Jazz Improvisation & Combo Camp 

COVID-19 Information

 Dates: July 4-9, 2021
 Completing Grades 6-12


Course Description

A week of jazz playing and study that will change your life! Shell Lake's Jazz Improvisation and Combo Camp features small group playing & rehearsals, masterclasses, improv sessions, jazz history and listening. Camp also includes Individual improvisation lessons and arranging classes!  Join the thousands of students who have studied with our outstanding teaching-artist faculty, and get the skills to become a great jazz player.

Who Should Enroll
Students completing grades 6-12... all levels of experience are accepted, from beginner to advanced. You receive a personal private audition upon Sunday arrival and are matched with others of the same level. Whether you're just starting your jazz experience, or are an accomplished player and passionate about continuing your studies, this camp is for you!

Camp Features
Jazz Improvisation Classes
Instrument Masterclasses
Small Group Rehearsals
Listening Class: Hearing The Masters In Jazz
Arranging Basics For Combo
Wide Variety of Music: Jazz Standards to Contemporary Classics
Faculty & Student Performances
Free time: Practice, relax or head to the beach

The Shell Lake Jazz Experience
For more than 50 years, the Shell Lake Jazz Camps have been the launching pad for some of America's most acclaimed musicians, including:
Geoff Keezer (Piano with Art Blakey, David Sanborn)
Bill Evans (Saxophone with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker)
Lyle Mays (Keyboards with The Pat Metheny Group)
Byron Stripling (Trumpet with The Count Basie Orchestra)
Ethan Iverson (Piano with The Bad Plus)

Sign Up Now!
There's just one session of the popular Jazz Improvisation & Combo Camp. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up early and join us this summer to make your own jazz history.

Instruments Accepted
Clarinet and Flute
Trumpet, French Horn
Trombone and All Low Brass
Piano & Keyboards 
Vibes & Marimba


Short placement auditions will be held on Sunday afternoon from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. These are to assess each student's level and to aid in the most educational week possible. Participants should be prepared to perform:

Piano and guitar

Demonstrate the ability to comp chord changes


Demonstrate the ability to walk a bass line


Be prepared to play in-time in a variety of styles and tempi. Be able to demonstrate swing, bossa nova, samba, funk, waltz and use of brushes.

Trumpet, saxophone, and trombone

Should perform with a play-along CD. Jamey Abersold's Play-Along CDs are recommended. Information for ordering can be found at www.jazzbooks.com, or by calling (800) 456-1388.

Piano, bass, and guitar

You may choose to use a play-along CD, or should provide a concert lead sheet for the faculty hearing the audition to use in accompanying the student.

Sample Daily Schedule

9:00 AM Master Class
10:00 AM Combo Rehearsal
11:30 AM Improvisation 
12:20 Lunch
1:20 PM Combo Rehearsal
2:15 PM Group Masterclass
3:30 PM Private Lessons (Scheduling TBD by Faculty)
5:00 PM Dinner

Final Performance - Friday at 3:00 p.m. at the Lakefront Pavilion

Faculty 2021 Jazz Improvisation & Combo Camp