Swing Workshop



Sunday, August 13–
Saturday, August 19, 2017


Performers and Seminars

A Week At Camp

How To Register

Fees & Registration

Arrival At Camp




Performers and Seminars

Register for one of these early morning classes

Here are the afternoon sessions for the 2017 camp.

NOTE: Links to instructor Websites will open in a new window.


Swing Piano

—Michael Creber 


Students must pre-register for one of these seminars and must bring portable keyboards and headphones to camp. If space permits, afternoon students will be welcome to join the morning class.

Beginner/Intermediate This course is for swing pianists of all levels. The morning class will concentrate on the foundation skills: basic jazz harmony, understanding chords, working with lead sheets, building basic jazz voicings, and the pianist's role in the band. This would correspond to the first three chapters of Mark Levine’s The Jazz Piano Book (highly recommended!). As always in swing camp we are working on skills to help you have more fun playing in groups with other players!
Intermediate/Advanced This is a special class offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. As in the morning class, we will tailor the material to fit the levels of the players, so expect to dive into soloing over changes, Bill Evans left hand voicings, inner voice movements, and all that really fun stuff!

Tom Keenlyside


Woodwind and Brass Workshop

—Tom Keenlyside 


Students will not need to register separately for morning and late-morning horn classes.

This course will provide in-depth look at numerous aspects of playing brass and woodwind instruments in a collective jazz setting. Techniques to be discussed and practised include jazz phrasing, articulation, expression, and sound production on all wind and brass instruments. We will also focus on playing in tight ensemble. In addition, we will study various aspects of jazz improvisation - playing through many different types of chord changes and the blues. We will create a fun, supportive environment in which all players will be encouraged to improvise.
Special Late Morning Class for Advanced Players
This course is intended for more advanced horn instrumentalists, with a focus on effective soloing on various chord changes, chordal substitutions, altered modes, and usable pattern playing. We will also discuss soloing subtleties such as spontaneous improvisation through composition and motif playing. Effective and efficient practice techniques and tone production will be a constant theme.



Jazz Standards: How to Get to the Next Level 

—Bill Coon 

In this seminar, for players with considerable experience playing jazz, we’ll explore what to play on any chord type, how to improve your swing feel, what to play on advanced chord progressions, such as the bridge to Have You Met Miss Jones,(which is an introduction to Giant Steps), how to group chord changes together in order to play more melodically and intuitively, and how to change the feel, time signature, and key of any standard. Players of all instruments are very welcome.



Navigating the Changes 

—Ron Peters 

In jazz, IIm7–V7 progressions are everywhere and indicate the key centre happening at the moment. We treat them differently, depending on whether they are resolving to a major or minor tonic, or don’t resolve at all. In this class, we’ll learn how to spot them and deal with them so they make sense and sound great. Open to all soloists and rhythm players. Let’s play...!



Hey, What Was That Chord? 

—Mike Rud 

Whether it's writing a chord-solo piece, or playing simple improvised accompaniments, you're way better off having a large selection of chords that are ready-to-hand. Mike will show you how to organize chords so they're easy to remember, and right there under your fingers when you need them, and we’ll play these in the context of tunes. In addition to having sheets of fingerings and some pre-fabricated chord progressions, we'll look at the intricacies of voice leading and help with any and all chord questions you bring in!

Ray Piper


Cuban Guitar 

—Michel Rivero 

For such a small country Cuba is large when it comes to music, and the diversity of its rhythms. Get ready to explore the musical styles of Son, Bolero, and Cha Cha Cha, and learn some popular Cuban songs that are internationally known. You will learn to play alone, without percussion and bass, and still have all the elements that encompass these styles of guitar accompaniment. Experience the contra tempo, and the challenging guitar strumming. It’s a lot of fun!

Michel Rivero, a recent newcomer to Canada, was born in Cuba. He grew up in the musical city of Havana, where he was surrounded by the poly-rhythmic Afro-Latin sounds Cuba is renowned for. These rhythms are the roots of his guitar style. He studied music at the Art Instructor School in Havana, where he studied Choral Direction and Cuban Latin Percussion.



Creative Soloing - Beyond the Basics 

—Greg Glassman 

If you’ve tried basic soloing and are looking for some inspiration and tools to take it to the next level, this class is for you.

We’ll take a melodic versus a scaler approach, working with some choice blues and standards. We will also take a look at traditional and non traditional techniques to develop our melodic ideas. A basic knowledge of major scales and fingerings would be helpful. All instruments welcome!

