Join us for the first annual Summer JAZZSTART at Western Michigan University. Classes taught by professional jazz musicians Benje Daneman, Ashley Daneman, Nich Mueller, in addition to other local professionals and guest speakers. You won't want to miss it!
GENERAL INFORMATION The Kalamazoo Jazz and Creative Institute presents Summer JAZZSTART on the campus of Western Michigan University from June 30-July 2. This three-day workshop will introduce aspiring jazz musicians and singers to the captivating world of improvised music. Participants learn the basics of how to play through interactive classes, jam sessions, and performing live at The Union Cabaret & Grille. Each student is encouraged to cultivate their unique talents as they explore jazz as a means of personal expression. Courses will be taught by professional jazz musicians Benje Daneman, Ashley Daneman, Nich Mueller, in addition to other local jazz professionals and special guest appearances. The workshop will run from 9am-5pm at Dalton Center on the campus of Western Michigan University. A final performance will be held at The Union Cabaret and Grille in downtown Kalamazoo, free and open to the public on Wednesday July 2 at 7pm. ELIGIBILITY Students in grades 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th may apply for admission; 2014 graduates included. The opportunity is also available to 7th and 8th grade students along with teacher recommendation. All musicians invited, instrumentalists and vocalists! PROGRAM CONTENT Participants will be involved in 5-6 classes a day involving jazz history, jazz improvisation, listening and aural development, theory, ensemble rehearsals, instrumental and vocal sectionals, private instruction, discussions concerning "big-picture" jazz and creative concepts, group jam sessions and other fun activities. Instruction by local professionals and WMU professors and students. MEALS AND TRANSPORTATION Housing is not offered so all participants must have their own means of transportation to JAZZSTART for June 30-July 2. Lunch is provided on-campus daily by WMU Dining Services. Dinner is also provided on the last day prior to the final performance. FEES & REGISTRATION Tuition is a favorable fee of only $200 and includes the three days of instruction, lunches provided on campus, and a t-shirt. Space is limited so register soon! Registration closes May 1. IMPORTANT DATES
Email us at info@kjci.org QUESTIONS? Application and payment due: MONDAY, MAY 26 Acceptance notice: FRIDAY, MAY 30
Workshop materials mailed out: MONDAY, JUNE 2
Program dates: MONDAY, JUNE 30 - WEDNESDAY, JULY 2 (9AM-5PM)
Trumpeter/composer, Benje Daneman’s musical upbringing began in West Michigan, where he studied at Western Michigan University, before attending the prestigious Henry Mancini Institute (HMI) in Los Angeles, CA. Later, while at Manhattan School of Music working toward a master’s in jazz trumpet, Benje joined the ranks of New York City jazz musicians performing in noted jazz venues such as Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Zinc Bar, Kitano and Cornelia Street Café. Professionally, Benje has toured with trumpeter Doc Severinsen, placed as a finalist in the National Trumpet Competition, recorded a GRAMMY nominated album "Elevation" with the HMI Big Band and performed with the Jose Limon Dance Ensemble. As a composer/arranger, Benje has received commissions from the United States Air Force Band in Europe, and Spark & Echo Arts, in addition to working as a copyist for Roger Treece, Dr. Steve Zegree, and Peter Prochnow. Also, a passionate jazz educator, his energy is infectious. He works regularly as a clinician, adjudicator and educator across the country including recently leading clinics at McNally Smith College and Concordia University (Nebraska), adjudicating jazz festivals at Western Michigan University and for the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, in addition to leading an active private studio.
Ashley Daneman is a singer/songwriter who creates expressive audio landscapes at the intersection of jazz and modern folk music. She crafts organic, vignette-like songs with rich harmonies that the West Michigan Jazz Society aptly describes as “…an uncompromising concoction of subtle and intimate jazz with a touch of hipster singer-songwriter.” Ashley has been awarded regional grants for her compositional style and artist residencies such as Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead (2003: Washington, DC) and The Banff Centre’s Jazz and Creative Workshop (2010: Alberta, Canada). In 2013, Spark and Echo Arts commissioned her work, “I’ve Got All The Light I Need (thank you very much)” which portrays the agnostic or atheist mindset alongside a gnostic one. Currently touring the U.S in places like Minneapolis, MN, Austin, TX, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC, Ashley performs in clubs, festivals, churches, and colleges. After a successful ASHLEY DANEMAN
Kickstarter campaign in July 2013, she is currently finishing her first fan-funded album (for release in early 2014) with her band, which includes her husband, trumpeter Benje Daneman. Ashley's debut solo album, Harvest Town (2011), is an introspective blend of original piano/vocal music. Ashley and her family have made Kalamazoo, Michigan their home since 2010 where she runs Tiny Voice Box, a private singing studio. She is Level II certified in Somatic Voicework™, the Lovetri Method for commercial music singing technique. Ashley is passionate about giving others vocal training and professional advice to help them succeed.
