Students at the Jazz Camp range in age from 13 to adult.
Young aspiring jazz producers and engineers can take heart: There’s a summer program designed especially for them in Litchfield, Conn. The Litchfield Jazz Camp (www.litchfieldjazzfest.com/jazzcamp_recording.htm) is a two-week course that goes above and beyond for students who are focused on the fine points of jazz production.
“The camp as a whole offers intensive, organized, up-close-and-personal contact with teachers who are primarily high-profile performers,” explains instructor/world-renowned jazz guitarist Paul Bollenback, who leads the camp along with Ed Tetreault, manager of the Peabody Conservatory Recording Arts & Sciences program. “The jazz camp is now in its 12th year in association with the highly successful Litchfield Jazz Festival, but the recording and production course is new as of 2007. We call it the ‘Two-Week Miracle’ because most of the kids are starting from scratch with recording, and when we are done they have produced and recorded a finished CD.
“On the engineering side, Ed works with the kids interested in engineering, teaching setup, miking, recording and editing with Pro Tools, mixing and mastering — all very hands-on,” Bollenback continues. “On the production side, I show them how to choose material to record, rehearse a band, program the material, some specific mix tips and lots of in-studio tricks of the trade, all with an aim to be able to make their own high-level CD. In addition, Shure provides some great mics for our use, and sends a rep to give a lecture/demonstration about mic history, techniques and uses. The students do most of the work, and it’s pretty intensive, but we have a lot of fun, and at the end of the day the kids gain a lot, which is the important thing! When the final mix and master is done at the end of two weeks, I really enjoy the pride they take when the whole camp gets to hear the finished product.”