For Political, Economic and Social Discourse

 Hoosac Valley High School, Cheshire, MA

August 19-23, 1-5pm


Second Annual Berkshires’ Summer Jazz Camp

A Day Camp for High School and Middle School Musicians

An esteemed group of master jazz musicians and clinicians — faculty members who are recording artists, performers, composers, inventors, and authors — will come together for a five-day summer high school jazz camp for eager, committed young players. Directed by Richard Boulger and hosted for the second year by Jacob Keplinger, band director at Hoosac Valley High School, Cheshire, Massachusetts, the camp will be held from August 19-23, 2019. Daily Sessions run from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

All participants are recommended by their respective school band directors. Schools invited to participate for this summer 2019 camp are: Mount Greylock Regional High School, Hoosac Valley High School, Wahconah High School, Pittsfield High School, Taconic High School, Drury Senior High School, Lenox High School, Lee High School, Monument Mountain High School, McCann Vocational Technical School, and BART. Exceptional cases will be considered for notable middle school student talent.



Daily Schedule:

  • Instrument Fundamentals

    • Warm up, developing and maximizing a daily practice routine

    • Small group break-out instrumental sessions

  • Music Theory — Ear Training & Improvisation

    • Intervals, Triads: Maj., minor, augmented, diminished, Louis Armstrong, etc.

    • Seventh chords: Major 7th, Minor 7th, Dominant 7th

    • Scales: Major, minor, mixolydian, Blues, etc.

    • Who and how to listen to music. Intro. to transcribing solos, phrasing. Studying musical models of sound. Singing with your instrument.

    • History of Jazz; understanding various techniques and approaches applied by master musicians.

  • Ensemble Rehearsals


Students will receive camp repertoire (sheet music and recordings) in advance.

This 2019 Berkshires’ Summer Jazz Camp will culminate in a Friday Night Cabaret, to be held at a local venue (t/b/d) in the North Adams/Adams, Massachusetts area. There will be a cover charge, tickets will be available via pre-sale or at the door. All student ensembles will be featured along with the Faculty All-Star Band!

 The Berkshires’ Summer Jazz Camp Faculty

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Musical Director

Richard Boulger

North Adams native, musical director Richard Boulger received the legacy of trumpet playing and teaching from his father, Richard Boulger, Sr. Boulger has since spent a lifetime studying the art forms of playing the trumpet and flugelhorn with a Who’s-Who list of jazz and musical giants, as well as music composition, and improvisation. After completing his BFA from The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, and Master’s degree from Rutgers University, Boulger became a longtime private student and former protege’ of both Freddie Hubbard and Donald Byrd, and studied music composition extensively with Ludmila Uhlela (former chair of Contemporary Music, Manhattan School of Music). Boulger produced numerous albums as a leader and recorded with several diverse Grammy- and award-winning artists such as The Allman Brothers’ Band, Little Louie Vega, “Joe,” Randy Brecker, Joshua Thompson, and John Hicks. Freddie Hubbard declared, “I am very happy and honored to be a witness to a great trumpet player.”

As an educator, Richard worked closely with over 30 NYC public schools as well as given numerous band clinics at colleges, high schools, middle schools, and private schools. His educational writings have been published in Downbeat Magazine, Hal Leonard Music, The New York Brass Conference, and many more. He also teaches numerous private students in New York City as well as internationally, via SKYPE. Most recently, Boulger created and published “Long-Tone Meditations” and is a co-creator of RS Berkeley’s JORB, a brass-embouchure training tool.

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Alex Foster

Alex Foster, tenor and alto saxophonist, is a musical heavyweight famous for his nearly three decades of performances with the “Saturday Night Live” House Band is also a musical director of the Mingus Big Band.

From Oakland, California, Alex Foster has been part of many of the world’s most influential sounds. Foster has shared the stage with world-class performers including Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Freddie Hubbard, Nat and Cannonball Adderley, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gil Evans, John Scofield, Charles Mingus, Elvin Jones, Thad Jones, Tito Puente, Michael Brecker, Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, Stevie Wonder, Dr. John, Paul Simon, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen, The Village People, Sister Sledge, Al Green, Johnny Mathis, Diana Ross, and many others. Foster has had his work with the Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, and the Mingus Big Band nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005. A woodwinds instructor, Foster is also a master player of the clarinet and flute and teaches in master-class workshops up and down the east coast to students from middle school through college.

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Charles Blenzig

Charles Blenzig is an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and educator. In the mid-80s Blenzig joined the legendary Gil Evans’ Monday Night Orchestra that performed weekly at Sweet Basil Jazz Club. Blenzig has performed with Michael Brecker, Marcus Miller, Bill Evans (saxophonist with Miles Davis), Hiram Bullock, Lew Soloff, Kenwood Dennard, Eddie Gomez, Dave Weckle, Joe Locke, Harvey Mason, Joe Beck, and Italian rapper Jovanotti, among others. Blenzig has been musical director for singer/songwriter Michael Franks since 1990, and for the late Latin jazz saxophonist Gato Barbieri. Blenzig has toured extensively throughout the world as a leader and sideman including South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Georgia, Europe and Korea.

