Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony 2015 – Call for UK Participants

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The Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony California, 1-8 August 2015

Call for UK Participants

The internationally-renowned Brubeck Institute is looking for three young (16-19 year old) British jazz musicians to join its 2015 Summer Colony in Stockton, California. This follows the successful British participation in the 2014 Colony, when Alexander Bone (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year), Jake Labazzi and Tom Smith (both BBC Finalists) joined 18 Americans and three Australians for a week’s intensive tuition and music-making with world-class teachers such as Marvin Stamm, Jiggs Wigham and our own Alec Dankworth who played bass in the Dave Brubeck quartet for two years.

This is a unique opportunity for outstanding young musicians to broaden their horizons, experience world-class jazz education, and make enduring musical friendships. As the Brubeck Institute’s UK partner, NYJO is proud to have been asked to manage the UK application process for the Colony.

If you’re interested in applying, you will need to complete an application form and follow the same audition procedure as the American applicants: you submit a recorded (video or just audio) audition, to be uploaded online, in which each track time should not exceed six minutes and total submission should not exceed 30 minutes and must include the following:

1. A medium-tempo blues

2. An up-tempo rhythm changes tune

3. A Latin, rock, or funk tune

4. A ballad

5. Any other tune of your choice (standard, contemporary tune, original, etc.)

The applicant’s performance must be accompanied by a rhythm section or a play-along recording, or both. The recording will be judged on sound, intonation, time-feel, jazz vocabulary, artistry, and overall musicianship. All instrumentalists should clearly state the melody before their improvised choruses (Melody is optional for Drums).

Here is the relevant timetable:

Notify NYJO of intention to apply asap by emailing

  • Application form completed and recording to be uploaded to Brubeck Institute website by 5pm, Tuesday 7th April. Link here:
    • The NYJO team of Music Directors will then examine applications and recommend a shortlist to the Brubeck Institute by Monday 13 April
    • Three successful UK applicants notified by Friday 1 May
    • Three successful applicants fly to San Francisco on Saturday 1 August!

The cost. The course fee is $1500 – around one thousand pounds at today’s exchange rate – subsidised by funds raised by NYJO to make it affordable for UK participants. In addition, colonists are responsible for their own return air fares to San Francisco; they will be picked up at the airport and taken to and from Stockton by the Brubeck Institute. NYJO has raised funds to support some additional financial assistance/bursaries if necessary and can give advice on fund-raising techniques; most of last year’s UK Colonists ran very successful crowd-funding campaigns. There are also Trusts and Foundations who are prepared to help deserving individuals to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

What to do next.

  • Notify NYJO of your intention to apply by email to asap
  • Follow the instructions below on how to submit an application from the UK
  • Submit your application and recording to the Brubeck Institute website (see instructions below) by 5pm, Tuesday 7th April

Good luck!

Mark Armstrong

Artistic & Music Director, NYJO

NYJO is Jazz Educator of the Year – All Party Parliamentary Awards for Jazz 2015


The Summer Jazz Colony is a one-week, intensive educational program in jazz performance for a very limited number of exceptionally talented students. They come from throughout the United States and beyond to study with Brubeck Institute faculty, guest artists and master teachers, in combo rehearsals, master classes and private instruction, classes in jazz theory and advanced jazz improvisation, and seminars on the music of Dave Brubeck and other topics. Colonists have extensive opportunities to visit with the artists and clinicians, participate in numerous jam sessions, and perform in concert.

This instrumentation is designed to create four instrumental combos. Brass Players (Trumpet/Trombone), Saxophonists, Guitarists, Pianists, Bassists, and Drummers are encouraged to apply.

The colony is fully risk-assessed and chaperoned for the age group. NYJO may also be able to offer advice on visas and travel coordination.

How to submit your application from the UK

Check you will be aged 16-19 in August 2015

  • Go to: and click on the link for ‘application guidelines, deadlines and fees’
  • In the ‘State’ field use ‘CA’
  • In the ‘Zip Code’ field use ‘00000’
  • In ‘current class in school’ use ‘Freshman’ for Year 11 or below, ‘Sophomore’ for Years 12 or 13 and ‘Junior’ for Music College or University
  • Give the name and address of where you are studying under ‘High School Address’ and the name of your head of music department under ‘Faculty Advisor’
  • In Step 4 you will upload your video and audio and then reach the final screen where you can review your application. This will look like the following:

Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony 2015 – Call for UK Participants

  • Once you get to this stage and are happy with your application, you do not need to ‘Apply Payment’ or hit a ‘Final Submit’ button. Simply log-off. At this point you must email who will submit your application without charge.

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