What the Campers said:
Jim Ivy's Blog - "Would I recommend the New Orleans Jazz Camp for Adults? You bet! It is a great week. You will meet and play with some outstanding musicians in a relaxing and fun "adult" atmosphere. There is also plenty of room for musicians who have more love for the music than they do technique or skill."... Jim Ivy
"The thing that sets apart this Traditional Jazz Camp from others is that the organizers have reserved places for the students to jam. Not simply rehearsal halls or unused hotel ballrooms - we were able to play at Fritzel's Jazz Club on Bourbon Street (New Orleans' premier Traditional Jazz Club), on the Natchez Steamboat Cruise, on stage at the Satchmo Festival, and at Preservation Hall. All for the public to come and watch - and hear.
Other photos can be found at:
A review of Jazz Camp 2010 from Ginny Luetje
"This may be way too long. But before you delete, scroll down and read my final lines on how I am forever changed.....
Three HUGE CHEERS and HUGE HUGS for the women who pulled off a hugely successful first adult traditional jazz camp in New Orleans. I'll try to hit a few highlights of the camp first in a somewhat linear order and then add some personal highlights. Banu Gibson, Executive Director; Leslie Cooper, Production Director; and Anita Hemeter, Associate Director were assisted throughout by 8 faculty and 4 adjunct faculty -- all highly experienced in New Orleans Trad Jazz. Four guest speakers for breakfast lectures. A squadron of volunteers who were the face of a friendly and welcoming city. My special nod goes to volunteer, Courtney, who spontaneously gifted me with a souvenir I was admiring.
Welcome party on Sunday evening complete with trad jazz music. More than five dozen campers, at least five from other nations. All of us assigned each day to an "band for the day", each day with a different faculty member who kept every "rehearsal" educational and experiential by emphasizing different skills and understandings that enrich performance. On Friday we got a final band assignment or two and faculty to assist with rehearsal to prepare for a public concert that evening. Programs printed for that concert. Concert well marketed to the public and was well attended. Husband, Don, who came to NOLA with me said this concert was really worth attending and one of the things he most enjoyed.
All campers had been sent lead sheets and CDs of the music we would be working on about a month ahead of camp. We had plenty of advance information on everything from schedules to what to pack.
Wednesday, mid-day was a Natchez cruise complete with a calliope concert, a chance for any who wanted to perform in ensemble during a boat concert, lunch if you wanted. Wednesday night there was a private Louis Armstrong birthday party for us in Preservation Hall. Cake and beverages. An opportunity for all who wanted to perform in Preservation Hall. (Not open to public and regular band off on Wednesdays.)
It was a record hot and humid week in New Orleans and official walking tours had to be canceled; native New Orleans tour guides were canceling the tours. That did not seem to slow down the hearty and determined among us. Without even trying, I saw some one or more of us joining the street musicians somewhere every day. There were also jam sessions three evenings across the street at Fritzels from 6 - 8, in the Bourbon OH lounge of the hotel from 7 - 10, and sometimes in other hotel meeting rooms or the ballroom. Banu joked that if campers did not quit sitting-in soon we were going to have to join the union. By the way, all musicians whom I asked who were delivering services or music to the campers were paid.
General highlights for me were: 1) Observing how well the three directors were organizing and looking after things, how friendly and approachable. 2) Getting to learn from and talk with the faculty. They were around and accessible all during the camp, breakfasts, lunches, jams, offering individual time. Each day was fresh while you got at least a snapshot of that faculty member's take on New Orleans trad jazz. Their feedback was always instructive and constructive. 3) Getting to revisit with some old friends from JazzSea Cruises. 4) Getting to make some new friends especially discovering other female instrumentalists. In fact a favorite session for me was an all-female band rehearsal and performing "our number" at the Friday concert.
Thanks, Katie Cavera, for coming to NOLA, for being who you are. You get my "fourth" huge hug and huge cheer.
On Saturday, any who wanted could perform as a Jazz Band Camper on one of the three stages at the annual Satchmo Summerfest.
Obviously they have to balance ensembles into configurations that resemble traditional jazz. No doubt, most, if not all who were there would like to return for a second year. So watch for announcements of next year and make your reservations quickly. Plenty of campers were there because they do not get any other opportunity to play with a full band. Every level of camper was there from masters of their instrument to near-beginners. You do
It certainly was not all about camp for me. I loved soaking up, literally, given the humidity, a week of the French Quarter. The streets were full of tourists, especially once the sun began to set. (I was very surprised by the number of tourists -- some speculated that beach vacations had been rearranged to NOLA vacations as a result of the oil spill.)
Some personal "non-camp" highlights. Jeff Riddick made it possible for he and I to do a sit-in with Uncle Wayne at K-Joes on Sat. evening before the camping week even opened. Uncle Wayne is a terrific pianist and funny, crazy man. Thanks again, Jeff!
On Sunday before camp started, Don and I went to a brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. There was both an inside and an outside jazz trio performing so we lucked into a jazz trio with Amy Sharpe on plectrum tuning, clarinet and string bass. My first time to meet Amy who is a very comfortable talent. This trio was just as comfortable with ballads that provide nice brunch music as they were with the stereotypical jazz banjo rep.
Sunday night was the Palm Court Jazz Cafe. Got to hear Wendall Bruneis on trumpet, Lucien Barbarin, trombone, Tom Fischer, Clarinet, Steve Pistorius, Piano,two of our faculty, Kerry Lewis on bass and Gerald French on drums. Also got to hear Roselyn Lionhart sit-in for a couple of fun vocals.
Monday night jammed in the Bourbon OH lounge then crossed the street to Fritzels to hear Tim Loughlin, cl, Katie Cavera, gtr, David Sagar (faculty) tbn, Dave Boeddinghaus, pn, Terry Walsh, sb.
Friday night went to hear Banu Gibson at the Bombay Club plus faculty, David, Dave, and Terry. Great of course -- intricate vocals that you may never hear live unless Banu does them for you.
Sat. brunch: Hear the Some Like It Hot band at The Market Cafe.This is a really good band with women on trombone, drums, string bass, and leader, Kaye Caldwell on trumpet. Great set of numbers, multiple vocalists. Guitar tuned Rod Kennedy does their banjo, fine solos, great right hand. They invited me to sit-in at a couple of their spots so I'm definitely taking a rain check. Plus I got to visit with a couple of them plus tour guide, Linda.
In the unbelievable heat of Saturday afternoon we found Lee Floyd getting friction burns doing an outdoor venue with a trio at Cafe Beignet. I was partially responsible for the "heat" as I requested Limehouse Blues -- love, love, love, to hear Lee play that. Then I was nicer with a request for Slow Boat to China. During break I got a bit of a face to face visit with Lee for the first time since 1995.
Saturday night we went to hear Don Vappie's new quartet at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Great way to end the week as Don charms and cajoles the audience into a musical journey of the tunes that make him dance -- tenor banjo, guitar, vocals, working with a monster pianist, string bass, and drums.The place was packed, more young than old, the attentiveness was great, yes there was dancing, the music, trad, Latin, contemporary jazz -- all in the same set. Terrific to get better acquainted with Don. Visualize your music. Dance. Porky Pig. Maybe Don will be faculty again next year and you'll learn what I'm just sayin'.
Final message: There were young people all over the NOLA streets listening to "our music". In addition, some of the best trad jazz I heard this week was coming from campers in their 20's (barely that old).
The missing factor is US listening to their music. So I'm going to shut up and try listening to their music some also. Are you grown-up enough to join me? :?)