June 17-28, 2019, Play the Possibilities at a two-week learning lab led by some of the region’s best teaching artists. Designed for middle and high school students with skill levels from intermediate and up, the SJZ Summer Jazz Camp offers immersion in every aspect of jazz—from theory to performance. Each student participates in both a small ensemble and big band, and one advanced ensemble will be chosen to play on the Main Stage of the 2019 San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, August 9-11. Gain extraordinary experience in music theory, improvisation, composition, ear training, performance and more. Our 2019 Special Guest Instructor will be announced along with tickets on sale soon. SJZ supporters receive $50 off tuition. Camp prices will rise May 1.
- 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
On June 8, 2019, students are asked to perform in a placement audition prior to camp. These auditions are for class placement purposes only, and are not mandatory. Lunch and water are provided for students, but they may bring additional food and are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.
Wally Schnalle - Camp Director
Wally Schnalle has been playing drums well over 40 years and has a long history of working with San Jose Jazz. For the past 20 years he’s been sharing his knowledge and experience as a teacher, bandleader, recording artist, and sideman with many great Bay Area bands. He performs and teaches in many genres, including Latin, funk, and rock and blues, but the bulk of his work is in jazz and fusion. He has performed widely, including gigs at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, Monterey Jazz Festival, and San Francisco’s Jazz in the City series. Schnalle has six CDs of original compositions in release and was awarded a compositional commission from the Santa Clara University School of Music and Dance. In addition, he has worked with DRUM! Magazine as Music Editor and columnist for more than 15 years. Wally earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jazz Performance at San Jose State University.
Donny McCaslin - 2018 Special Guest Instructor
Three-time Grammy nominee Donny McCaslin is the leading saxophonist, composer, and musical pioneer of his generation, receiving wide commercial and critical acclaim in jazz, rock and electronica circles alike.
Raised in Santa Cruz, California, McCaslin attended Berklee College of Music, where he would go on to join the iconic NEA Jazz Master Gary Burton’s Quintet as a senior. Moving to New York in 1991, he quickly made a name for himself as a first-call soloist and touring musician, working with Maria Schneider, Dave Douglas, Danilo Pérez, Brian Blade, Gil Evans project, Steps Ahead, and many others. He also began releasing albums with his own groups as well as receiving critical awards such as a Chamber Music of America New Works Grant in 2006. He was named a Rising Star in the DownBeat Critics Poll in 2008 & 2009.
In 2011, Donny released Perpetual Motion, taking an electric direction for the first time—at the suggestion of longtime producer David Binney—in contrast to his previous acoustic projects. He and Binney soon after assembled the core members of his working band, known as the Donny McCaslin Group: Jason Lindner (Now Vs Now) on keyboards, Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Saturday Night Live) on electric bass, and drummer Mark Guiliana (Meshell Ndegeocello, Brad Mehldau). Two subsequent albums Casting for Gravity and Fast Future continued this new musical direction, directly influenced by electronic music artists, which netted Donny a Grammy nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. It was clear that he was cementing a new improvisatory style of music with his passion for electronica, EDM, funk, dub, and jazz.
With 12 albums to his name, Donny McCaslin is best known for his collaboration and friendship with the late David Bowie, who tasked him to work hand-in-hand on his final album, Blackstar.
“David Bowie was a visionary artist whose generosity, creative spirit, and fearlessness will stay with me the rest of my days,” reflects Donny. The result was Beyond Now, his recent album dedicated to Bowie. Since its release on Motéma Music in 2016, Beyond Now has garnered praise from Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, The New York Times, Associated Press and more.
Beyond Now‘s repertoire is expansive, comprised of two Bowie songs, covers of Deadmau5, MUTEMATH, and the Chainsmokers, as well as compelling McCaslin originals including the title composition, inspired by a track inspired by a song he recorded for Blackstar that didn’t make the album. A new album will be released in 2018. More about Donny at donnymccaslin.com.
