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Maryland Summer Jazz Returns for Seventh Sensational Season!

SOURCE: THE PHILLIPS AGENCY, Published: 2011-05-16

Now in its seventh year, the Maryland Summer Jazz Festival returns for another sensational season of workshops and jams for musicians and public concerts for jazz fans.

From July 19 through 29, residents and tourists will have many rich opportunities to hear and learn about America's homegrown musical heritage at the Rockville campus and in historic jazz clubs in nearby Washington, DC.

Drawing adult learners and listeners from coast to coast, the top rated event features first-tier professional musicians on stages and in classrooms. Avid adult learners attend to raise the bar on their singing and playing, taking opportunities to jam and perform. Many are inspired to go on to professional music careers.

Internationally celebrated saxophonist and educator Jeff Antoniuk and music promoter Paula Phillips cofounded the festival. It quickly outgrew its regional origin and now attracts students from many states—as far away as Florida and California.

Jazz Camp

At the heart of the festival are two sessions of jazz camp. Each is three days of intensive instruction for students from 16 to retirement age. Instructors are performing and recording artists, including many university jazz professors. Attendees can hear these fantastic players in concert, then work directly with them the very next day.

Classes help gifted amateurs and semi pros bring their skill and technique up to the level of working musicians. Playing with others provides critical networking opportunities. Over a dozen popular jazz bands first came together through the camps.

The program also nurtures gifted high school and college students intent on music careers. Scholarships and internships encourage young talent. Electives on such topics as Latin Jazz, vocal styles and rhythm section techniques allow them to progress instead of falling back in the summer months between semesters.

When not immersed in music, festival participants will have the chance to explore Washington, D.C. Out-of-town campers may want to bring their families along to spend time on the Mall visiting the many national museums.

Four Evenings of Concerts

Each week a kickoff concert is held at an historic DC jazz club. The July 19 concert is at the famous Blues Alley in Georgetown. The July 26 concert will be held at the legendary Bohemian Caverns, the city's oldest jazz club, in the trendy U Street jazz district.

Additional concerts are held July 22 and 29 at Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in Rockville, Maryland. The church is a well-known musical venue in the region and the site of the jazz camp. Each concert is unique so listeners can attend all four and always hear something different.

Stellar Guest Artists

On the roster of 16 performers and teachers for this season are two outstanding artists who teach at Berklee School of Music in Boston. Fred Lipsius is the Grammy-winning original saxophonist, arranger and conductor for the groundbreaking fusion group Blood, Sweat & Tears. He has authored six books/CDs for jazz students. Returning guitarist and author Steve Rochinski has played with jazz giants Tal Farlow, Tim Hagans and Joe Lovano and records on Germany's leading jazz guitar label, Jardis Records.

Baltimore's first lady of jazz, vocalist Felicia Carter, is a featured guest artist this year. Reminiscent of Billie Holliday, Carter continues to earn accolades for her beautiful voice, dramatic delivery and compositions. Her recent release, Nothing To Do, is collaboration with powerhouse bassist and jazz festival guest artist Amy Shook of Annapolis, Maryland. Shook's performance last year was a festival show stopper.

Versatile trumpeter, composer and educator John D'Earth has enjoyed a long career working with jazz greats (Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton, Pat Metheny) and pop musicians (Dave Matthews, Bruce Hornsby). He comes to teach and perform at Maryland Summer Jazz on break from his main gig as director of jazz performance at the University of Virginia.

Pianist Alan Blackman is a versatile composer who has won awards from the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program, the Maryland State Arts Council, and other prestigious institutions. His original music has been featured in films and television. Audiences will be inspired by his assured touch and deep vocabulary influenced by progressive jazz, classical music, pop, and gospel. See the festival website for a complete faculty list and biographical information.

Jazz camp registration continues through June 30. Phone queries can be made to 410-295- 6691. For more information about the camp and to obtain concert tickets, visit Maryland Summer Jazz.