Birch Creek Jazz I

Registration for the 2021 Jazz I Academy is now open!

The Jazz Program offers students a unique learning experience at levels of jazz performance not found in most other jazz programs in America. Our program gives students an effective combination of experiences to help them master the fundamentals of jazz while establishing professional attributes. This includes top-flight instruction during the day, and hearing instructors perform in the Birch Creek Jazz Orchestra at night. The only difference between Jazz I and Jazz II are the dates and the faculty. Jeff Campbell is the Program Director for both Jazz sessions.

Please note: Birch Creek will be following CDC and local public health guidelines at the time of programming. Programs are subject to change. This website will provide current updates so please check the COVID-19 page for the latest news.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, international applicants will not be accepted to the 2021 Summer Music Academy.

Jazz I Academy Session

July 11-24, 2021 | Tuition: $2,100

Need-based and merit scholarships are available.

2021 grant support has been provided by The Les Paul Foundation.

Areas of Study

Instrumental Technique
Classes are given by master teachers three times per week and cover the fundamentals of effective playing skills and efficient practice.

Jazz Combo
Classes cover music theory and improvisation skills, basic to advanced, in a performance-based ensemble.

Large Ensembles
Student Big Bands are directed by outstanding professional educators. Ensembles rehearse daily and perform regularly during the evening concerts.

Ambassador Combo
Made up of advanced students and serves as Birch Creek’s liaison to the community. “The Ambassadors” perform widely throughout Door County and are featured on many campus concerts. Audition required.

Seminars and Business Workshops
Role-playing experiences in different aspects of the music business.

Apply Now

Birch Creek Jazz – Alex Murphy

Alex Murphy, Birch Creek Jazz Ambassador, speaks on his experience with the Academy.

Jazz I Faculty

Subject to change

Jeff Campbell
Program Director & Academy Jazz Orchestra Director | Bass

Rochester, NY

2021 is Jeff Campbell’s 33rd year at Birch Creek and his 25th as Jazz Program Director. Campbell is Professor of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media and department chair at Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. Jeff has carved out an impressive career as a bass player fluent in both the jazz and classical idioms. As a jazz bassist, he has performed with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Trio East, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet featuring Harold Danko. In high demand across the globe, Jeff has performed at such prestigious European musical events as the Nice, Montreux, North Sea, Riga, and Parnu jazz festivals and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics. Additionally, Jeff is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra bass section. He has numerous CDs to his credit.

Website: Jeff Campbell

Larry Brown Jr.
Guitar

Chicago, IL

Larry Brown Jr. is a guitarist who holds degrees from Southern Illinois University in Jazz Performance and from Northern Illinois University, with a Master’s in Jazz Studies. A Kennedy Center Jazz Ahead Alumni, Brown has toured nationally and internationally as a composer/arranger as well as a band leader. He has released two records of original compositions (There Can Only Be One –  2011; The Music & The Moment –  2015). He is a contributing writer to the book Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz – Volume 2. 2021 is Brown’s 12th year with the Birch Creek faculty.

Scott Burns
Alto Saxophone

Chicago, IL

Scott Burns is currently a faculty member at DePaul University and Loyola University Chicago, where his collective duties include jazz ensemble director, a jazz improvisation instructor, applied saxophone instructor, jazz combo coach, and jazz history lecturer. A native of Dayton, OH, Burns holds degrees in jazz studies from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (BM) and DePaul University (MM). As a leader of his own groups or as an in-demand sideman with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and many other projects, he is frequently heard performing in greater Chicago’s leading jazz venues. Scott has performed alongside several international jazz artists, including McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, Clark Terry, Ira Sullivan, David Hazeltine, Tom Harrell, Eric Alexander, and Harry Connick Jr. His latest recording, Passages (Origin Records), features his original compositions and received critical acclaim across the nation. Burns has been with Birch Creek for nine years.

Website: scottburnsjazz.com

Bob Chmel
Drums

Las Vegas, NV

Bob Chmel graduated from Kent State University with a BS in education and a MA in performance. Chmel was awarded Alumni of the Year by Kent State in 2003. He has performed with numerous artists and ensembles throughout the years, including the bands of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Bob Anderson, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Doc Severinson, Carl Fontana, and Buddy Childress, to name a few. Bob has worked and played with the best jazz combos and bands in Chicago for 20 years and world-renowned musicians in Las Vegas for 25 years. This is Chmel’s 30th year at Birch Creek.