Gary Ortega - Camp Manager
Gary Ortega is a dynamic music educator and performer with a passion for the arts and student development. Mr. Ortega graduated with a BM in Jazz Studies in 2012 and an MA in Music in 2014 at San Jose State University. He will be a District Music Teacher this Fall in Evergreen Elementary School District teaching middle school and elementary band and choir. In his spare time, he teaches privately across the South Bay Area on trumpet and trombone. Gary received his California teaching credential in music from San Jose State University and student taught at Lincoln High School in San Jose in 2015. He has previously served as a teacher at San Jose State University, St. Leo the Great Catholic School, Alum Rock Jazz, Leigh High School, and with the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corp. Most recently, Gary has been teaching with San Jose Jazz’s program Progressions. During the summers, Gary is actively involved directing and teaching through the Progressions Summer Camp and has served as Technical Director and Assistant Camp Manager with the San Jose Jazz Summer Camp since 2012. Aside from his teaching and collegiate studies, Gary has played in a variety of performance scenarios and ensembles. He has previously been a soloist at San Jose State University with the Jazz Orchestra and the Brass Ensemble. He has spent time playing with the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Combos and the Washington Square Brass Quintet. In addition to his time at SJSU, he has performed with a variety of music ensembles and bands and currently composes and arranges music for his own jazz group, The Identity Crisis.
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 Outstanding Performer Award. As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Saúl has performed, toured and recorded with countless performers, including Nestor Torres, Jimmy Bosh, Eddie Montalvo, Johny Rodríguez, Jesús Díaz, Wayne Wallace, Jackeline Rago, and many more. For the past 10 years Saúl has been a member of some of the leading Bay Area bands, including The John Santos Quintet/Sextet, Bobi Cespedes’ band, Anthony Blea y su Charanga, Jesús Díaz y su QBA, The Bay Area Afro-Cuban All Stars, and The Venezuelan Music Project. Saúl is also a member of the California State University East Bay Music faculty.
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 highly skilled Latin jazz hand-percussionist. David has worked with Lauryn Hill, John Santos, John Calloway, Donna Summer, Pete Escovedo, Jesus Diaz, Orestes Vilato, Francisco Aguabella, Karl Perazzo, Michael Spiro, Bobbi Céspedes, Ray Vega, and many more. With enthusiasm and great respect for his craft, David shares his musical experience with students hoping to foster the interest and dedication. In 1990, David began teaching music to elementary, high school and adult students. As an educator he has led clinics, master classes, set curriculums and helped prepare students for auditions, recitals, concerts and gigs.
Hristo Vitchev - guitar
Hristo Vitchev is a modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the Bay Area, Hristo leads his modern jazz quartet which features the Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago, drummer extraordinaire Joe De Rose, and virtuoso bassist Dan Robbins. He has toured nationally and internationally and has led guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. In addition to touring nationally and internationally, Hristo has written more than 270 original compositions, many articles on jazz improvisation, and a book on chordal theory and construction. Hristo has performed in world-class jazz venues and festivals, including Yoshi’s; Anthology, San Diego; The Herbst Theater, San Francisco and many jazz festivals including San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, Monterey Jazz Festival, Okazaki Jazz Festival, and many more.
Michaelle Goerlitz - percussion
A Bay Area resident since 1980, Michaelle Goerlitz has been exploring Latin and Brazilian rhythms/music ever since. She was a founder of the Blazing Redheads and Wild Mango, two long-term projects which showcased her versatile percussive skills. Among the list of performers she has played with: VNote Ensemble, Venezuelan Music Project, ‘Chelle & Friends, Wayne Wallace, Mark Levine, Tom McDermott, Tammy Hall, Paul McCandless, Holly Near, Anthony Brown, The Brazilian Jazz Project, Ojala, rhiannon, Yair Dalal, Barbara Higbie, Jami Sieber, Tuck & Patti, Jai Uttal and Samba Rio. In 2007 she was named a “rising star” in Downbeat Magazine.
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 styles of jazz, R&B, funk, gospel, and salsa. After being an alumni of the camp, she returned to teach at the SJZ Progressions camp and after-school program and the SJZ summer camp.
Nichole Boaz - piano
Brian Ho - piano, organ
Brian Ho began playing piano at the age of five when he took lessons at Stanford University and San Jose State University. By sixteen, he was playing professionally and was hired to play organ for a South Bay African American Baptist Church for several years where he forged his love affair with the Hammond Organ. Currently, Brian performs on a Hammond XK3c Pro XK dual manual system with the Hammond XPK-200 pedals and Leslie 3300. Brian has performed at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, Stanford Jazz Festival, Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Sonoma Jazz Festival, and Benicia Jazz Festival. In addition, he is musical director for the Old Orchard Elementary School in Campbell and writes for Keyboard Magazine. Brian is a clinician for and endorses the legendary Hammond Organ. Brian earned his Bachelor’s Degree in music performance at San Jose State University.
