In 1985, The Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society launched
a new endeavor in its on going mission to preserve
classic American jazz. The idea was to bring young,
aspiring jazz musicians together with an all-star faculty
in a beautiful, natural environment that was sure to
inspire great music. In the years that have followed,
the camp has played host to such prominent educators
as Johnny Varro, Dick Cary, Bob Havens, Bill Allred,
Dan Barrett, Howard Alden, Gene Estes, and Abe Most,
as well as a flock of gifted students.
summer jazz camp began as a tool to aid in jazz preservation
but what was achieved was far greater.
Not only were the students being instilled with a love
of traditional jazz, they were being prepared for their
whole lives – whether they became professional
musicians, or not. It became apparent that the small
jazz band model was a perfect platform for young people
to problem solve, gain an understanding of responsibility,
work on social skills and make choices about music
in their lives.
a new chapter was opened with the STJS Adult Traditional
Jazz Camp. The initial concept was to develop
a trad jazz program for continuing youth campers. The
hope was to offer further musical education and guidance
to campers who had passed the age limit for the youth
camp, but still very much wanted to continue their
musical growth and participation in the camp. Soon,
it became apparent that former youth campers weren’t
the only ones interested!
adult jazz campers range in age from late teens to
late eighties! They come from all walks
of life, all skill levels and with many different goals.
While the camp still plays host to lots of returning
youth campers, many players are professional or semi-professional
musicians who want to gain an understanding of traditional
Several are comeback musicians who are returning
to music after years in retirement. Some are classical
musicians who are looking for their first venture into
improvising, and others are adult beginning musicians
looking for their first excursion in music. This variety
has served to deepen and enrich the quality of the
program, bringing together diverse people who all share
a love of traditional jazz music.
Looking back to 1985, the STJS camp has become a legend
in its own right. In the years to come, it is the goal
of the STJS to continue to provide this fun opportunity
to jazz musicians of all skill levels, thus fostering
better musicians, better people, and a better world.
Enroll today to become a part of this memorable musical