Swing Workshop



Sunday, August 11–
Saturday, August 17, 2019


Performers and Seminars

A Week At Camp

How To Register

Fees & Registration

Arrival At Camp




Performers and Seminars

Register for one of these early morning classes

NOTE: Links to instructor Websites will open in a new window.


Swing Piano

—Michael Creber 


Students must pre-register for one of these seminars and must bring portable keyboards and headphones to camp. If space permits, afternoon students will be welcome to join the morning class.

Beginner/Intermediate This course is for swing pianists of all levels. The morning class will concentrate on the foundation skills: basic jazz harmony, understanding chords, working with lead sheets, building basic jazz voicings, and the pianist's role in the band. This would correspond to the first three chapters of Mark Levine’s The Jazz Piano Book (highly recommended!). As always in swing camp we are working on skills to help you have more fun playing in groups with other players!
Intermediate/Advanced This is a special class offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. As in the morning class, we will tailor the material to fit the levels of the players, so expect to dive into soloing over changes, Bill Evans left hand voicings, inner voice movements, and all that really fun stuff!

Tom Keenlyside


Woodwind and Brass Workshop

—Tom Keenlyside 


Students will not need to register separately for morning and late-morning horn classes.

This course will provide in-depth look at numerous aspects of playing brass and woodwind instruments in a collective jazz setting. Techniques to be discussed and practised include jazz phrasing, articulation, expression, and sound production on all wind and brass instruments. We will also focus on playing in tight ensemble. In addition, we will study various aspects of jazz improvisation - playing through many different types of chord changes and the blues. We will create a fun, supportive environment in which all players will be encouraged to improvise.
Special Late Morning Class
Focus on Improvising
This will be a user-friendly introduction to soloing for horn players that will include note choice, phrasing, embellishments, style, getting rid of bad habits, etc. We’ll work through the building blocks of soloing, 2-5-1 progressions, blues, turnarounds, V7b9 to 1 minor, etc.



Learn How to Play Bebop 

—Bill Coon 

By exploring the music of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell we will learn how to create bop phrases and dig deeper into this game-changing musical vocabulary. Each day we will study and learn compositions and solos of these great masters. Open to all instrumentalists and vocalists. Some reading skills needed.



Freddie Green Style Rhythm Guitar 

—Ron Peters 

Freddie Green used simple, 3 note chord shapes that are easy to play. Sometimes called “shell” voicings, these shapes sound better and leave more “tonal headroom” for soloists. In this class we will learn these shapes in root position and then invert them to give us more options along the neck. We will also discuss subtle variations in RH swing style strumming and apply it all to some classic tunes. Swing that rhythm..!



Chord Theory: A Great Way to Memorize Songs 

—Mike Rud 

Often when you see great players perform, they never so much as glance at a sheet. How? Chord patterns, that's how. There is a limited number of recurring “chord progression tricks” that the jazz standards use to lead our ears along. Memorize those, and you can learn a new tune as a sequence of these tricks, simplifying the tunes down to manageability. We’re going to look at these tricks, in guitar fingerings, and using note names, and the tunes they add up to. It's wonderfully enjoyable.

Ray Piper


Cuban Guitar 

—Michel Rivero 

For such a small country Cuba is large when it comes to music, and the diversity of its rhythms. Get ready to explore the musical styles of Bolero, and Cha Cha Cha, and learn some popular Cuban songs that are internationally known. You will learn the elements that encompass these styles of guitar accompaniment. It’s a lot of fun!



Intermediate Soloing 

—Neil Fraser 

In this class we will explore a variety of technical and artistic strategies for creating an interesting solo that tells its own kind of story. Scales, arpeggios, triads and chord shapes are some of the technical aspects. On the artistic side, we’ll look at phrasing, call & response, tension & release, and more. We’ll also explore ways to bring emotion into the mix. Lots of hands-on playing using simple tunes and chord progressions.



Beginning Soloing 

—Greg Glassman 

This class will be for those players who have basic chording or maybe note-reading skills, but have little understanding of how to start improvising solos. We will work on learning and developing a basic “improv tool box”, focusing on how to create and form melodic ideas. We’ll take it slow and easy using some great tunes and chord progressions to play with. This will be a fun way to uncover some of the mystery and get over any fears about soloing. All instruments are welcome.



