479-575-6491 cms@uark.edu


2019 Adult Jazz Camp

We are excited to offer the second annual CMS Adult Jazz Camp for both beginner and advanced musicians! Camp director and drummer Chris Teal brings this opportunity for adults to learn jazz songs, style, and improvisation by ear and from written notation. The core faculty also includes internationally touring jazz musician/educators. Students will have the opportunity to play in large and small ensembles organized by ability and interest. Students are coached both on their individual roles and roles within ensembles. Jazz transcription, composition, practice techniques, and basic audio recording are included in both levels. The camp meets during the day for workshops and rehearsals and in the evenings for performances by the faculty and student groups.

Beginning Adult Jazz Track: This is open to any adult with at least one year of experience on an instrument or voice, but limited experience with jazz. No audition is required – just enroll using the link shown below.

Advanced Adult Jazz Track: This is designed for experienced jazz musicians who want to play and perform with others of a similar background. Those interested in this camp track can enroll using the link below and should submit a letter of interest that includes past experience with jazz to Chris Teal at uofacmsjazz@gmail.com.

Eligibility: Open to music students age 21 and older with at least one year of experience on their instrument/voice.

Beginning Track: No audition or previous jazz experience required.

Advanced Track: Submit a letter of interest that includes past experience with jazz to Chris Teal at uofacmsjazz@gmail.com.

Dates: June 13 – 16, 2019
Times: See sample schedule below
Location: Music Building, U of A Campus     Click here for maps and directions.
Fees: $462 by May 1   /   $497 after May 1

Fee includes instruction, materials and daily lunches.

Lodging/Meal Package (for those staying overnight at dorm): $175

Registration: Online registration will open by January 31.
Cancellation/Refund Policy: By May 15: refund less $100 administrative fee

May 15 – May 31: refund less $150 administrative fee

After May 31: no refunds available

For More Information

Registration:      David Owens, Operations Coordinator – 479-575-4702 – cms@uark.edu

Curriculum:         Chris Teal, Camp Director – uofacmsjazz@gmail.com

Tentative Schedule

Thursday, June 13
7:00pm                Student and faculty meet & greet/jam session

Friday – Saturday, June 14 – 15
9:30am       Camp check-in
10:00am     Camp orientation
10:30am    Song learning, listening lab, student groups
1:00pm      Lunch
1:45pm      Improv class, composition class, playing together
4:00pm      End of workshop day
7:00pm      Faculty concert/open jam session

Sunday, June 16
9:30am     Student arrival
10:00am     Playing together, concert set-up
1:00pm      Lunch
1:45pm      Sound check
2:30pm      Concert hall opens for seating
3:00pm        Final student concert
4:00pm        Camp Ends



Chris Teal, camp director, drum set:

 Chris Teal teaches drum set and popular music at the University of Arkansas and the Jazz Workshops for the U of A Community Music School. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Whitworth University, Teal is the co-Director of the Institute for Creative Music. Before relocating to Fayetteville, where he plays with the U of A Faculty Jazz Quintet, the Jake Hertzog Trio, the Matt Smith Group, and TheatreSquared, he was one of the most in-demand drummers in western New York, performing with the IfCM Collective, Dave Rivello Ensemble, the Mighty High and Dry, John Nyerges Trio, and Silver Arrow Band. Chris has released three albums with his band Quintopus on ears&eyes Records (Voyage to Ornoc, April Showers, and Prehistoric Beach) and three albums with the Institute for Creative Music Collective on Outside in Music Records (Volume 1, A Tribute to Prince, and A Tribute to Bjork.)

In addition to his active career as a performer, Teal strives to build new opportunities for students to experience the arts by teaching improvisation, aural learning, and composition through the Institute for Creative Music.  The IfCM recently launched “Creative Jazz Fundamentals,” an online school for learning jazz. Along with other Teaching Artists from the Institute for Creative Music, Teal has presented workshops and performances at schools throughout the United States and spoken at the 2017 NYU Impact Conference and 2015 TEDxFlourCity conference.

Alyssa Mehnert, trombone:

Alyssa Mehnert’s multifaceted career as a trombonist, composer, educator, and musicologist reflects her passionate, lifelong commitment to engaging with music from many different angles. She has worked extensively as a trombonist in a variety of musical styles, performing with salsa and Latin jazz artists such as Bobby Sanabria, Andy Montañez, Lalo Rodriguez, Puerto Rican Power, and David Pabon, jazz artists Peter Erskine, Robert Hurst, Jimmy Heath, the Butler Faculty Jazztet and NKU Faculty Jazztet, and popular artists such as The Four Tops and The Afghan Whigs.

As an in-demand jazz arranger and composer, Alyssa has written numerous new works for professional, collegiate, and youth jazz ensembles. She has composed commissioned works for the CCM Jazz Ensemble with guest artist Fareed Haque, Miami University Jazz Ensemble and Show Choir, Butler University Jazz Ensemble with guest artist Bobby Sanabria, and for the Butler Youth Jazz Program. Her works have also been performed by the Manhattan School of Music Latin Jazz Ensemble and the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.

Alyssa is committed to jazz education for students of all ages. She has taught courses at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Northern Kentucky University, and Butler University, where she also conducted the Butler Jazz Ensemble II. She has also taught courses, conducted big bands, and coached combos at Miami Valley Jazz Camp and the CCM Jazz Camp. She adjudicates jazz festivals at Purdue University, University of Louisville, and Ball State University.

