NEW ORLEANS – It won’t be happening in person, and it won’t last the typical three weeks, but for the 26th year, despite all that has occurred since middle March, the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp will happen as it launches a virtual jazz camp June 22 -July 3.
“Our team has been working long hours to find a way to make the camp happen this year,” notes Jackie Harris, the camp’s founder and executive director. The solution, according to Harris, “Is to do what a lot of businesses have done, and even musicians as a way of performing since the COVID-19 lockdown, rely on technology. Instead of physically being in a classroom, instructors will be using Zoom and the Manoke app, which is a library of digital sheet music, for student instruction.”
Harris says they have room for 60 students. Currently, there are 58 students enrolled located from all over the world, including students from London, Mozambique, and numerous states in the U.S. To take part in this year’s virtual camp. Former students will be given priority seating and will not need to audition again; new students will need to provide a video of them performing to qualify for the camp. Musicians must be between 13-21 years old and currently involved in music education in school or through private instruction. Classes this year include instrumental instruction, dance, vocals and music composition. Students will log in for a few hours of daily work and individual instruction.
Another change this year is the camp fee, which is free except for a $55 license fee to use Manoke. Harris says that thanks to the generous donation from five main sponsors, all fees are being waived for campers.
“We are just so grateful to have wonderful sponsors who have stepped up during these uncertain times. We know this camp would not have been possible for some families this year with all that has occurred, so we are happy to announce that other than needing access to the internet and the music app, some headphones and an instrument, students will not incur any other costs.”