Katie Ernst
Jazz I Advanced Combo (Ambassadors) Director / Vocalist

Chicago, IL

Bassist and vocalist Katie Ernst is an active bandleader and musician in Chicago’s jazz/improvised music community. She travels throughout the US as a guest artist/clinician for young musicians, directs the jazz ensemble at Wheaton College, and teaches at Birch Creek Music Academy for the Jazz I summer program. Ernst holds a BM in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music. 2021 is Katie’s 10th year with the Birch Creek faculty.

 

Tom Garling
Trombone

Chicago, IL

Tom Garling’s writing and playing can be heard on albums by Maynard, Buddy Rich, Tito Puente, Dianne Schuur, Michael Feinstein, Frank Mantooth, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the Chicago Yestet, to name a few. He has been in high demand for the past 30 years as a performer, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer, teacher, director, clinician, and professional musician at any capacity. Garling attended the Berklee School of Music and received his Master’s degree from the University of Miami, majoring in Jazz Composition and Arranging with an emphasis in studio jazz writing. He teaches both privately and in numerous institutions around the Chicago area (Elmhurst College, Roosevelt University and Northern Illinois University) in the fields of jazz composition and arranging, jazz trombone, jazz theory and jazz improvisation. Garling performs with numerous jazz groups including the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and the Chicago Yestet. 2019 is his 20th year at Birch Creek.

Website: www.tomgarling.com

Russ Johnson
Trumpet

Milwaukee, WI

Russ Johnson is an active performer, educator and clinician. Johnson is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He has been involved in over 80 recordings and appeared in the 2018 DownBeat critics poll as a rising star in the trumpet category. He has worked alongside many of the legendary figures in jazz, recorded and/or performed with numerous prominent international jazz artists and performed in more than 40 countries.

Audrey Morrison
Trombone

Chicago, IL

Audrey Morrison is the Director of Jazz Studies at the Music Institute of Chicago. She performs and teaches with the Ravinia Jazz Mentors, and plays with the jazz sextet, SHE, Ars Viva, and the Lake Forest Symphony. She teaches at Columbia College and North Park University. Morrison is a clinician for Conn-Selmer.

Website: Audrey Morrison

Doug Stone
Tenor Saxophone

Baton Rouge, LA

Doug Stone’s career has involved work as a touring musician, primarily with jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson and his band, the Big Bop Nouveau, as well as with the “world-jazz” group Panoramic, and with a number of ensembles from Chicago, IL. Stone is a published arranger and composer and has a double master’s degree in jazz performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Louisiana State University.

Michael Stryker
Piano

Chicago, IL

Michael Stryker is Clinical Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Stryker’s doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music were completed fall of 2009 with the degree awarded spring of 2010. Past degrees include a B.S. in Biology from Purdue University in 1985 and both the B.M. and M.M. in Jazz Performance from DePaul University in 1996. Previous teaching positions include Western Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, DePaul University, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Website: Michael Stryker

Joey Tartell
Trumpet

Bloomington, IN

Joey Tartell is Professor of Music at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He has played with Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He is currently performing with Tromba Mundi, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. This is Tartell’s 22nd year at Birch Creek.

Website: joeytartell.com/

Gil Wukitsch
Student Band Director | Trombone

St Charles, IL

Gil Wukitsch has been teaching at St. Charles East High School since 1997, where he teaches Jazz Band, Wind Symphony and AP Music Theory. Along with his teaching duties, Gil serves as the Lead Teacher for Fine Arts, overseeing the Drama, Music and Visual Arts departments. Wukitsch has a degree in music education from DePaul University, as well as a Masters in Educational Leadership from Aurora University. While at DePaul, he was a member of the nationally recognized Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra, and studied trumpet with Ross Beacraft and Bob Lark. Gil began attending Birch Creek as a student in 1989 and since then has been a member of the Academy Big Band as both a teaching assistant and faculty member, as well as serving as the Lab Band and Studio Band Director.

Jeff Campbell
Program Director & Academy Jazz Orchestra Director | Bass
Larry Brown Jr.
Guitar
Scott Burns
Alto Saxophone
Bob Chmel
Drums
Katie Ernst
Jazz I Advanced Combo (Ambassadors) Director / Vocalist
Tom Garling
Trombone
Russ Johnson
Trumpet
Audrey Morrison
Trombone
Doug Stone
Tenor Saxophone
Michael Stryker
Piano
Joey Tartell
Trumpet
Gil Wukitsch
Student Band Director | Trombone

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