Professor Blenzig is a member of the SUNY Purchase Conservatory Jazz Department faculty along with Jon Faddis, Hal Galper, John Abercrombie and Todd Coolman.

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Victor Jones

“Victor Jones is a new breed of outstanding drummer band-leaders....nothing Jones does is ever boring.” Time Out New York. Internationally recognized for his consistent, subtle, and stylistic drumming on stage and in the studio, Victor Jones is known as an innovator who is not afraid to bring together different styles and sounds. He has played on hundreds of recordings, played hundreds of live concerts and performed in clubs everywhere on this planet, often as a backing musician for a variety of well- known artists, including Lou Donaldson, Chaka Khan, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz, and many others.

For the past several years, Jones has been recording and performing with his own group, Culture-Versy, effortlessly blending Hip Hop, Urban Soul, Modern Jazz, and Funk. Victor Jones is a leader who understands and plays with every facet of great American music and popular art forms.

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Alex Blake

Alex Blake is a post-bop double-bassist and electric bass guitarist. Blake was born Alejandro Blake Fearon, Jr., in Panama, and moved to the U.S. at the age of seven, where he grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He began his career with Sun Ra in his band Arkestra. He became one of the major proponents of the fusion movement in the late 1970s with his writing and performances with Lenny White and Billy Cobham.

Alex Blake’s talent is measured by the plenitude of masters who have called upon him — over the course of his nearly 50-year career — for his inventive and passionate playing. In addition to having played with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Lenny White, Stan Getz, Harry Belafonte, and the Manhattan Transfer, Alex is a long-time member of NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston’s African Rhythms.

Alex Blake became a trumpet player as a young boy before switching to the bass at the encouragement of his father. Beginning with the Ampeg “baby bass,” Alex became immersed in the Latin styles of music, playing salsa, bossa nova and other forms, while developing his signature technique of playing the bass. In demand for recording, festivals, concerts and clubs both nationally and internationally, Alex leads his own group, The Alex Blake Collective, comprised of notable, eclectic musicians.

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David Gilmore

David Gilmore has recorded and performed with many of today’s most influential modern artists. He has worked with Wayne Shorter (appearing on Mr. Shorter’s Grammy Award winning album, High Life, Verve), Dave Douglas, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sam Rivers, Steve Coleman, Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Randy Brecker, David Sanborn, Ron Blake, Carolyn Leonhart and Christian McBride, among many others. In addition to his significant presence on the international touring scene, Gilmore has also appeared on over 50 recordings, including two of his own as leader. His first CD, Ritualism (2001) received international critical praise and was nominated for the 2001 Debut CD of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Gilmore studied piano, drums and percussion, taking up guitar studies at 15 with John Baboian and Randy Roos. He pursued further studies at New York University where his teachers included sax titan Joe Lovano and pianist Jim McNeely. Following graduation, he worked with a variety of artists, including members of the Mbase Collective, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Trilok Gurtu, Graham Haynes, Robin Eubanks, and Lonnie Plaxico. He also joined the popular jazz/fusion group Lost Tribe, co-producing their first two recordings for Windham Hill. Gilmore made notable contributions to such pop acts as Me’shell N’Degeocello, Melissa Etheridge, Joan Osbourne, Mavis Staples, Issac Hayes, Boz Scaggs, Tommy Lang of Austria, Rise Robots Rise, and Japan’s Monday Michiru. He has also toured extensively with multi-platinum artist Joss Stone. DownBeat Magazine’s Critic’s Poll voted Gilmore a “Rising Star.”

In addition to recording and touring, Gilmore teaches Guitar Studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music where he is an Associate Professor. He also conducts master classes around the world, giving him an opportunity to share his talents, concepts and experiences with new generations of young musicians.

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Jacob Keplinger

The Berkshires’ Summer Jazz Camp is once again delighted to be hosted by Jacob Keplinger at Hoosac Valley High School, Cheshire, Massachusetts. Jacob Keplinger is a native of Rochester, NY, and received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 1991 from The Crane School of Music at Potsdam College in Potsdam, NY, where he studied trombone with Dr. Mark Hartman. Upon graduating, in the spring of 1991, Mr. Keplinger taught middle school band at Brighton Central Schools in Rochester, NY for three years.

After leaving Brighton, Keplinger moved to Michigan and studied trombone at Michigan State University with Curtis Olson where he received a Master’s Degree in Trombone Performance in the spring of 1996. From 1996 through the spring of 2000, Mr. Keplinger was the middle school band director of Waverly Community Schools in Lansing, Michigan, and assisted the high school band throughout the year. In the spring of 2000, Mr. Keplinger was given an opportunity to teach band in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District. He moved back east and has been a part of the school district since that time. Mr. Keplinger assumed responsibilities for the music department at Hoosac Valley in the summer of 2005.


Purchase your tickets to the Jazz Camp Cabaret!


Date& Time: Fri, August 23, 2019, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

Location: Bounti Fare Restaurant
Route 8, Adams Massachusetts 01220



Through the vision of many, along with the generosity and efforts of Bill Kolis, Mike Mach, and donors to the Adams-Anthony Center and the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire that the Berkshires’ Summer Jazz Camp continues into its second year!

Please join us with your support.

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