The Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp and Hot Jazz-6 Cool Nites concert series celebrates its 25th anniversary July 21-27 at North Central College.
The Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp was founded in 1989 and provides a unique educational experience for aspiring jazz vocalists in an intensified, one-week course of study and skills development conducted by an outstanding artist faculty of professional performing and recording artists. Cited by Jazziz Magazine as “among the most innovative and dynamic summer jazz educational programs in the country,” the camp has been featured on the PBS national news program “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” HDNET-TV, WGN-TV and WTTW-TV in Chicago.
The camp’s international reputation draws students from all parts of the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Participants typically range in age and background from high school and college students to adult professional vocalists and jazz educators. The curriculum is designed specifically for the solo jazz vocalist. Daily activities include workshops in jazz improvisation, performance styles and techniques and solo performance preparation as well as artist master classes, vocal jazz history and music theory. There are also nightly faculty artist concerts, informal student jam sessions, and a final concert featuring each participant performing with the staff rhythm section.
This year’s camp, July 21-27, is open to all participants from age 14 through adult. Tuition is $650; housing and meals are available for an additional $300. The deadline for enrollment is June 1. Visit janiceborlavocaljazzcamp.org to learn more.
This year’s featured vocal staff artists are Janice Borla, Jay Clayton and Peter Eldridge—three internationally acclaimed jazz vocalists who each possess extensive resumes as both performing artists and jazz educators.
Borla’s recordings and performances have earned her consistently high praise for her beautiful sound, adventurous repertoire and imaginative improvisations. Her latest CD, “From Every Angle” was named one of the Best CDs of the Year by DownBeat Magazine. A recognized pioneer in vocal jazz education, Borla established the vocal jazz programs at Benedictine University and the Saskatchewan School of the Arts in Canada and is director of vocal jazz at North Central College.
Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer and educator whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. She has recorded with Steve Reich, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Cage, Bobby McFerrin, Jane Ira Bloom and many others and is co-founder of the acclaimed improvisatory vocal quintet Vocal Summit. Her latest CD, “The Peace of Wild Things,” showcases her personal style, using her solo voice and innovative use of electronics. Clayton is a faculty member at the New School in New York City and Peabody Institute in Baltimore.
Eldridge is new to the jazz camp faculty this year. He is perhaps best known as co-founder of the double Grammy-winning ensemble New York Voices, with whom he has recorded and toured for the past 25 years. He has also worked with Bobby McFerrin, Michael Brecker, Meredith Monk and Fred Hersch, among many others. His newest CD, “Mad Heaven,” showcases his talents as composer and lyricist. Eldridge is head of the jazz voice faculty at Manhattan School of Music.
In addition to the vocal faculty artists, featured on the camp staff will be jazz trumpeter Art Davis, formerly with the Ray Charles Orchestra. Also on staff will be the Dan Haerle Trio, comprised of pianist Dan Haerle, bassist Bob Bowman and drummer Jack Mouse, each an internationally known jazz artist and clinician.
A highlight of the week’s activities is the Hot Jazz-6 Cool Nites evening concert series, featuring the camp faculty artists and open to the general public. This year’s concerts will be presented in the Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. The series opens on Sunday, July 21, and continues Tuesday through Friday, July 23-26, featuring a different combination of artists each evening. The series concludes on Saturday, July 27, with a concert featuring all of the camp participants performing with the faculty rhythm section.