On Monday the Extended Education Summer Jazz camp began. It runs till August 22 with performances, workshops, discussion groups, and improvisation classes with 100 students taking such things as the bass riff 'for a walk'.
Steve Kirby, the director of the camp, said the students are not only learning about their instruments but about the larger concepts too. Things like how to listen well, how to engage with others of all ages and skill levels, and how to take charge.
"The jazz process promotes listening to one another, engaging one another, debating one another, and in the end presenting a sound that identifies the whole group as a singular entity," Kirby recently wrote.
"The musicians may meander around a musical topic for awhile until one of them comes up with a familiar melody which they all support and present as though it was rehearsed. Then they go off on their own individual commentary on it, absolutely listening to each other, judging and discerning which nuances have the most weight at any given moment. That interaction is a perfect metaphor for a healthy community."
To Kirby, jazz is the perfect medium with which to teach tolerance, and this camp will reflect that.
The results took place on Thursday night when the camp presented the 2009 edition of the Summer Night Jazz Concert featuring world-class jazz artists - concert that draws upwards of 1,000 people to the Max Bell Center. It is the premiere jazz concert of the year and a chance for you to see the University of Manitoba's newest faculty member in the Jazz Studies program, saxophonist Jimmy Greene.
Information is available at the Jazz Winnipeg website here.