Speak No Evil Jazz blog

Capital Public Radio's discussion of an art form born in America and celebrated worldwide.


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Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp Instills Youth With A Passion For The Art Form


UPDATE: The venues for both camps' final performances have been moved. They'll both be at the Sacramento Elks Lodge, 6446 Riverside Blvd. in Sacramento. See the STJS and camp website for more information.


You’ve probably heard of a band camp, maybe even jazz camp, but what about The Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp?

The Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society started the camp in 1986 to preserve the century-old jazz form and 20 years later, the camp thrives and returns annually to its home in Sly Park.

Guitarist Nahum Zdybel has attended the camp for almost 15 years as both a camper and instructor and says the program’s unique quality is its focus on traditional jazz.

Jazz Camp2

“A lot of jazz education programs teach traditional jazz as a small part of jazz in general, but there’s still a gap in teaching how to play these subgenres.”

While summer camps might seem like something for the kids, adults can get in on the fun as well with their own session. The adult camp, “aims for someone who has experience on their instrument,” Zdybel says. But there’s no need to be a trad-jazz expert. “You might play other types of jazz or bluegrass, but are interested in learning about this style of jazz.”

While you might not have heard of The Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp before, maybe you’ve heard of their alums: Trumpeter/vocalist/Excellence In Jazz favorite Bria Skonberg started out as a camper and is a perennial faculty member. Carly Rae Jepsen even attended once, prior to her “Call Me Maybe” fame. 

Check out their YouTube channel, especially their video about their auditions.


Their final adult camp performance is August 1st at Sly Park with the youth camp wrapping up August 10th at the Dante Club in Sacramento.

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