Donald Harrison, a legendary New Orleans saxophonist who is also consultant to the HBO television series “Treme,” was special guest artist at the 2012 Jazz Institute of Chicago’s “Straight Ahead and Other Directions Jazz Camp,” which wrapped up Thursday.
This year’s four-day event, hosted by Columbia College Chicago, offered an expanded curriculum most exemplified by the inclusion of a jazz dance class taught by Amaniyea Payne, artistic director of the Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. Harrison offered instrumental coaching beyond his lectures and demonstrations daily.
Pianist/bandleader Robert Irving III, who once served as Miles Davis’ music director, provided many anecdotes about his career and his time spent with Davis’ band. He also expounded on improvisation as it relates to everything in the universe.
Recurring educational offerings included theory classes, performance classes, discussions, lectures and panel conversations taught or led by many legendary Chicago-area performers, clinicians, authors and scholars.
Campers were mostly music educators from Chicago-area schools. This year there was also an increased number of general jazz-enthusiast campers
“The idea is to show how jazz is connected to everything,” said Jazz Institute of Chicago executive director Lauren Deutsch in an article by Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich. Read that article here.