Intro to Chord Melody: Simple, Satisfying Solo Arrangements 

—Joe Vinikow 

A primer for the guitarist interested in moving beyond comping to playing melodies in chordal form. We’ll drill down on a song a day to find tuneful and efficient techniques for playing solo versions of familiar standards, using inversions, passing chords and position playing on the fingerboard.

Rebecca Kilgore


Guitar Accompaniment for Vocalists 

—Rebecca Kilgore 

Here’s a basic guide for vocalists who want to learn to accompany themselves on the guitar. The emphasis will be on swing chords. We will start with some easy songs and easy chords and progress from there. We’ll go over chart-following, but no tablature or music reading are required. Players from last year’s class are very welcome — new songs! Also new this year will be an optional performance time during the class.

Ali Romanow


Swing! Baby Swing–Intro to Swing-style Rhythm Guitar 

—Ali Romanow 

Become the heartbeat of the band. Build your knowledge of moveable chord shapes, right hand techniques, turnarounds and transitions to provide rock solid rhythm. Using a selection of old standards and new classics we’ll explore the challenges of self-accompaniment, band dynamics, chart reading, as well as some tools to navigating the great cosmic mystery that is music theory. Whether you’re new to the world of swing guitar or an ol’hep cat looking to learn new tricks, you’ll walk away with a swing in your step (and your hands) as well as a few boppin’ tunes under your belt.



Improvise, Improve! 

—Jennifer Scott 

If there’s one thing that defines a jazz singer absolutely, it’s the ability to improvise!

It could be the interpretation of a melody, the fluidity of phrasing, rhythmic reinterpretation, playfulness with the lyric or a cool scat solo, improvisation and the willingness to “be in the moment” as you sing and perform. They all require your creative and fearless input.

This is a class to take some chances and get to the next level!



It’s About Time 

—Karin Plato 

Tempo, groove, rhythm, beats, time signatures! We will explore the elements that are the foundation for swing, bossa, waltz and other popular grooves. We’ll look at various time signatures and how to establish ideal tempos. We’ll sing and we’ll listen to music exploring all these concepts.



The Great Gershwin Songbook 

—Carman J. Price 

George and Ira Gershwin are two of the most important architects of the Great American Songbook. Many of the songs they wrote for Broadway and Hollywood became standards, beloved around the world. We’ll spend time learning and singing some of their best known tunes, as well as a few of their gems you may have yet to discover!



He’s the Top! 

—Steve Maddock 

Considered by many to be the most important contributor to the Great American Songbook, Cole Porter was, without question, an iconic songsmith of the 20th century. He was one of the wittiest of all lyricists, and was also especially adept at the “catalog song” (Let’s Do It; You’re the Top). Join me as we explore some of his most popular melodies, along with a few hidden treasures.

Guido Heistek


Swing ‘Ukulele 

—Guido Heistek 

This class is light-hearted and fun, but also very challenging. It will open up many new possibilities for you and your little four stringed friend! As in past years, we will explore moveable chord shapes. We will learn progressions in minor and major keys in various places on the neck, and then apply these progressions to jazz standards. This year, we will also take some time to learn an ensemble piece as a group, which will include some opportunities for soloing. Of course, we will also learn at least one chord melody arrangement as well as take some time to work on rhythm, groove and right hand techniques that will really get your playing swinging!

Class taught in GCEA tuning.

Intermediate to Advanced level.

Note: This is not a course for beginner uke players.

This class is limited to 14 players. Register soon if you would like a spot!

Julian Smedley


Jazz Fiddle or Jazz Violin?

—Julian Smedley 

We often think of fiddle players decorating a given melody using bow techniques and ornaments, just as we think of jazz violinists improvising “solos” over chord changes. Well, this week we’re gonna mix it all up in the jazz blender and use bow techniques and ornaments to decorate jazz tunes. Heck, we may just find a way to “fiddle” over chord changes! If fiddle, violin, viola or ’cello is your thing, come and join the fun as we learn how to make jazz tunes swing the fiddle way! Oh, and the Shuswap Strings will make their annual appearances at the Swing Dances.