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 MM and a BM in Jazz Studies and Saxophone from the University of North Texas. Known for his work as Director of Jazz Studies at Valley Christian Conservatory of the Arts—where his jazz ensemble received recognition the Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards and Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival—Marcus regularly adjudicates and guest conducts festivals and summer camps throughout the United States and Canada. As a professional jazz saxophonist Marcus has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East. He has released two CDs on the Nojoh record label, was recognized with three DownBeat awards, and has also authored a method book entitled Rollplay Musical Dice Game: Strength Training for Fundamental and Advanced Technique on All Instruments.
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. Oscar performs throughout the area regularly at venues like Pampas in Palo Alto, the Hotel DeAnza’s Hedley Club, and the Rosewood Sandhill Spa and Resort. He currently leads his own modern jazz ensemble, the Bad Five, which will be debuted at the 2014 San Jose Jazz Summer Fest.
Veronica Tyler Christie - trombone
A native from the central coast of California, Veronica Tyler Christie is a versatile music educator with a passion for helping young people develop their potential through the arts. Christie has earned undergraduate degree in Music Education in at San Jose State University, School of Music and Dance. During her time there she primarily studied under Bay Area freelance trombonist Tom Hornig. She has also studied and gathered an upbringing musical wisdom from musicians such as Alex Bedner, Wayne Wallace, Katherine Adduci, Robynn Amy, Paul Contos, and Aaron Lington. She currently resides in the Bay area and continues to be involved with the education scene as well as being apart of different ensembles such as east San Jose’s 7th Street Big Band and reggae hit from East Palo Alto, Rafa. As a bass trombonist, She has made various stage appearances such as the Island Reggae Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival Next Generation Festival, and Yoshi’s to just name a few. While maintaining her passion in Music Education and adolescent development, Veronica has spent time working with various educational music programs such as the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Summer Jazz Program, teaching private lessons for the Young Musician’s Project at SJSU, and currently for San Jose Jazz’s Progressions which is an intensive youth development program that is all about changing lives by helping low-income, at-risk youth in our community identify, cultivate and celebrate their gifts through music education and performance.
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 insight to a wide range of ages, experience levels, and proficiencies.
John has played in many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s creative music ensembles, as well as on over 70 recordings and videos. Being adept at a multitude of styles, John has played with and backed up national and international artists in North America, Europe, and Central America such as Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Don Byron, Wayne Shorter with the Monterey Jazz Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Carla Bley and Steve Swallow Big Band, Wayne Wallace, Jon Jang, the Asian American Orchestra, Dave Pell Octet, Pete and Sheila Escovedo, Malo, and Lila Downs.
WorlView, Bari Bari, and the Mo-Chi Quartet have participated in several music series and festivals, including the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and Winter Fest, Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz Project in Bellingham, WA, SF Jazz “Hotplate” and “Clock Tower” series, Stanford Jazz Festival, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Pacifica Performances series, the “Jazz Katsu” fundraiser for tsunami aid in Japan, Yoshi’s Night Club, Intersection For The Arts, and the Sonoma Jazz Festival.
John is a member of the music faculty at: Stanford University in Stanford, CA; Hope St. Music Studios in Mountain View, CA; and a faculty member of the San Jose Summer Jazz Camp. He is a member of San Jose Jazz, BMI, American Federation of Musicians Local 6 and the International Trumpet Guild. In 2013, John was included in David Hickman’s book, Trumpet Greats, a biography of 2,200 trumpet players from the year 1600 to the present.
WorlView, John’s debut CD, was released in 2003 on his label, Dancing Sumo Records. His second CD Naivasha was released in 2015. He also produced jazz guitarist Sebastien Lanson’s debut recording, In Transition, on Dancing Sumo Records in 2004.
John is a Yamaha Performing Artist and plays the Yamaha YTR9335NYS trumpet and YFL8315GS flugelhorn.
Kat Parra - vocals
Kat Parra is an award-winning vocalist, composer, arranger, and educator with four critically acclaimed CDs in release. Named Best Latin Jazz Vocalist of 2010 and 2008 by Latin Jazz Corner, she received a 2008 nomination for Latin Jazz Album of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association. With her thirst for the exploration of myriad world rhythms and tonalities, Parra developed a style of music that encompasses sounds that transcend and bend the stereotypical definition of Latin jazz. She has incorporated not only Afro-Cuban music, but also Afro-Peruvian, Middle Eastern, South American folklore, and Nueva Trova. Parra studied Classical Flute Performance and Ethnomusicology at UCLA, earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies and Vocal Performance at San Jose State University where she is currently enrolled in a music education Master’s Degree program.