Renowned jazz musician Bill Jacobs has always had a love of nature and after visiting Little Falls five years ago he decided it would be the perfect place to retreat and expose jazz to the people of the Mohawk Valley through a two-week daily summer camp at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts.
Born in the Bronx, Jacobs had an early introduction to the performing arts through his upbringing in Addisleigh Park in Queens where he developed an affinity and passion for music. His formal music education was completed through SUNY Empire State College.
After completing his schooling Jacobs took the opportunity to study at Billy Taylor’s Jazzmobile in Harlem and at the Barry Harris Jazz Cultural Theatre, as well as studying under the tutelage of Weldon Irvine, an accomplished musician, composer and playwright. His studies on the development of African American music inspired him to form the Bill Jacobs Ensembles, an organization created to inspire, educate and perform for those in the metropolitan area.
After spending a few years in the local area Jacobs said the jazz culture is very desolate.
“I’ve listened to the Herkimer County Community College station — WVHC 91.5 FM — which plays jazz and that is an absolute jewel to the community, but I look around elsewhere and I wonder where is the jazz,” Jacobs said. “This area has not been exposed to what it is and to what I do and offer as a musician.”
After connecting with the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts collaboration was born.
Through the center Jacobs and the Bill Jacobs Ensembles will offer a jazz instrumental instruction two-week daily summer camp in which students of all ages will gain a better understanding of jazz music by learning the fundamentals of instrumental jazz theory, technique, performance and the history of jazz in all instruments.
“I guarantee the musicians who attend camp will become more advanced then when they begin, gain a unique experience and learn the history of the jazz art form,” Jacobs said.
Although Jacob said he plans to teach the basics he said the camp is not for beginners.
“Music does not discriminate against age, but I am looking for proper students that range from the age of junior high school to adult. No matter the age every student must have a good knowledge of instrumental instruction to qualify,” he said.
The two-week daily summer music camp will offer two different sessions.
Session I will begin on Monday, July 15, and run to Friday, July 26, meeting from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Session II will begin on Monday, July 29, and run to Friday, Aug. 9, and will also meet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost is $175 per two-week session payable once accepted into the program.
Page 2 of 2 - Applications must be completed to qualify for the jazz camp and are available at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts or online at mohwakvalleyarts.org.
Application deadline is May 31. Students will be notified of acceptance in June.
Due to the uniqueness of the program space is limited.
For more information, call 823-0808 or email email@example.com.