Litchfield Jazz Camp
Founded in 1997, Litchfield Jazz Camp serves 350- 400 residential and day students during a month-long program on the campus of the Gunnery School in Washington, Connecticut. Run by Litchfield Performing Arts, a 35-year-old charitable organization dedicated to changing lives through music, the Camp’s philosophy is simple. We start with a faculty of amazing and inspiring jazz musicians who represent the best jazz players/educators on the scene today. To that we add eager music students in a non-competitive, all-inclusive program. No audition is required; just a desire to attend and make music. Litchfield Jazz Camp embraces all learners: students of all ages from 12 years up– beginners, intermediate learners, advanced players, students with learning disabilities. That is how the collaborative, supportive and fun atmosphere at Litchfield Jazz Camp is created.
Money is never a bar to participation. Last summer LJC accepted 27% of its student body on need-based scholarships (distributing $104,000 in aid). Students are taught in skill-based combos and have extensive opportunities to perform for each other and the public at the end of each session and at the award-winning Litchfield Jazz Festival. They experience the music of their master teachers in the evenings and jam themselves each night.
An important part of the Litchfield experience is attendance at the 2-day Litchfield Jazz Festival in Goshen CT. There campers hear festival stars, perform themselves on a dedicated second stage, and meet artists in person. This makes for a thrilling wrap up to one of the most exciting music education experiences available anywhere.Understanding the whole person is the ultimate point of any right- thinking program, health and stamina are encouraged with optional sports in the afternoons. Most students are college-bound, and to support that the camp holds at college night each season with representatives of a wide array of university level music programs. This group includes scouts who often offer our need-scholarship students opportunities at their schools.
Many of our campers attend every summer throughout their teens, allowing for the camp to make major impact on their skills and their emotional and personal development. Our Residential Assistant and Teaching Assistant ranks are peopled by former campers. Many of these in the fullness of time appear on the Litchfield Jazz Festival mainstage as sidemen and even leaders. Our surveys of former campers show that Litchfield’s participants continue their education at college and beyond. About half take academic degrees and half music. At least half garner scholarships. Many go on to win prestigious music awards (Monk and Downbeat Competition winners and more).
Litchfield helped to motivate me to practice and improve my skills.
– Eli, student
Litchfield Jazz Camp has played a huge part in my musical development. I love the opportunity to play with other students and learn from some of the best musicians in the world.
– Steve, student
I probably learned more in those two weeks than my entire year in school band.
– Olivia, student