of our culture as the automobile.  The goal of the Trad Jazz Camp is to ensure the survival of our music by “Passing the Torch” from experienced jazz artists to young musicians.

The Camp is focused on improvisation, both individual and group, with an emphasis on turning theory into practice at all times.  Students are assigned to bands with players of similar ability and experience.

Jazz Camp Concert
Closing Concert Number
Summer Jazz Camp
Featuring the CCJC Sponsored Musician, Ms Sarah Byrd

Jazz Camp

From the Jazz Camp to Pacific Corinthian Yacht
Club By request, MS Sarah Byrd - Summertime, with the Jammers

Update on our 2016 Jazz Camp Sponsored Student
2016 Jazz Camp Student Our 2016 Jazz Camp student was a young lady trombone player from the Rio Mesa High School Jazz Band, MS Sarah Byrd.

She had such a wonderful and positive experience while at camp that in 2017 she returned for another week at her families expense.

When the Camp Director learned that she would not be returning for a 3rd time because her mother had decided that they couldn't afford to send her this year, he offered her a full scholarship for this year because he really wanted her back and she will be there for another week starting Sunday, July 29th.  See, there is a Good Fairy!

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