Tony Marcus


We Who Are About to Swing 

—Tony Marcus 

Once, no jazz band was complete without a guitarist playing strong 4/4 rhythm a la Freddie Green, Carl Kress, or Alan Reuss, and it's still among the most fun ways of making music. If you've mastered some of the basic shapes of moveable 3 and 4 note chords, we'll build on that by adding to that repertoire and learning the best ways to use elegant voice leading through chord progressions. With this style, you can be a complete rhythm section by yourself (including moving bass lines), or fit in with and add to the propulsion and harmonic fullness of a bass player and drummer. By learning new songs everyday that illustrate these principles, as well as making sure our right hands are doing their jobs well, we'll be well oiled swing machines by the end of the week.



Losing the Chart 

—Joe Vinikow 

Develop your ability to recognize song progressions by ear, through exercises that will develop your understanding of the chord families in each key: the harmonized scale. Improve your ability to pick up songs in real-time jam session settings, and learn songs more quickly and accurately from recordings. Players of all instruments are welcome.

Rebecca Kilgore


Guitar Accompaniment for Vocalists 

—Rebecca Kilgore 

Here’s a basic guide for vocalists who want to learn to accompany themselves on the guitar. The emphasis will be on swing chords. We will start with some easy songs and easy chords and progress from there. We’ll go over chart-following, but no tablature or music reading are required.

Ali Romanow


Swing! Baby Swing–Intro to Swing-style Rhythm Guitar 

—Ali Romanow 

Become the heartbeat of the band. Build your knowledge of moveable chord shapes, right hand techniques, turnarounds and transitions to provide rock solid rhythm. Using a selection of old standards and new classics we’ll explore the challenges of self-accompaniment, band dynamics, chart reading, as well as some tools to navigating the great cosmic mystery that is music theory and improvisation. Whether you’re new to the world of swing guitar or an ol’hep cat looking to learn new tricks, you’ll walk away with a swing in your step (and your hands) as well as a few boppin’ tunes under your belt.



The Complete Jazz Singer  

—Jennifer Scott 

Let's focus on all the things that will that make you a fabulous jazz singer.

Using a variety of repertoire from the American Songbook and other resources, we will focus on a few important factors each day: groove, performance nuances, personal expression, ear training, improvisation and much more! These are the things we need to know about and incorporate into our ongoing practice regimens and preparations for performances.

One part theory, another part practical, with lots of singing - this will get you into shape for whatever lies ahead for you vocally!



Blue, Blue, the Song is Blue 

—Karin Plato 

The Blues makes a heart/soul connection, universally bringing performer and listener together in a unique way.

We’ll sing songs that follow a blues form and songs that are “bluesy” by nature. We’ll learn about blue notes, compose a blues song, and immerse ourselves in all things related to this fascinating song form.



Vocal Technique for Jazz Singers 

—Steve Maddock 

This course will examine the core elements of vocal technique, but with a jazz twist! Classical singers are constantly focusing on areas such as breath, space, balance, placement, etc. These elements, when slightly modified, can greatly improve our jazz singing. Students will learn how to apply these techniques to a variety of jazz styles and settings: blues, ballads, swing, latin, scat, etc. This approach can improve our overall sound, augment our cache of tone colours, and increase our vocal endurance.

Dale Rasmussen


Vocal Jazz Ensemble 

—Dale Rasmussen 

Join us as we dive in and sing fabulous vocal jazz harmony. You already love to sing beautiful, exquisitely crafted jazz melodies and other sophisticated contemporary repertoire, and now you're ready to make harmonies on these wonderful songs. We'll sing unique, “spicy” vocal arrangements that challenge your voice, train your ear and expand your understanding of vocal harmony’s limitless possibilities. All participants will get the chance to sing harmony parts, with voicings that tantalize and draw in the listener, including extended 7th voicings, 13ths and beyond. It promises to be a fun, fascinating and rewarding session for singers who love great songs.

Within the context of a number of project tunes, we'll also focus on blending and shaping that goes into pulling off these fantastic—and often tricky—vocal parts. Being comfortable with basic harmonizing and some basic sight-singing experience will be helpful in this class.

Abe Lagrimas, Jr.


Swing ‘Ukulele 

—Abe Lagrimas, Jr. 

Abe Lagrimas, Jr., renowned ukulele artist and the author of the book “Jazz Ukulele: Comping, Soloing, Chord Melodies”, will discuss his simple and practical approach to playing jazz and swing. Topics in his seminar include left and right hand warmups, single note fingerpicking, strumming patterns and comping, understanding the importance of time and rhythm, jazz improvisation, and an in depth look at chords (triads and seventh chords).

