Chicago Jazz Stars Teach Grades 5-12 in Summer Program at UIC

Some of Chicago’s most prominent jazz artists will instruct 160 students in grades 5-12 in the fourth annual summer jazz camp at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in collaboration with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.

The CJP/UIC Jazz Academy will be held July 16-27, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at UIC’s Department of Theatre and Music, 1040 W. Harrison St.

Jazz Academy students play in various ensembles, including jazz band, drum line, hand chimes, and strings, to develop performance skills. Additional courses familiarize them with jazz aesthetics, instrument technique, music theory, jazz history, and improvisation.

Classes are taught by UIC faculty who perform around the world, including drummer Ernie Adams, saxophonist Ari Brown, and bassist Stewart Miller, led by jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis, an Emmy-winning composer and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic artistic director.

“The CJP/UIC Jazz Academy helps resolve three critical issues: the lack of music education in schools, the need for underserved children to take an interest in higher education, and the need to preserve jazz for the next generation,” Davis says.

“The camp provides its students with a sense of what it feels like to be a college student. For most of our participants, attending college is something no one in their family has ever done,” he said.

“The Jazz Academy helps break down students’ perceptions that they face barriers to higher education,” says Birdie Soti, executive director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. “They also learn life skills like goal setting, time management, teamwork, communication, and positive interaction with their peers.”

Students are issued a college ID. They will tour the campus and may participate in recreational activities and college preparation discussions.

The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic is a symphonic jazz orchestra, combining jazz and classical music. Its role in the CJP/UIC Jazz Academy builds on its long-running Jazz Alive program in Chicago Public Schools.

UIC ranks among the nation’s leading research universities and is Chicago’s largest university with 27,500 students. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students, and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation, and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.

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