Jazz Camp 2017

July 19th to 23rd 2017

Jazz Camp is for all ages, all instruments and voice. We are accepting registration now!


Nevada City School of the Arts is our host for Jazz Camp.


The hours are 9:30-3:30 for 5 days, Wednesday through Sunday.


Bill Douglass, Artistic Director, sets the tone of cooperation, connectedness and fun. The faculty is comprised of experienced, professional jazz players.


The student/faculty concert is on Sunday in the early afternoon at 1:30pm.

The concert will be at the beautiful The River Highlands Ranch again this year.

Jazz Camp 101

A bit shy about trying Jazz Camp this summer? Do you need inspiration and just the right challenge? Itching to play with others and learn something new?

Sierra Jazz Camp is truly a unique 5-day experience. Each year we adapt to whoever comes to camp. Both faculty and the program are very flexible. The scope of camp encompasses the near novice, improvisation-ready players as well as jazz adepts. We can do this because we have 8-person faculty, all who really want to help each camper. Camp is small, for all ages and you can get to know lots of people.

If you can play melodies and some scales, you are ready for camp. Youíll be playing with others at or near your level, so you donít get either overwhelmed or bored. If you already improvise, you might be interested in the challenge of sectionals with Al Bent, who will teach you new tunes while you improvise without written music, ďthe old wayĒ. Youíll also probably get to play with the faculty. If youíre somewhere between novice and proficient, youíll be placed in combos with others in similar musical paths.

You can also prepare for camp. There are so many ways: play several jazz standards, listen to lots of jazz or take a few lessons with one of the local faculty.

This year our concert will be at River Highlands Ranch, a totally beautiful spot in Smartsville, about 20 min from downtown Grass Valley. Both Faculty and students play in the concert, in small groups. You donít have to perform if you donít want to.

It’s always a high point for those who attend. Here are some quotes:

  • "This was a magical week."
  • "I've learned so much and had fun doing it."
  • "I thought this was an inspirational experience."
  • "I wouldn't change a thing."
  • "To be able to learn so much in so little time is truly phenomenal."
  • "This is my second year at Jazz Camp and there is no way I'll miss another one. Jazz Camp is so full of opportunities, it is amazing."

Bill Douglass is the Artistic Director, and sets the tone for camp: taking musical risks, having fun, deep listening, and developing a wonderful sense of community over the five days. The faculty members are all experienced, professional musicians. You can read more about them on the faculty page.

Jazz Camp is produced by Sierra Jazz Society (SJS).