"My daughter couldn't wait to try out the concepts she learned at NorCal Jazz Camp.  She came home, went straight to the piano and practiced all afternoon!"

- Mike Galistaus, Director of Bands, College of San Mateo

Photo Credit:  Mitya Ku

Course Content

NorCal Jazz Camp students will:

  • Perform a concert on Friday, June 23 at 11:30 am

  • Play songs, transcriptions, chords, scales, patterns and improvisations together as a group and individually
  • Become familiar with the melody and lyrics to several of the most famous jazz standards which are an essential part of the fabric of the American musical experience
  • Receive a Norcal Jazz T-shirt included with tuition
  • Utilize JazzDeck to quickly learn theory and a tangible approach to improvisation
  • Receive specially designed reference materials
  • Engage in guided listening to legendary recordings
  • Receive MP3 recordings to practice with at home
  • Have plenty of material and inspiration to carry them through the summer

Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

The Students

NorCal Jazz is unique in that all players learn together regardless of skill level.  Newcomers and returning advanced players are given a different set of objectives.  For example, when learning new chords, new students may play only a few notes per measure while advanced students are given the task of executing technically demanding arpeggios with proper articulation and ornamentation.  Everyone in the in the room is plays in the same key at the same tempo and all the parts fit together harmoniously.  NorCal Jazz students advance at their own pace.  As always, the camp emphasis is truly about learning to enjoy the process of musical growth and discovery.  

Photo Credit:  dimnikolov

NorCal Jazz

  • Summer Jazz Camp

  • Saturday Workshops

  • School Year Sessions

  • NorCal Jazz Big Band 


The inaugural NorCal Jazz Camp occurred in 2007 after a magical year of music and camaraderie in the Borel Jazz Band.  Parents sought a place for "the band to stay together" and, thus, NorCal Jazz was born.  Now in its eighth year, NorCal Jazz Camp has become an annual tradition.  In addition to summer camp, NorCal Jazz offers Saturday workshops throughout the school year.  

In 2012 the NorCal Jazz High School Big Band rehearsed before school, four days a week in the Borel band room. Sadly, the talented group was disbanded when Mr. Switzer was offered a position with Train.  The NorCal Jazz Big Band will soon ride again.

During the 2013-2014 school year NorCal Jazz offered a before-school opportunity for dedicated music students between Train tour dates.  The Fall and Winter sessions focused on composition, improvisation, theory, repertoire and technique.