Blue Lake’s Jazz Program is designed to challenge young artists of all proficiency levels by exploring the world of Jazz through a well-balanced curriculum focusing on ensemble work, studying the masters of the genre, and improvisational studies. Daily classes include full ensemble rehearsals of standard jazz band instrumentation, sectionals, technique class, and an improvisation and listening lab. Students are encouraged to refine their jazz improvisational skills throughout all classes.

The jazz program, offered in Sessions 1, 2, and 3 only, is open to intermediate and advanced jazz students, as well as less experienced musicians who are new to this uniquely American art form. Students will be grouped by experience and ability after submitting a placement video prior to arrival.

Students can complete their instructional day by choosing a Minor, allowing them to experience another area of interest while at camp. Students also have the opportunity to attend Summer Arts Festival performances, as well as participate in recreation, camp activities, and attend arts-focused educational events in the evening.

Blue Lake International
During the summer season, each jazz student will have the opportunity to apply for the International Jazz Ensemble, which will tour Europe during the following summer, as part of Blue Lake’s International Exchange Program.

Jazz Conductors 2022

Session 1

Vanguard Jazz Band – James Sawyer, Retired, Kentwood Public Schools, Kentwood, MI

Blue Note Jazz Band – Dominic Bierenga, Instructor, McCourt’s Music, New Baltimore, MI

Session 2

Vanguard Jazz Band – Dave Jensen, Royal Oak Public Schools, Royal Oak, MI

Blue Note Jazz Band – Greg Dudzienski, Freelance Jazz Saxophonist and Educator, Chicago, IL

Session 3

Vanguard Jazz Band – Sandra Shaw, Retired, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Portage, MI

Blue Note Jazz Band – Walter Harris, Harlem Children’s Zone, New York, NY