A Summer Jazz Camp To Build A Dream On

Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp

         Grammy Award-nominated artist Patrice Rushen took center stage last night at the The Little Gem Saloon to headline a concert benefitting The Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp.

         Rushen, this year’s 2015 artist-in-residence for the 3-week summer camp which serves music and dance students from 10 to 21-years-old, said “I felt compelled to be a part of such an amazing group of musicians who dedicate their time to improving the musical talents of today’s young musicians.”

         Norma Miller, also a 2015 artist-in-residence, was the host for the evening. Dubbed the “Queen of Swing,” Miller is one of the last dancers from the Harlem Savoy Ballroom days, as well as an actress, comedienne and author.

         Also performing at the show was New Orleans’ dean of avant-garde music, and the jazz camp’s artistic director, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, and members of the camp’s faculty and alumni including Germaine Bazzle, Gregory Agid, Herman Lebeaux, Kent Jordan, Darrell Lavigne, Maynard Chatters, Marlon Jordan, Peter Cho, Brian Quezergue and Roderick Paulin.

         “It is so moving to have this concert once again this year, especially with all of our faculty and alumni,” Jackie Harris, the camp’s executive director, said. “It really shows that what we started 21 years ago is still growing today.”

         Proceeds raised at the benefit will go towards the continuation of the Jazz Camp, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving New Orleans’ cultural legacy and providing opportunities for arts education for New Orleans youth. Its mission is to, “honor jazz in the place of its birth and to foster greater appreciation of this art form.”

         Past artists in residence have included Donald Byrd, Kevin Eubanks, Chico Hamilton, Wynton Marsalis and Nicholas Payton.

         The Jazz Camp was founded in 1995 and has grown from a one-week camp with 35 students to the current three-week intensive program which trains 100 students in brass, woodwinds, piano, acoustic and electric bass, drums, percussion, guitar, music composition, swing dance and vocals.

         Once supported by The City of New Orleans, The Jazz Camp is now independent of local government and operates under the auspices of the nonprofit New Orleans Arts & Cultural Host Committee.

         According to 2013 tax filings, the NOACHC operates within an half a million dollar budget and its income, $245,550 in 2013, depends on contributions, donations and camp tuition.

         The Jazz Camp was housed at the University of New Orleans’ Medard Nelson Charter School for 15 years. Since 2009, The Jazz Camp offers its intense music education classes, to students who have been studying music for a minimum of two years, at Loyola University’s New Orleans College of Music and Fine Arts, Mondays through Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., for 3 weeks during the summer.

         Because of budget deficits, the Jazz Camp no longer offers training programs in music business, recording engineering and music notation technology for advanced students, but organizers said they hope to reinstate the workshop series in the future.

         The Jazz Camp considers admissions from local and out of state students, and even offers housing at Loyola. Prospective participants send in audition materials, which are evaluated by Jazz Camp teachers who make an admissions decision based on the student’s ability and quality of their performance, the student’s commitment and interest in enrolling in camp and a music teacher’s letter of recommendation.

         Registration fees range from $35 – $125 and tuition from between $130 – $5,000 depending on the applicant’s classification and residential needs. Students may also apply for scholarships.

         Those who donate can underwrite 1 student for $1,000 and underwrite a partial scholarship for $500.

         Jazz Camp founders believe the education students receive at their program “develops the whole person, raises self-esteem and teaches leadership, teamwork, problem solving skills, good citizenship and respect for culture.”

         The primary sponsor and supporter of the Jazz Camp is the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation out of New York that was founded by Louis and Lucille Armstrong. All assets from their estate were left to the Foundation.

         Other strategic partnerships that have insured the success and longevity of the camp include those with The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Jazz At Lincoln Center (JALC), Positive Vibrations Foundation (PVF), First NBC Bank, The Advocate New Orleans, Patrick Taylor Foundation, Goldring Family Foundation, Arts Council of New Orleans/ City of New Orleans, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Ruth U. Fertel Foundation, Liberty Bank and Trust, Peoples Health Network, and The Greater New Orleans Foundation/GiveNola.com among many others.

         This year’s Jazz Camp concludes tomorrow, Friday, July 17.



Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp
New Orleans Arts and Cultural Host Committee
124 Roselyn Park Pl.
New Orleans, LA  70131
(504) 715-9295





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