As a music scholar, Alyssa has great passion for teaching music history and writing about music, and sees these approaches to understanding the art form as a path to overcome challenges in the performance and education community. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Musicology at CCM, where she focuses on 1920s jazz, race, and historiography as primary research interests. She has served as editor for Music Research Forum and has published book reviews evaluating recent jazz publications. She has presented new research at Music and the Moving Image at New York University, the American Musicological Society Midwest Chapter Meeting, DetroitSound3, and the Society for American Music annual conference.

Alyssa received her BM in jazz studies from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and her MM in jazz studies from Indiana University. She has also pursued master’s coursework and studied with pianist, composer, and educator Bill Dobbins at the Eastman School of Music. She expects to complete her PhD at CCM in the spring of 2018.

Katie Ernst, bass and voice:

Katie Ernst has been described by the Chicago Tribune as “a versatile young bassist who plays in far-flung bands and sings with uncommon delicacy and authenticity.” Her recent compositions are inspired by the poetry of American writer Dorothy Parker. Her complete Dorothy Parker project Little Words was released in 2015, and is currently available on BandCamp.

As both a bassist and vocalist, Katie has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, among others. The Chicago Reader identified her as “one of the brightest lights on Chicago’s jazz scene, and she isn’t close to hitting her creative ceiling.”

In 2013 and 2014, Katie was one of 24 young artist-composers selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program, an international jazz residency program at the Kennedy Center under the direction of pianist and MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran. In May 2014, she performed at the Chicago Symphony Center as part of Jason Moran’s Looks of a Lot premiere, which also featured Nasheet Waits, Tarus Mateen, Ken Vandermark, Theaster Gates, and Kenwood Academy Jazz Band.

Katie is an active bandleader and side-woman in Chicago. She recently established a duo project with clarinetist James Falzone called ‘Wayfaring.’ The duo was featured at the 2016 Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and their debut album I Move, You Move is currently available via the Allos Documents label. Katie composes and performs with the band TWIN TALK, alongside co-leaders Dustin Laurenzi (saxophone) and Andrew Green (drums). Twin Talk’s self-titled sophomore album is out now on ears&eyes Records. The band’s first album ‘Sightline’ was released in November 2013 to critical acclaim, and the group was featured at the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival.

Katie holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media and a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. She coordinates the Jazz Links Student Council program for high school musicians at the Jazz Institute of Chicago, serves as Jazz Ensemble Director and Lecturer of Jazz Bass at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL and teaches at the Jazz I Summer Session at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor, WI.

Alexa Tarantino, saxophone and woodwinds:

Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. She is passionate about developing and expressing her voice as an improviser, and inspiring others to do the same through jazz education.

Although only 25 years old, Tarantino has already played prestigious venues such as the Umbria Jazz Festival (with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project), the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl (with Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra), the Rockport Jazz Festival (Alexa Tarantino Quintet), Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Charlotte Jazz Festival (with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra), and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (with Earth, Wind & Fire, LSAT, and others). She performs regularly as a leader and sideman in a wide variety of ensembles and genres including Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (holding a weekly residency at Birdland Jazz Club), LSAT (her new quintet co-led with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian), Tarantino/Terefenko, and the Alexa Tarantino Quartet/Quintet.

Tarantino is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Youth Programs and previously served as Jazz Saxophone Instructor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Tarantino continues to visit several colleges, high schools, and summer jazz programs across the globe as a guest clinician, including the Rockport Jazz Camp (MA), of which she is Founder and Director. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Jazz Saxophone Performance at The Juilliard School. Tarantino is a graduate of Hall High School’s award-winning music program in West Hartford, Connecticut and currently resides in New York City.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect at a summer jazz camp?
The camp is designed for musicians who want to immerse themselves in playing, learning about, listening to, and talking about jazz and creative music. The camp hours will be packed with opportunities to play in small combos, large ensembles, and jam sessions, as well as time to get acquainted with the faculty and other students. We do a lot of learning by ear in addition to written notation and provide you with access to the song, style, and improvisation course “Creative Jazz Fundamentals” so you can keep learning after you leave the camp.

What instruments are appropriate for jazz?
We are very open-minded about the types of instruments and voices that should be included in the jazz environment—in addition to saxophone, trumpet, voice, and other instruments you’d commonly find in jazz we’ve worked with just about everything else as well. If you’re unsure feel free to ask (the answer is probably yes).

How do I know if I’m good enough?
The camp is open to any musician age 21 and older and we recommend that you are comfortable (at bare minimum) playing all of the notes on your instrument in a couple octaves. If you’ve never played jazz but have played your instrument for at least a year, we definitely have a place for you in the beginning track. More experienced players familiar with reading music, some jazz songs, and some improvising or composing would likely want to join the advanced track. If you’ve played jazz in the past or currently play in a group and want to take your playing to the next level, we also have ensembles that will motivate you.

What is Fayetteville like?
The camp is held on the gorgeous University of Arkansas campus that’s close to dining and other amenities. The classrooms and dorms are all air-conditioned and the performance and jam sites are ideal for experiencing jazz with your new friends. Local visitors also enjoy other attractions in Northwest Arkansas like the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Buffalo National River.

Where should I stay if I’m coming in from out-of-town?
The U of A camps offer private dorms – just choose the overnight package when you register for camp. There are also several nearby hotels and Air BnB sites in close proximity.

What should I bring?
Your instrument(s), staff paper/notebook, writing utensil, clothing and personal items. Recording devices, iPads and other technology can be useful but are not required. For rhythm section players we provide drum sets and cymbals (you bring sticks/brushes), bass and guitar amps, and of course, pianos. We also have vibraphones and hand percussion available.

What if I have more questions?
Email Chris Teal at uofacmsjazz@gmail.com. You can set up a time to chat over the phone or Skype as well.