Jun 20, 2012 - Oklahoma Jazz Camp for young musicians set for July 9-14

People & Places: Oklahoma Jazz Camp for young musicians set for July 9-14

BY DANNA SUE WALKER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
6/20/2012 2:53:18 AM

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame's Oklahoma Jazz Camp has been around only for a couple of years, but already some terrific talent has emerged.

Now in its third season, the weeklong camp is held at the University of Tulsa under the direction of TU jazz professor and musician Vernon Howard. The day camp is open to all music students from ninth grade through college. Singers and instrumental musicians, at any level of skill and experience, may attend. This year's camp is set for July 9-14 at TU.

Tulsa got a hint of the talent when Wells Fargo Advisors presented a benefit show "A Night of Jazz" featuring four stellar Jazz Camp graduates. Proceeds from the evening went to the Jazz Camp's tuition fund.

Performers included vocalist Sarah Maud, drummer Nicholas Foster, pianist Steven Schrag and bassist Jordan Hehl.

"Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC has already made a generous donation to the Jazz Camp, joining the University of Tulsa, the Kerr Foundation Inc., Oklahoma Arts Council and many other patrons who make the camp possible," said Jason McIntosh, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO. "The Oklahoma Jazz Camp is a major financial commitment for the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame because we're all about recruiting the best talent available to teach our students. Incredible teachers like Pat Kelley and David Amram - both of whom are in our Hall of Fame - the jazz pianist Eldar Djangirov, and Julie Bonk, a great performer who was also Norah Jones' vocal coach, teacher and mentor at the Oklahoma Jazz Camp."

Bonk, in fact, has been working with Sarah Richardson, who first started singing as a high-schooler in Coweta and has gone on to perform with the likes of Benny Golson, Jason Marsalis and Tim Ries. Bonk met Richardson at the first Jazz Camp.

Like Richardson, the other young performers on the bill have played several times to appreciative crowds at the Jazz Depot. Pianist Schrag has also shared stages with such musicians as trumpeter Walter White, trombonist Conrad Herwig and David Amram. Jordan Hehl's bass playing has taken him all the way to the Montreux Jazz Festival. And drummer Foster performs with the University of Tulsa's Jazz Ensemble, as well as with bands throughout the Tulsa area.

"Our Jazz Camp students are the next generation of great jazz performers," McIntosh said. "Here at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, we've been fortunate to induct some of the greatest names in the international music world, but at the end of the day, our No. 1 mission is to foster new talent and create future new inductees. That's why the Oklahoma Jazz Camp is so important to us."

"Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC is very community-oriented," said Dan O'Meilia, a financial adviser with the firm, "and helping sponsor several students at this Tulsa-based Oklahoma Jazz Camp is just the kind of thing we like to do. We're happy to be able to assist such burgeoning talent and make a difference."

For more information on the Oklahoma Jazz Camp, please contact the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame's Bettie Downing at 918-281-8609 or go to



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