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About Jazz Camp

Twenty minutes before show time, Dick Lavine paces a comical figure eight in his room. “I’m a little nervous,” he admits, “not panicked, not hysterical, not falling apart. But there’s an edge.”

…It’s a beautiful night, and the weather helps ease things. The temperature is a perfect 72 degrees, and as dusk falls, a sliver of sunlight lines the peak of Mt. Killington like a halo. About 300 people are gathered on the lawn, watching the stage with anticipation… “Ladies and gentlemen” booms the emcee over the sound system. “Give a warm welcome to the Jazz Camp octet plus one.” The band members nervously take the stage and launch into their opening number, “Nice ‘N Easy” which they’ve rehearsed some twenty-odd times during the week…

By the time Dick stands for his tenor solo, it’s obvious that he’s in a groove. His eyes are closed, eyebrows wrinkled like a worried hound’s, but a smooth, silky note resonates throughout his performance, revealing a confident style. He really leans back and wails. The audience responds with a burst of applause and the rest of the set is a “a piece of cake.”

Afterward, the band gathers triumphantly on the patio, toasting each other’s slick virtuousity. “Man, we were cooking tonight,” Dick says, flushed with excitement and relief. “That last number – whoaaa baby!” A band member walks over, puts an arm around Dick’s shoulder and flashes a grin. “Hey man – that was beautiful,” he says. “I dig your style.”

Dick Lavine in real life is an attorney in a 356 member Washington law firm. If you’re a closet big band enthusiast, jazz lover, hepcat or a scat daddy, join the hundreds of bankers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, systems analysts, admen, teachers, dentists, architects, research scientists… who come each year to slide into a big band, nonet or septet directed and supported by professional musicians for a magical 5 1/2 days of rehearsal and clinics capped by a public concert.

Details About Jazz Camp

70% of the Jazz Camp participants return each year! Join the fun and LIVE YOUR DREAM! Live the life of a musician and nothing else for 5 1/2 days. Our staff of six and two guest artists will rehearse, encourage, cajole and groove with you for this special week, held on once each year. Jazz Camp is proud to announce that Jerry Bergonzi will be returning as the guest artist in residence.

You must be able to read music at an intermediate level (ability to improvise not required). Upon receipt of your application, you will be selected for one of three bands: the big band, nonet or septet. Get your reservation in early! Every year we have to turn participants away.



  • 11:00 am to 3:00 pm – Registration
  • 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Wine & Cheese Jam Session
  • 6:00 to 7:30 pm – Dinner
  • 7:30 – Non-participant get-together
  • 7:45 to 10:00 pm – Rehearsals
  • 10:00 pm to ? – 19th Hole

Monday – Wednesday

  • 6:30 to 7:00 am – Early a.m. walk (optional)
  • 7:30 to 9:30 am – Breakfast
  • 9:30 to 12:00 pm – Rehearsal
  • 12:00 to 1:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:30 to 2:30 pm – Guest Artist Improvisation Workshop
  • 3:30 to 5:30 pm – Section Rehearsals
  • 6:00 to 7:30 pm – Dinner
  • 7:30 to 10:00 pm – Rehearsal
  • 10:00 pm to ? – 19th Hole


  • 6:30 to 7:00 am – Early a.m. walk (optional)
  • 7:30 to 9:30 am – Breakfast
  • 9:30 to 2:00 pm – Final Rehearsal and Sound Check
  • 4:00 to 5:00 pm – Cocktail Party and Hors d’oeurves
  • 5:30  to 9:30 pm – Concert
  • 10:00 pm – Late Dinner
  • 12:00 am to ? – Party, more jazz stories, single malt scotch, concert tapes played, critiqued, enjoyed – amazing, we did that?!!


  • Breakfast when you get up, good byes, exhilaration, we did it! Sadness, it’s over ’til next year.