This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to attend Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Summer Jazz Workshop (SJW) at Fordham College in New York City for a week. I initially auditioned for the two week Summer Jazz Academy (SJA) at Bard College and for NYO, but I was rejected from both. However, both SJA and NYO recommended I go to SJW. I definitely recommend putting yourself out there and auditioning for both SJA and NYO because you do get great comments back from NYO about your individual performance and even if you don’t make it into those camps, you could still make it into SJW.
While at SJW, I was able to work with Tatum Greenblatt, Alexa Tarantino, Nick Finzer, Lauren Sevian, Christopher McBride, and Willerm Delisfort, just to name a few of the incredible mentors. I was in a big band lead by Tatum Greenblatt and in a combo lead by Marion Felder (who has played with Michael Bublé). I also had jazz language masterclasses with Nick Finzer and section masterclasses with Alexa Tarantino who played together on Alexa’s new album, Winds of Change. On the fourth day of the camp, trumpeter Sean Jones gave an amazing two hour masterclass where he talked about some really deep things, such as feeling isolated in this society where jazz isn’t as prominent anymore. I recorded the entire thing, so if you would like to listen to it, contact me!
I learned so much about myself as a player and what I need to specifically work on, but also how to work on my playing with new exercises. The students were also incredible and came from many places around the US, such as New Orleans, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and of course New York. We had time to have jam sessions both during the day and before bed check which consisted of us playing and listening to what other people listen to. If you haven’t checked out RH Factor, do that.
Jazz at Lincoln Center hosts incredible camps and I would definitely recommend auditioning for all of them. Best of luck next year with everything! Let me know if you have any questions!
Megan Rault - SPHS Class of 2019, Saxophone