Children immersed in music during weeklong jazz camp |

Children immersed in music during weeklong jazz camp

Rick Chandler
A young drummer gets some instruction at last summer's jazz camp.

Sure, Jazz Camp is a lot of work, says musician Adam Theis. But one has to look at the upside.

“For a lot of us musicians, this is the closest thing to a vacation we’re going to get,” said the accomplished trombonist, one of the originators of the one-week “Jazz Artists In Residency” program in Truckee. “And what better place to be? It’s amazing up here.”

The third annual kids camp will be held July 9-14, and is still taking sign-ups.

“We weren’t really sure how popular this was going to be back when we started three years ago,” Theis said. “We kind of played it by ear. But it’s really grown to be a popular program.”

The event will include free jazz shows by top-tier musicians, a weeklong kids camp and a benefit for the Truckee Youth Music Program featuring San Francisco’s Shotgun Wedding Hip Hop Symphony, who blend a symphony of strings with the beat of an MC.

During the event, music fans mingle with jazz musicians from New York and San Francisco. By immersing themselves in music for the weeklong event, the artists infuse a lot of color and culture into Truckee nightlife.

The program includes four free jazz shows at Moody’s Bistro July 9-12. These same performers also will conduct free clinics during the “Jazz Artists in Residency” Kids’ Jazz Camp from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, July 9 through Friday, July 13, allowing children to develop an appreciation for music in general and for jazz as a whole. On Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13, the Shotgun Wedding Hip Hop Symphony gives a whole new meaning to Truckee nightlife when they perform at Moody’s as part of a benefit for the Truckee Youth Music Program.

The idea for the camp came about when some of the musicians from San Francisco, including Theis, used to come to Truckee to play and hang out at Moody’s Bistro and Lounge. “I’ve known (co-owner) J.J. since his days in San Francisco, and we got to talking about a youth project and made this happen,” Theis said.

“The musicians spend the entire week immersed in jazz,” J.J. Morgan said. “They stretch themselves musically in the evenings when they play with each other.”

Due to a week where nothing distracts them from their passion for jazz, the musicians deliver evening performances at Moody’s that are some of the most energetic and innovative shows a jazz fan will ever witness. For the four free evening shows, Theis will perform on trombone, Joe Cohen on saxophone, Josh Jones on drums, Benny Lackner on piano, Will Bernard on guitar and Andrew Emer on bass.

Theis and Cohen are members of the Shotgun Wedding Quintet Hip Hop Symphony, known for its marriage of two seemingly unrelated musical styles – hip-hop and jazz. Jones has played with jazz greats Don Cherry, Steve Coleman and Omar Sosa and the hip-hop Groups The Coup, Digital Underground and Spearhead. Jones was the former lead of Hueman Flavor, a hip-hop jazz band of the early ’90s and one of the most acclaimed groups of San Francisco’s jazz movement. Lackner is known for his groove-based music which reinvents standards while mostly focusing on original material. He incorporates modern elements like drum, bass and hip-hop beats, as well as eclectic percussion and bass sounds.

Bernard, the jazz guitarist/composer acclaimed for his imaginative genre-busting music, was once called “one of the best-kept jazz-guitar secrets on the planet” by Billboard Magazine. He is known for incorporating classical guitar techniques along with jazz angles, touching upon styles such as R&B, soul, blues, surf music and noise-rock.

Andrew Emer, a New York-based freelance jazz and experimental bassist, has performed and toured with such notable musicians as John Popper (of Blues Traveler), Billy Higgins, Kenny Werner, Adam Nussbaum, Kenny Wollesen, Vince Lateano, Bruce Forman and Eric Mcphearson.

As a grand finale to the Jazz Artists in Residency, the San Francisco-based Shotgun Wedding Hip Hop Symphony will treat the audience to shows on Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14 as a benefit for the Truckee Youth Music Program.

Admission both nights is $5, which will go to the Truckee Youth Music Program.

Moody’s Bistro & Lounge is located inside the historic Truckee Hotel on Commercial Row, a few minutes from Interstate 80 at 10007 Bridge Street in Truckee (on the corner of Commercial Row).

For reservations, call (530) 587-8688 or visit

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