UW-Green Bay Jazz on the Bay

John Salerno, UW-Green Bay jazz program director, tells how jazz instructors from across the region help participants become more confident and inspirational performers. Participants experience the freedom of improvisation and the glow of amazing jazz harmonies as they perform with their peers.

Read the Press Release

Transcript: John Salerno, Director, Jazz By the Bay Summer Camp

Why should kids come to this jazz camp? Well first of all, they’re going to have a great time. We’ve had this camp going for about 35 years. We get great faculty. Not only will they see old friends and meet new ones, but they’re going to get to play and work with some of the best jazz educators and performers in the state. And they get to play jazz. That’s a great reason.

This camp is for anyone who wants to play jazz or learn about jazz. They’ll receive instruction in the instrument or voice. We have small ensembles, and large ensembles, and a big jazz band and combos. They’ll also work on improvisation.

In the small combos, that’s where everyone, all the students are able to become a little more fluent in improvisation. That’s basically what we try to do here; is give them and opportunity to improvise in a smaller setting.

The faculty at the camp are, first of all, jazz performers. They all play the style wonderfully. Some are educators in universities and some are freelance players. But all have done a lot of teaching and are great educators. That’s really one of the first reasons or criteria we use to hire. Are you able to teach this and also to play? They are a wonderful faculty.

It’s a great time. It’s a very successful camp. It’s one of the longest in the state and we’re very proud of it.

They probably will be better players. They will be more sensitive to playing within a section. And they’ll have an idea of what goes on with improvisation and certainly they will know how much more they have to practice. They can’t help but learn some things here.

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