Summer Jazz Camp - San Jose Jazz

Summer Jazz Camp

Our two-week learning lab for middle and high school musicians is on hiatus, due to continuing County social distancing regulations.

An unforgettable learning experience

Since 1997, our Summer Jazz Camp has been teaching and inspiring hundreds of young musicians each summer. Helmed by drummer Wally Schnalle since 2014, the camp offers an extraordinary learning opportunity with a rich music curriculum, the best teaching artists and exposure to a different internationally known guest instructor each year. Summer Jazz Camp is a wonderful opportunity for middle and high school students to learn about every aspect of jazz, including music theory, improvisation, composition, ear training, performance and much more. Each student participates in both a small ensemble and big band, and one advanced ensemble is chosen to play at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest each August.

Covid-19 closures have forced us to cancel the 2020 edition of the camp, but we look forward to its return in 2021.


Big band and combos
Vocal groups and solos
Latin percussion lab
Straight ahead, Latin jazz and fusion
Music Theory
Ear Training
Instrument training
Music tech
Sight reading


Recent special guest instructors have included trumpeter Etienne Charles, saxophonist Johnny McCaslin, Drummer Peter Erskine and Pianist Taylor Eigsti.

Wally Schnalle Camp Director
Wally Schnalle joined us as Summer Jazz Camp Director in 2014, but his history with San Jose Jazz as a teacher and performer go back much further. A highly respected drummer, composer and educator, he has recruited the best teachers in the region and has expanded and
Gary Ortega Camp Manager
Gary Ortega is a dynamic music educator and performer with a passion for the arts and student development. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies in 2012 and a Master’s of Arts in Music in 2014 at San Jose State University.
Saúl Sierra Bass
Saúl Sierra is a bassist, composer, arranger, and educator. He was born and raised in Mexico City and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated with a degree in Performance. While at Berklee, he received the US Scholarship Tour Award and the
David Flores Drums
David Flores was born into the rhythm section while sitting behind his father’s bass rig and his uncle’s drum set. David is adept at playing jazz, soul, R&B, Brazilian, hip-hop, Afro Cuban and orchestral compositions. Although a drum set player at heart, David is also a
Hristo Vitchev Guitar
Hristo Vitchev is a modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the Bay Area, he has toured nationally and internationally and has led guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. Hristo leads his modern jazz quartet which features the Latin
Michaelle Goerlitz Percussion
A Bay Area resident since 1980, Michaelle Goerlitz has been exploring Latin and Brazilian music and rhythms ever since. She was a founder of the Blazing Redheads and Wild Mango, two long-term projects that showcased her versatile percussive skills.
Joy Hackett Piano
Joy Hackett is a jazz pianist and vocalist studying at San Jose State University under Dahveed Behroozi. At SJSU she plays in the Jazz Orchestra (under the direction of Aaron Lington), the Latin Jazz ensemble (Jeff Lewis), and various small groups off campus in the
Nichole Boaz Piano
Nichole Boaz is a pianist and music teacher in the South Bay. She received both her Bachelor’s of Music and Master’s of Arts in Jazz Studies from San Jose State University. While attending SJSU, Nichole studied piano with Frank Sumares and Dahveed Behroozi. 
Brian Ho Piano, Organ
Brian Ho began playing piano at age five when he took lessons at Stanford University and San Jose State University. By sixteen, he was playing professionally and was hired to play for a South Bay African American Baptist Church, where he forged his love affair with the
Dr. Marcus Wolfe Saxophone
Dr. Marcus Wolfe holds a DMA in Jazz Studies and Theory/Composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as a Master’s of Music and a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies and Saxophone from the University of North Texas.
Oscar Pangilinan Saxophone
Oscar has performed with a variety of Bay Area based musicians, including John Worley, Brian Ho, Kristen Strom, Aaron Lington, Jason Lewis, John Shifflett, and more.
Veronica Tyler Christie Trombone
A native from California’s Central Coast, Veronica Tyler Christie is a versatile music educator with a passion for helping young people develop their potential through the arts.  Veronica earned her undergraduate degree in Music Education at San Jose State
John L. Worley, Jr. Trumpet
John L. Worley, Jr. is an accomplished trumpet / flugelhorn / post-horn artist and leader of the bands Mo-Chi Quartet, WorlView and Bari Bari. John is also an engaging and accomplished educator who teaches with enthusiasm, humor, and


Summer Jazz Camp Overview

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