Kit Eakle


Swingin’ with Strings

—Kit Eakle 

This year we’ll explore the roles of the left and right hands separately and together to create ‘swing’. Time spent grooming the Shuswap string section for our big band duties at swing dances will be shared as we learn jazz tunes by ear. We'll use bow techniques, ornaments and phrases to refine ‘swing’! As time permits we’ll dig into other techniques such as ‘three-in-one’ chords, chord substitutions, arpeggiation and harmonized riffs, and ‘back-up’ licks and pad tones.



Bass Explorations 

—Rene Worst 

This year, the focus of the bass class will be on how to improve your groove in the swing genre: two-feel, four-on-the-floor, western swing, modern swing, and swing waltz. We will also play some Brasilian and latin grooves and explore how to get a good sound out of your instrument.

Rene will try to accommodate all levels. Reading skills are an asset, but not essential, and all bass instruments are welcome. Each student will receive a play along book and recordings.

You can find Rene on Facebook




—Phil Belanger 

This will be a fun, hands-on class and is open to everyone. You’ll have lots of time to play and learn about some of the most common instruments in the percussion family. Playing as a group we will create some great grooves! We'll learn techniques for the snare drum using sticks and brushes, various hand drums, and lots of the smaller ‘toys’: shakers, cowbells, tambourines, etc. Bring any instruments you have, as well as brushes.


Special classes – open to all students registered at the BC Swing Camp

(note: the classes listed below take place in the late morning, following your main course;
they are open to as many participants who wish to join in; and Do Not require pre-registration)




Swing and Beyond Choir

—Brian Tate 

Lift up your voice with fellow vocal enthusiasts as we explore and sing the roots of jazz: gospel, spirituals, African, swing, bebop, and latin. All levels are welcome. Music reading skills are not needed. There will be opportunities for soloists.Come and get your joy on!



Swing Blues 

—Rueben Gurr 

This workshop will focus on swing with a blues feel. All instruments and singers are welcome. With simple, easy to negotiate charts, we will sing, play, and even compose a little through cool variations on the twelve bar form, as well as some classic jazz standards. During the week there will be  “mini clinics” in jump blues, reggae, and R&B, for all instruments, including vocal harmony ideas.

Horn charts, lyrics, harmony parts and choreography will be supplied as well, although there will be plenty of room for improvisation. Our focus will be on the groove, but soloists will have more than their moment in the sun. There will be a session on how to “swingafy” a tune and lots of ideas for those who wish to solo through the changes. There will be some arranging techniques demonstrated, as well as lix and tricks for negotiating common chord progressions. All levels are welcome.


Beginning Swing Dancing: 
The Engine of Swing

Where does the energy come from in swing dance? We're going to take some basic moves and break them down into detailed lead and follow techniques as you use your partner's momentum to make it easy and fun to swing dance. All levels are welcome.


The Jazzy Side of Songwriting

—Kristina Olsen 

Special late morning class:

This is a five day seminar that will build from one day to the next, with plenty of writing assignments and lots of fun creativity exercises.

Tanya Lewis & Toby Chernoff


Drop-In Introduction to East Coast Swing

East Coast, sometimes known as Jive or Jitterbug, is the classic six-count swing dance. If you know any swing dance steps, chances are they’re East Coast. This dance is fairly easy to learn, and our hour-and-half drop-in lessons will begin with the basic step, and then walk you through some simple moves. This is a good class to dust off the cobwebs and learn a few simple steps, or to learn from scratch. We’ll try to give students a decent repertoire of steps and variations, but we’ll also work on a solid grounding of leading and following.

We plan this class to best serve beginners and intermediates, but because these are drop-in classes (meaning you can come to one even if you’ve missed all the preceding ones) past experience tells us that the level may change a lot depending on who shows up on any given day.



Continuing Balboa

—Tanya Lewis & Toby Chernoff

Balboa is a dance developed on the crowded dance floors of Newport Beach, near LA, and while its origins are shrouded in mysterious controversy, it most closely resembles a cross between Argentine Tango and the Indie 500. It is often a fast dance (though we like to dance it at moderate speeds, too) and has an 8-count basic that is mostly danced in a very close position, though partners do move apart and together to perform moves. Like Argentine Tango, Balboa is less about big, flashy moves than it is about leading and following through a strong connection with your partner, so this class will be a continuing series. In other words, each class will build on the one before, so we ask students to commit for the whole week of classes.

This class is aimed at beginners with no previous balboa experience, though of course we’ll adapt the class depending on who shows up.


Here are the afernoon sessions for 2017.




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