Swing Workshop



Sunday, August 9–
Saturday, August 15, 2020


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.



The Music of Bill Evans & Jim Hall 

—Bill Coon 

Guitarist Jim Hall and Bill Evans made three recordings together in the early sixties that documented their love of creating music together as well as highlighting a shared artistic sensibility when it came to composition and improvising. We will explore some of the compositions these two great musicians wrote and also take a look at their soloing concepts and improv vocabulary by focusing on a few of the standards they loved to play such as My Funny Valentine and Stairway to the Stars.

This class is open to all instrumentalists and vocalists. It would be helpful to have some reading ability.



Jazzin' Up the Blues 

—Ron Peters 

How hard can the Blues be? It’s only 12 bars and just l-lV-V right? Then you see a tune like Charlie Parker’s “Blues for Alice” or Stanley Turrentine’s “Sugar” and you realize you’re not in Kansas anymore! Take my class and learn some common chord substitutions, approaches, and embellishments to spice up that blues!



Chords and Scales: Decoded! 

—Mike Rud 

You’ve heard people throw away the terms “She played that altered chord there” or “oh, the diminished sound is a whole world in itself”. In 5 classes, Mike will take you through examples of commonly used sounds like these ones, modes, bebop scales and more, leaving you with good simple strategies for using this beautiful bag of tricks. Guitarists will receive chord fingerings and useful licks. Non guitarists are welcome. Everything will also be written out in treble clef.

Ray Piper


Brazilian Guitar 

—Ray Piper 

The class will look at bossa nova and samba and the subtle differences between the two and learn how to get that unique Brazilian swing and apply it to some Brazilian standards. We will look at the typical chord voicings and the rhythmic structures incorporated into this style, getting a clear understanding of how it all fits together.



Instrumental Story Telling 

—Neil Fraser 

A captivating solo starts with a single note. This class will include lots of hands-on playing as we explore tension and release, call and response, melodic and rhythmic motifs, emotion, and more. A knowledge of major scales, the blues scale, and the natural minor would be an asset. Let’s make some sounds!



Comping Beyond the Basics 

—Greg Glassman 

This class will be very helpful for players who are fairly comfortable with basic swing chords and are ready to move to the next level—beyond mainly strumming four to the bar.

We’ll have fun working and getting organized with inversions, three note chord forms and different rhythmic approaches to accompaniment. There will be a variety of tunes and examples to draw from, covering swing, latin, blues and jazz. There will also be plenty of opportunities for playing in class.

Chordally yours…
- Greg



Losing the Chart 

—Joe Vinikow 

Develop your ability to recognize song progressions by ear, through exercises that will develop your understanding of the chord families in each key: the harmonized scale. Improve your ability to pick up songs in real-time jam session settings, and learn songs more quickly and accurately from recordings. Players of all instruments are welcome.

Rebecca Kilgore


Unsung Songs by the Greats 

—Rebecca Kilgore 

Are you looking for Great American Songbook compositions that are not often performed? My professional life has been a constant quest for “unsung” great songs. We will look at the great composers’ and lyricists’ bodies of work, and find their more obscure pieces. I can’t wait to show you, so bring your open ears!

For vocalists, guitarists, bassists, and players of other instruments

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.



The Jazz Singer’s Performance Toolkit 

—Jennifer Scott 

Let’s delve into the components that make a vocal performance jazz-worthy! Interpreting and getting into the subtext of a lyric, improvising on the rhythms and melody, scat singing and figuring out what you need to get into and out of a tune are some of the important things we’ll cover in this comprehensive class!. Come prepared to work it out!



Dig Deeper into the Standards 

—Karin Plato 

Making the Swing Standards personally unique to you. We all love how Ella sang a song! Are there other ideas buried within the lyric or the melody or the rhythm which can be identified and then associated with your own arrangement of a song? We’ll explore all the variations that may exist within a song to give it a new life including tempos, grooves, and time signatures.The song is your recipe and the ingredients you add will enable a unique flavour.

Siri Olesen


Get the Most Out of Your Voice 

—Siri Olesen 

In a safe, supportive and fun environment, we will explore together ways to use healthy technique to strengthen your own unique instrument. Using vocal exercises, solo and group repertoire, we will practise what it means to sing with a free and embodied voice.

Siri Olesen works as a vocalist, pianist, organist, music director, administrator, and educator. She has been a soloist with Early Music Vancouver, The Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and Chor Leoni Men’s Choir. Her choral credits include the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Elektra Women’s Choir, Phoenix Chamber Choir, and musica intima, where she now serves as Artistic Manager. Olesen has a Master of Arts in Arts Education from Simon Fraser University, a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Augustana University, and a Jazz Studies Diploma from Capilano University. She currently works at Redeemer Lutheran Church as Music Director, and as both a vocal instructor and PMI Facilitator at Capilano University.



Duke’s Place 

—Steve Maddock 

Arguably one of the greatest composers of the 20th Century, Duke Ellington remains one of the most influential figures in jazz. He wrote over 3000 songs, and was a major contributor to the Great American Songbook. Join me as we sing some of Duke’s most popular melodies, plus a few of his hidden gems.

Some day all jazz musicians should get together in one place, get down on their knees, and thank Duke.” Miles Davis

Diane Nalini


Jazz & Bossa Nova Ukulele 

—Diane Nalini 

In this fun and empowering class you’ll learn the important fundamentals of jazz and bossa nova comping for ukulele. We’ll hone in on the most essential stylistic elements to create an authentic sound and groove in a jazz context, whether it’s to accompany vocals or another instrument. Everything we do will be in pusuit of solid timekeeping and great grooves, and always supported by keen listening. We’ll work on tasty rhythmic and harmonic variations that you can use to spice up your playing and keep your comping fresh. Each day, we’ll anchor what we’re learning in a different song, carefully chosen to emphasize the most important harmonic progressions for jazz standards. We'll also work on how to develop a chord melody arrangement for ukulele.

Intermediate to Advanced level.
Note: this class is not for beginner uke players.
We will use GCEA tuning (both low and high G tuning are welcome)

Julian Smedley


Shuswap Strings

—Julian Smedley 

We’ll swing arpeggios, slur syncopations, punctuate hits and refine riffs to further invigorate fresh arrangements of jazz standards. We’ll also explore bowing, shifting, tuning and section playing in preparation for two nights as the Shuswap Strings return to Sorrento.



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 class will be a fun exploration of the world of percussion and rhythm. It is open to everybody – beginners and beyond. Starting with a few general exercises, we will then add some of the most commonly used percussion instruments—shakers, tambourines, cowbells, guiro, etc, and also the hand drum family—djembe, cajon, congas, and bongos.

We will play some of the main foundation rhythms from Brazil and Cuba, as well as classic swing rhythms for the snare drum and drum set.

If you have brushes and a snare drum, please bring them to class.


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)


Matthew Smith


Swingin’ in Harmony Jazz Choir 

—Matthew Smith 

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of singing in harmony, and the jazz tradition offers us some sublime harmonizing opportunities! In this session we’ll be taking advantage of the sounds and rhythms that make this music so satisfying as we enjoy the pleasure of filling the room with harmonizing voices. You can expect approachable, accessible arrangements of some of the great jazz standards—with a few surprises in the mix as well!

Previous experience with choral singing—or singing in general—is welcome, but not required. If you enjoy singing but don’t yet feel comfortable doing it in front of others, singing in a group setting can be a great way to get to know your singing voice. Experienced solo singers can gain a lot from the experience of singing in a group as well. Let’s harmonize!



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

Late afternoon:

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

Late afternoon:

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!


These are the afternoon sessions from 2019.




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