NEW YORK, NY: New York City’s acclaimed music school, New York Jazz Academy, is offering affordable Summer Jazz Intensives to adults and teens who can make it to their exciting new space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. New York Jazz Academy, recently featured on NBC’s Today in New York, CNBC, and CBS News, is offering week-long summer jazz workshops to jazz players who want to freshen their improv or tighten their skills in a setting that’s friendly but rigorous. “The great thing about the school,” says Javier Arau, the school’s founder and current director, “is that it’s about music connecting people. We’re not elitist. We are a great place to come to, whether you want to bring your instrument and have fun with folks, or if you want to challenge yourself to learn from the best. We care about the value of both.” Arau, a leader in NYC’s jazz community, has been featured in DownBeat, Saxophone Journal and other major magazines.
With its adult and teen programs, the NYJA Summer Jazz Intensives offer training, clinics, and performance activities for soloists and band musicians alike. Last summer, the school’s was the largest summer jazz program in the city. Now the program is going one better: this summer, the Jazz Academy will offer an immersive summer jazz workshop experience that incorporates visits to major New York City jazz clubs and visits with influential players on the NYC jazz scene.
NYJA is also home to an impressive list of faculty, including Wayne Escoffery, Carolyn Leonhart, Oscar Feldman, Dave Ambrosio, Aaron Scott, Adam Birnbaum, and more. Faculty guitarist Tom Dempsey, the former music director of the National Guitar Workshop is enthusiast about the summer camp:
“One of the things I enjoy the most about teaching at the jazz academy is that the teaching happens the way it should, which is on the bandstand. It happens in the ensembles that we work with, in the rehearsals, and it really becomes what a true workshop is, where you’re working things out right there in the classroom. Also, a very unique aspect of this program is the fact that, while they’re getting all this great ensemble experience and great playing experience, they’re also getting one-on-one private lessons every single day. That’s almost unheard of in summer workshops that happen around the country. And, then, to be able to do it and experience all that New York has to offer in its jazz community, going to Jazz Standard to hear the Mingus Big Band, going to Smalls to participate in the jam session—I mean, it’s like no other experience, and I think that this program is continuing to develop and make a tremendous contribution to the vitality of jazz, both in New York and throughout the world.”
The school’s big bands, vocal ensembles, and small combos have played at such varied and storied jazz venues as Somethin’ Jazz Club, Tutuma Social Club, and Carnegie Hall. With sponsorship from Sabian and Vic Firth (courtesy of faculty member Pete Zimmer), RS Berkeley, and others, the school is a sure-fire hit. Pick up your horn (or bass, guitar, drumsticks, clarinet, flute, or mic) and join in!