07/25/13 By Keith Michaud
Summer Jazz Colony Draws Top High School Musicians
Annual Brubeck Institute Program Pairs Nation’s Best Student Musicians with Award-Winning Jazz Artists
STOCKTON, Calif. – The Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony at University of the Pacific draws together 18 of the best high school jazz musicians from throughout the country to hone their performance skills in the shadow of jazz greatness.
Named for the late Dave Brubeck, a University of the Pacific alumnus who went on to become the most popular jazz musician of his time, the Summer Jazz Colony provides participants with intense musical instruction, meaningful mentoring, and challenging performance experiences.
Russell Gloyd, who conducted symphonic and choral appearances for the Dave Brubeck Quartet, is slated to be among the distinguished visiting faculty this year. Grammy Award-winning bassists Eddie Gomez and Clark Sommers also will be on hand, as will Grammy nominees Stefon Harris (vibraphone) and Matt Wilson (drums), along with a roster of other highly regarded artists-in-residence who are among the finest musicians and instructors in jazz today.
“Under the mentorship of world-class artist educators, these young musicians embark on a weeklong journey of musical self-discovery,” said Brubeck Institute Executive Director Simon Rowe. “In the past, many of our colonists have been so deeply inspired by this experience that they have aspired to become a part of our highly regarded Brubeck Fellowship Program. In fact, three of our incoming 2013-14 Brubeck Fellows, Max Boiko (trumpet), Sean Britt (guitar) and Jalon Archie (drums), were all 2012 Summer Jazz Colonists.”
University of the Pacific’s Brubeck Fellowship Program is a one- or two-year full-scholarship program in jazz performance for five musicians who have just graduated from high school. The Brubeck Fellows comprise the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet, winner of numerous DownBeat awards for best collegiate jazz group in the country. The group also performs at schools, jazz festivals and jazz clubs throughout the country, and in April played at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and at the first-ever Dave Brubeck Forum at the United Nations in New York City.
Ben Flocks, a Brubeck Fellow in 2007-08 and again in 2008-09, and now a professional saxophonist, composer and educator in Brooklyn, N.Y., will be among this year’s instructors. Malachi Whitson, a Brubeck Fellow in 2011-12 and 2012-13 now pursuing a three-year honor jazz degree from the Pacific Conservatory of Music, is another former Brubeck Fellow returning to teach and mentor Summer Jazz Colonists.
The 18 Summer Jazz Colonists are selected from about 70 applicants each year. Musicians must fill out an application, submit two letters of recommendation, include a resume highlighting performance experience, and upload a recorded audition showing musical skill and versatility.
The Summer Jazz Colonists study with Brubeck Institute faculty, guest artists and master teachers in combo rehearsals, master classes and private instruction. They take classes in jazz theory and advanced jazz improvisation, and seminars on Brubeck’s music and other topics. The Summer Jazz Colonists have an opportunity to visit with musical artists and clinicians, and to visit the Brubeck Collection housed in the Holt-Atherton Special Collections at the University of the Pacific Library.
Following each day’s lectures, students perform jazz standards with their faculty mentors during evening jam sessions at the Take 5 Jazz Club, established last year as a partnership between the University of the Pacific and Valley Brewing Company and located in Stockton’s “Miracle Mile” district. The club takes its name from the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s best-remembered piece, “Take Five,” which endures as a jazz classic. The experience helps students sharpen their skills in improvisation and interaction, and prepare them to quickly learn new music with other musicians in unrehearsed settings.
“We are thrilled to work with these developing artists and are glad to have the opportunity to facilitate their musical journeys,” said Rowe.
The public will have a chance to hear the results of this intensive learning opportunity during a series of performances. First is a faculty concert and jam session featuring Gomez, Harris, Wilson and others at 7 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Take 5 Jazz Club at Valley Brew, 157 W. Adams St., Stockton. Nice Young Men, a high-energy collaboration of former Brubeck Fellow Colin McDaniel (drums) and former Summer Jazz Colonist Jon Hatamiya (trombone), and Albert Baliwas (sax), Kevin Bernstein (piano) and John Snow (bass), are scheduled to perform there 7-9 p.m. the next evening. Student and faculty jam sessions will be 7-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 6-7, at the Take 5 Jazz Club. The Jeff Clayton Sextet will perform 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at Take 5 Jazz Club. Members of the public are invited to observe the evening jam session workshops and hear the tips, tricks and words of wisdom that the musicians share with the students while playing great jazz.
The weeklong musical experience culminates in the Summer Jazz Colony Concert 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at the Faye Spanos Concert Hall at University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave. in Stockton. Admission to this concert is free to the public.
About the Brubeck Institute
The Brubeck Institute was established by the University of the Pacific in 2000 to honor its distinguished alumni, Dave and Iola Brubeck. The mission of the Brubeck Institute is to build on Dave Brubeck’s legacy and his lifelong dedication to music, creativity, education, and the advancement of important social issues including civil rights, environmental concerns, international relations, and social justice. The Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony is just one of the Brubeck Institute’s five core programs. Visit www.brubeckinstitute.org/ for more information on the Brubeck Institute and the Summer Jazz Colony, or contact Brubeck Institute Executive Director Simon Rowe or Associate Director Nick Fryer by calling 209.946.3196.
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