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, listening to the masters of the genre, and improvisational studies. Daily classes include large ensemble rehearsals of standard jazz band instrumentation, sectionals, technique class, improvisation class, and a listening lab. Students are encouraged to refine their jazz improvisational skills throughout their classes.

The jazz program is open to both seasoned jazzers as well as young musicians just learning about the genre. Students audition on opening day for placement and are grouped by ability, with the most advanced assigned to the Vanguard Jazz Band, while others are divided equally among the remaining ensembles.

Students can complete their instructional day by choosing a Minor, allowing them to experience another area of interest while at camp. See minors for a complete listing of courses. Students also have the opportunity to hear various performances presented as a part of Blue Lake’s Summer Arts Festival, as well as participate in recreational activities and other camper events.

Blue Lake International
During the summer seaon, each jazz student will have the opportunity to apply for the International Jazz Ensemble, which will tour Europe during the summer of 2021, as part of Blue Lake's International Exchange Program. For additional information on this exciting opportunity visit


Jazz Conductors 2021

Session 1
Vanguard Jazz Band – James Sawyer, retired, East Kentwood Public Schools, Kentwood, MI
Blue Note Jazz Band – Roxanne Stevenson, Chicago State University, Chicago, IL

Session 2
Vanguard Jazz Band – David Jensen, Royal Oak Schools, Royal Oak, MI
Blue Note Jazz Band – Dominic Bierenga, Hazel Park, MI

Session 3
Vanguard Jazz Band – Kerry Moffit, retired USAF, Newport News, VA
Blue Note Jazz Band – Gregory Dudzienski, Chicago, IL