Pianist and vocalist Nich Mueller is a man of many talents. Since arriving on the professional scene he has tried his hand in and often received acclaim for composing, arranging, producing, conducting, educating, acting, graphic-design, and photography. Nich received a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University; during his formal education he studied under or interacted with great jazz musician and esteemed educators including Billy Hart, David Baker, Fred Hersch, Ed Simon, Darmon Meader, and Peter Eldridge, as well as the highly esteemed faculty at WMU. Throughout his career, he has been privileged enough to have performed alongside greats such as Donny McCaslin, Bob Mintzer, Kurt Elling, Roger Treece, Matt Hughes, and Phil Palombi; as well to have performed in venues and festivals such as Carnegie Hall, the Allen Room in Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, and Jazz Educators Network. In April 2011, Nich released his Downbeat Award winning debut album All in a Day, which features Nich as a singer-songwriter, pianist and vocalist. Nich has also been featured as a lead actor in productions at the highly acclaimed Barn Theatre in Augusta, MI, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, and Farmers Alley Theatre. Currently, Nich is the director of GCII at WMU, the partnering ensemble to the internationally acclaimed collegiate vocal jazz group, Gold Company.
Drummer Keith Hall has established himself as a passionate educator and joyful performer. He currently tours the globe playing concerts, festivals and appearing on numerous television and radio shows with singer/saxophonist and Concord Recording Artist Curtis Stigers. Keith spent 8 years in New York City where he played drums on Broadway's 'Lion King' for 3 years and served as the Director of Music at Faith Exchange Fellowship in Manhattan. He has performed with Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Sir Roland Hanna, John Hicks, David Kikoski, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Phillip Mossman, Claudio Roditi, Hilton Ruiz, Luciana Souza, Terrell Stafford, Joe Wilder and Steve Wilson. He recently toured Eastern Europe with the Latin-jazz quartet ‘Grupo Yanqui’ during a U.S. State Department tour, and has appeared on many recordings that include Curtis Stigers, Tom Knific, Ron DiSalvio, Mind’s Eye, Jeff Haas, and his own projects The Groov’tet, Skyline and most recently TRI-FI. Keith holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University and Queens College in New York and has taught at New York University. He has given clinics and master classes around the world as an endorser for Regal Tip drumsticks, Taye drums, Istanbul Agop cymbal, Remo drumheads and Protection Racket drum cases. According to JazzPolice.com “He has the chops and fuel to hit the afterburner zone”, and Modern Drummer Magazine says “Hall has a nimble, grooving, and 'melodic' touch.” Keith now lives in Michigan where he teaches at Western Michigan University, plays in the band at Christian Life Center, and is the director of the Keith Hall Summer Drum Intensive. He is the author of Jazz Drums Now! Vol. 1 and can be contacted at www.KeithHallMusic.com
Guitarist Bryan Blowers is a talented musician and educator residing in Kalamazoo Michigan. He holds a Bachelors degree in Jazz studies from Western Michigan University where he studied with Tom Knific. Throughout his time at Western, Bryan shared the stage with Edward Simon, John Clayton, Alon Yavnai, Donny McCaslin, Jamie Haddad, The New York Voices, Kate Reid, Tim Hagans, Keith Hall, Andrew Rathbun, Tom Knific, Scott Cowan, Steve Zegree, Trent Kynaston, and Quincy Davis. Bryan has recorded and toured with The WMU Jazz Orchestra, Gold Company, and the WMU Advanced Jazz Combo. In 2013, Downbeat Magazine awarded him the Outstanding Soloist Award in the Blues/Pop/Rock Category. Bryan is an active freelance musician throughout West Michigan. He was a long time member of the Bryan Michael Fisher Band and currently performs regularly with The Shelagh Brown Band, Pike and Eel, Keith Hall and Living Soul, and vocalist Nashon Holloway. Bryan is also an active member and musician at the Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. Aside from performing, Bryan is a dedicated educator. He teaches jazz guitar at Kalamazoo College and leads an active private studio.
Originally from the Grand Rapids area, Matt took advantage of every musical opportunity in highschool, including lessons with Keith Hall and regularly studying with Marc Townley and Max Colley III. He is currently going into his Junior year in Western Michigan University's Jazz Studies program, and his fifth year of drum set studies with Keith Hall. He will also be teaching for the second year teaching at the Keith Hall Summer Drum Intensive. Matt has studied and played with musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Printup, Herlin Riley, Phil Palombi, Matthew Fries, and Peter Eldridge. He loves everything about playing and teaching the drums and is very excited to continue in both areas on a professional level. ANDREW ROSE - BASS

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