Published August 18th, 2010
Jazz Camp Finale - a Triumph
By Cathy Tyson
Students in the Wayne Wallace Combo perform at the Lafayette Summer Music Jazz Camp Final Concert. Photo Cathy Tyson
"It was a really awesome experience. I definitely recommend this camp," said trumpet player Jacob Comingore, who carpooled all the way from Davis to attend the Lafayette Summer Music Jazz Workshop. Friend and fellow carpooler Pete Young commented that his instructor, Wayne Wallace, was "awesome and the music was really cool."
Both boys and a crowd of proud parents, relatives and neighbors came to Stanley Middle School to enjoy the final concert on August 6th. Celebrating a dozen years of great jazz in Lafayette, the camp and the concert get bigger and better every year.
Bob Athayde, Music Director at Stanley, oversees the busy six day workshop which he describes as an intimate and inspiring environment for learning and playing jazz. Frank Sumares is the Curriculum Director. All students are required to audition and take a music theory test to ascertain their placement level.
Twenty-two music professionals take time out of their busy schedules to devote to the week long workshop, assisting students on their musical journeys. Each professional is assigned a group of between seven and ten students to work with during the week. These phenomenally talented jazz musicians have collectively performed with an impressive list of renowned artists, and they have resumes that include arranger to conductor to composer to college instructor.
How cool is it to be taught by a three-time Grammy nominee? Eight lucky students received instruction from Wayne Wallace who has preformed, recorded and studied with Aretha Franklin, Bobby Hutcherson, Earth, Wind and Fire, Pete Escovedo, Whitney Houston, Tito Puente and more. When he's not at the workshop, Wallace is busy with his own record label and has taught at Stanford, San Francisco State University, Jazzschool in Berkeley and other institutions.
"Too fun to work with these guys - I'm really proud of what they did this week," said Mary Fettig, a jazz and Latin music icon at the final concert. Her resume is equally impressive: she toured with Tito Puente and others, has performed with the San Francisco Symphony and is on the soundtrack for "Ratatouille" and many other films. She works and gives lessons at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and continues to record music. Performing "So What," by Miles Davis, her student combo sounded fantastic.

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