Jazz Camp

Week 1: Sunday, July 19 – Friday, July 24, 2015
Week 2: Sunday, July 26 – Friday, July 31, 2015
  • For ages 12 – 17, no audition required for enrollment*
  • Stay on campus or commute from home
  • Classes and ensembles tailored to your experience and ability based on our online placement evaluation
  • Emphasis on small combo, one-on-a-part improvisation and performance
  • Daily combo rehearsals led by professional jazz musicians
  • Individual instruction
  • Musicianship classes
  • Jazz theory classes
  • Instrument-specific and vocal master classes
  • Free admission to nightly Stanford Jazz Festival concerts and CoHo jams
  • Fun activities such as talent show, dorm dance, ice cream social, and sports
  • Friday night Friends and Family Dinner
  • Jazz Camp Showcase, Friday night

*The Stanford Jazz Camp welcomes musicians who have little or no experience playing jazz or playing in a small combo, provided they have studied their instrument for at least 18 months.

Jazz Camp immerses participants in a fun, focused, and supportive environment. The program offers instrumentalists and vocalists an opportunity to study and play with motivated peers and a prestigious faculty of professional musicians and educators.

The Jazz Camp curriculum includes master classes, ensemble playing, private instruction, and performance, as well as theory, musicianship and jazz history. Emphasis is placed on developing participants’ jazz skills and techniques. Jazz Camp culminates in a public showcase by student combos and vocalists. In addition to daily class sessions and rehearsals, students may attend jam sessions and Stanford Jazz Festival concerts to enhance their Jazz Camp experience. Supervision by SJW’s experienced team of college-aged musician/counselors is provided for campers who decide to stay in Stanford housing.

Jazz Camp participants may choose to stay on campus in dormitories, or may attend the workshop while commuting from home.

Vocalists and String Players at Jazz Camp

The Jazz Camp Vocal Program offers singers access to the general Jazz Camp curriculum as well as instruction in jazz vocals within a small ensemble setting. The String Program is designed to serve as a bridge between classical music studies and jazz techniques. The program provides string players access to the general Jazz Camp curriculum and instruction in improvisation and jazz techniques specific to their instruments.

Classes and activities

  • Jazz Theory
    This class (about 20-30 people) focuses on harmony, song forms, scales, and advanced concepts in jazz music theory. There are four different levels of this class, from beginning to advanced. There is a special theory class for drummers.
  • Musicianship
    This small class of 5-8 students focuses on ear-training and rhythm exercises. Students learn by trying to repeat by ear what the instructor plays in call-and-response fashion, and through a variety of other techniques.
  • Masterclass
    Players of similar instruments (i.e. all trumpets, or all pianos) meet with virtuoso faculty members to learn advanced techniques for their instrument or voice and to discuss concepts particular to that instrument.
  • Special Presentations and Demonstrations
    In special presentations, SJW faculty relate their personal experiences as leading artists in jazz, perform live demonstrations, and answer questions about what it's like to study, perform, compose, and live a life in jazz. In directed listening sessions, students become acquainted with the greatest recordings in jazz.
  • Small Ensembles / Combos
    Students play and rehearse daily in small combos directed by faculty artists. These groups work on improvising as an ensemble and putting into practice the lessons learned in theory, musicianship, and masterclasses. Music will be provided as necessary.
  • Private Lessons
    Each student receives one private lesson with SJW faculty during the week. The date and time of the lesson will be assigned during camp and noted on a student’s individual daily schedule.
  • Jam Sessions
    Students are encouraged to come and play with others at these fun, optional playing sessions that are guided and supervised by faculty and counselors.
  • Afternoon Free Time
    Organized activities during free time include the talent show, dorm dance, ice cream social, sports, arts and crafts, and jam sessions. Students may also practice or rest. Commuter students are welcome to join in these activities, too.


Activities for parents and families

Families and friends of Jazz Camp students are invited to attend the Jazz Camp Showcase, held on the final Friday of each week of Jazz Camp. Admission to the Showcase is free. Tickets for the pre-concert Friends and Family Dinner will be available for purchase. Families and friends are also invited to purchase tickets to nightly Stanford Jazz Festival concerts. Information on how to purchase festival tickets is in the Jazz Camp Info Pack, which you can <<download at right or by clicking here>>. Families wishing to stay near or with participants are encouraged to contact the Stanford Jazz Festival’s Official Sponsor Hotels. These hotels frequently offer discount packages during Jazz Camp. See details by clicking here.

Questions? Please e-mail registrar@stanfordjazz.org or call 650-736-0324 x303.

Photos by Teresa Tam and Jeffrey Dean.