The 24th annual Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp and “Hot Jazz-6 Cool Nites” concert series will be presented at North Central College July 21-27. The overlapping events are jointly sponsored by the College’s Jazz Studies Program.
The Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp, founded in 1989, provides a unique educational experience for aspiring jazz vocalists in an intensified, one-week course of study and skills development conducted by an outstanding faculty of professional performing and recording artists. Cited by Jazziz Magazine as “among the most innovative and dynamic summer jazz educational programs in the country,” the camp has been featured on the PBS national news program “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” HDNET-TV, WGN-TV and WTTW Channel 11 Chicago.
The camp’s international reputation draws students from all parts of the United States and Canada, Europe and Asia. Participants typically range in age and background from high school and college students to adult professional vocalists and jazz educators. The curriculum is designed specifically for the solo jazz vocalist. Daily activities include workshops in jazz improvisation, performance styles and techniques and solo performance preparation as well as artist master classes, vocal jazz history and music theory. There are also nightly faculty artist concerts, informal student jam sessions, and a final concert featuring each participant performing with the staff rhythm section.
This year’s camp, July 22-27, is open to all participants from age 14 through adult. Tuition is $625; housing and meals are available for an additional $300. The deadline for enrollment is June 1. Visit janiceborlavocaljazzcamp.org to learn more.
This year’s featured vocal staff artists are Borla, Jay Clayton and Suzanne Pittson—three internationally acclaimed jazz vocalists who each possess extensive resumes as both performing artists and jazz educators.
The recordings and performances of camp founder and director Borla have earned her consistently high praise for her beautiful sound, adventurous repertoire and imaginative improvisations. Her latest CD, “From Every Angle,” was named one of the “Best CDs of the Year” by DownBeat Magazine. A recognized pioneer in vocal jazz education, Borla established the vocal jazz programs at Benedictine University and the Saskatchewan School of the Arts in Canada and is instructor of vocal jazz at North Central College.
Returning this year is Clayton, an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer and educator whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. She has recorded with Steve Reich, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Cage, Bobby McFerrin, Jane Ira Bloom and many others and is co-founder of the acclaimed improvisatory vocal quintet Vocal Summit. Her latest CD, “The Peace of Wild Things” showcases her personal style, using her solo voice and innovative use of electronics. Clayton is on the faculty at the New School in New York City and Peabody Institute in Baltimore.
Completing the camp’s vocal faculty is Pittson, who has recorded with such jazz luminaries as John Patitucci, Harvie Swartz, Keremy Pelt and Jack Walrath. Her current CD, “Out of the Hub: The Music of Freddie Hubbard,” earned a four-star review from DownBeat Magazine. She is assistant professor of jazz vocal studies at City College of New York.
In addition to the vocal faculty artists, featured on the camp staff will be jazz trumpeter Art Davis, formerly with the Ray Charles Orchestra. Also on staff will be the Dan Haerle Trio, comprised of pianist Dan Haerle, bassist Bob Bowman and drummer Jack Mouse—each an internationally known jazz artist and clinician.
A special highlight of the week’s activities is the “Hot Jazz-6 Cool Nites” evening concert series, featuring the camp faculty artists and open to the general public. This year’s concerts will be presented in the College’s theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. The faculty artist series opens on Saturday, July 21, and continues Monday through Thursday, July 23-26, featuring a different combination of artists each evening. The series concludes on Friday, July 27 with a concert featuring all of the camp participants performing with the faculty rhythm section. Sponsors of the concert series include Main Street Promenade, The Naperville Sun, WDCB-FM 90.9 and Shure.
For more information regarding the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp, contact Borla at 630-416-3911 or firstname.lastname@example.org, visit janiceborlavocaljazzcamp.org or write to the camp c/o Department of Music, North Central College, 30 N. Brainard Street, Naperville, IL 60540.