Bass Explorations 

—Rene Worst 

A fresh approach to Swing Bass this year! In addition to working on a classic large ensemble piece and some cool transcriptions we can play together, we’ll get back to basics. We’ll learn how to walk with a good groove, latin lines and some cool melodic lines!

Bass cleff reading is an asset, but is not compulsory. All bass instruments are welcome.

You can find Rene on Facebook




—Phil Belanger 

This will be a fun, hands-on class and is open to everyone. You’ll have lots of time to play and learn about some of the most common instruments in the percussion family. Playing as a group we will create some great grooves, including Cuban and Brazilian rhythms! We'll learn techniques for the snare drum using sticks and brushes, various hand drums, and lots of the smaller ‘toys’: shakers, cowbells, tambourines, etc. Bring any instruments you have, as well as brushes.


Late Morning Classes

Special classes – open to all students registered at the BC Swing Camp

(note: the classes listed below take place in the late morning, following your main course;
they are open to as many participants who wish to join in; and Do Not require pre-registration)


Dale Rasmussen


S’Wonderful Jazz Choir 

—Dale Rasmussen 

Come and experience the joy of “grooving as a group” as we sing timeless swing, jazz and blues tunes together. This high-energy, large ensemble vocal session is open to all and will feature fun, accessible harmony arrangements of beloved standards. We’ll also sprinkle in a few choice pop and soul classics for good measure. Opportunities for solo spots, too. Let it swing!



Swing Blues 

—Rueben Gurr 

This class will focus on swing with a blues feel. All instruments and singers are welcome. With simple, easy to negotiate charts, we will sing, play, arrange and even compose a little through cool variations on the twelve bar form, as well as some classic jazz standards. During the week there will be “mini clinics” in jump blues, reggae, and R&B, for all instruments, including vocal harmony ideas.

Horn charts, lyrics, harmony parts and choreography will be supplied as well, although there will be plenty of room for improvisation. Our focus will be on the groove, but soloists will have more than their moment in the sun. There will be a session on how to “swingafy” a tune and lots of ideas for those who wish to solo through the changes. All levels are welcome.


Beginning Swing Dancing: 
The Engine of Swing

Where does the energy come from in swing dance? We're going to take some basic moves and break them down into detailed lead and follow techniques as you use your partner's momentum to make it easy and fun to swing dance. All levels are welcome.


The Jazzy Side of Songwriting

—Kristina Olsen 

Special late morning class:

This is a five day seminar that will build from one day to the next, with plenty of writing assignments and lots of fun creativity exercises.

Tanya Lewis & Toby Chernoff


East Coast Swing Drop-In!

East Coast Swing is a basic six-count dance that is often called jive, jitterbug or swing. Chances are that if you’ve done a little swing dancing, it’s East Coast. East Coast is a good dance for beginners and casual dancers because the basic step is not hard to learn, and the moves require only a general understanding of leading and following.

We’ll be teaching a basic repertoire class.

Each day we’ll review the basic step, then teach a few moves and/or variations with a strong emphasis on good leading and following skills. Since this is a drop-in class, we’ll tailor the material to whoever shows up, so whether you’re a total beginner or a solid intermediate dancer, this class should have something to offer you.



Introduction to Lindy Hop Series

—Tanya Lewis & Toby Chernoff

In the ballrooms of Harlem when Swing was King, swing dancing was Lindy Hop.

Lindy is the original 8 count swing dance that grew out of the music of the 20s, 30s and 40s. It was the physical manifestation of the controlled madness that was the music of the swing era.

It isn’t only a crazy dance, though; it’s as versatile as swing music itself. With its intimate connection between lead and follow and its distinctive together-and-apart basic step, it lends itself to carefree abandon, to adventurous improvisation, and to playful interplay. It can be fast or slow, big or small, crazy or intimate; it can be danced by all ages and fitness levels, and if you see Toby and Tanya dancing with each other, chances are they’re dancing the Lindy Hop.

This class will be aimed at people with no experience in Lindy Hop, but because this dance is a lot more demanding than East Coast, this is a series class. In other words, in order to attend any class after the first one, you need to have attended the previous class—you can always drop out, but you can’t drop in.

So sign up to learn the original swing dance! Like swing music, it can be challenging at first, but it’s a heck of a ride once you get the hang of it!


Here are the afternoon sessions from 2018.




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