June 27–July 11, 2020
The Skidmore Jazz Institute has been called the “non-pareil destination for attentive and engaged instruction in the improviser’s art” by DOWNBEAT Magazine. For two weeks this summer, 65 or so aspiring young musicians will have the opportunity to learn from a faculty of top jazz practitioners who are also gifted educators. Young musicians are brought to their next level of musicianship through an intense curriculum designed to communicate the traditions of jazz and continue to inspire even after the program ends. Students work closely with faculty in daily combo rehearsals, improvisational and special classes. Private and semi-private lessons distinguish this institute from other similar summer camps.
The program kicks off with an inspirational jolt as students arrive just in time to catch the Freihofer’s Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, another aspect of this program that sets it apart. The evening concert series presents the Skidmore Faculty All-Stars and invited guest artists in performance, and afternoon master classes offer additional opportunities to learn from these master musicians. Students perform in downtown Saratoga Springs at the historic Caffe Lena and twice on campus including at the close of the program.
The Institute, now in its 33rd year, is led by Mark Beaubriand (Director) and Todd Coolman (Artistic Director). Previous students have successfully pursued jazz-related careers in the areas of performance, teaching and business and include Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Richie Barshay, Jonathan Batiste, Ryan Cohan, Sullivan Fortner, James Francies, Brandon Lee, Noah Preminger, Christian Scott, Kendrick Scott, Walter Smith, Burniss Earl Travis and Myron Walden, among others.
The Skidmore Jazz Institute would like to thank the Arthur Zimtbaum Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Howard Bayne Fund, and members of the Skidmore College and surrounding communities for their generous support.
I had an unbelievably great time at the Skidmore Jazz Institute, learned so much about music, and made some really incredible friends. Though I’ve been drumming just about as long as I can remember, I can confidently say that the Jazz Institute has done more for my musicality than any other experience I’ve had. I feel more motivated and excited to play than ever before. – 2019 Participant