W.C. Handy Music Camp Scheduled For June 14-17

Jun. 3, 2010


FLORENCE, Ala. - The W.C. Handy Music Camp for middle school, high school, college level and adult musicians will take place June 14-17 at the Department of Music and Theatre on the University of North Alabama campus.

The purpose of the camp is to provide intense instruction in the theory, history and the performance of jazz, blues and big-band literature. The faculty for the camp has performance and teaching experience in all aspects of music and provides a unique learning opportunity for the students. Included in the faculty is camp director Ken Watters, an acclaimed trumpet player who has appeared on more than 25 CDs. His live performance credits include stints with Frank Sinatra, Herbie Mann, Clark Terry and the Fifth Dimension. Watters is also the recipient of two DOWNBEAT Awards and is the leader of the jazz group 5.6 and The Ken Watters Quintet. Trombone instructor Howard Lamb has served on the faculty of the W.C. Handy Music Camp for more than 10 years and has been a regular performer at the festival for more than 12 years. He is the leader of the Memphis Jazz Orchestra and is a University of Memphis instructor of jazz trombone. Jim Cavender teaches guitar and bass and directs two jazz combo classes at the University of Alabama in Huntsville; he has produced or co-produced numerous recordings in many musical genres since 1986. Presently, Cavender performs solo and is in various bands in the Huntsville area. Saxophonist Gary Wheat is one of the area’s premier musicians – he has taught saxophone and jazz improvisation since 2000. In addition to his freelance work, Wheat has shared the stage with internationally acclaimed jazz artists Lew Soloff, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis and other members of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; he has also performed with national acts including The Temptations, The Four Tops, The O’Jays, Barry Manilow and Ruben Studdard. Originally from Montgomery, bass player Robert Dickson received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Alabama and a Master of Music from the University of New Orleans, where he was a graduate teaching assistant. He performed in the New Orleans area and relocated to Atlanta after Hurricane Katrina in fall 2005. In addition to his background in jazz and performing with jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Marini, Lew Soloff, etc., Dickson attended the Brevard Music Camp as an orchestral bassist. Jerry Rains is a pianist (and a native of North Carolina); he has taught commercial music, music theory and other music courses at Northeast Mississippi Community College for the past 20 years. Rains has written many arrangements for jazz and marching bands and has performed with Bill Waltrous, Stevie Wonder, Terry Gibbs as well as several other high-profile artists. A seasoned performer on both drums and vibraphone, Chuck Redd is currently the artist-in-residence at The Smithsonian Jazz Cafe´ in Washington, D.C. Redd has been featured on more than 65 recordings and began performing internationally when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio in 1980 at the age of 21; to his credit are 13 extensive European tours and five tours of Japan. The estimable Hosts of the W.C. Handy Music Camp on the UNA campus are Dr. Lloyd Jones and Dr. Edd Jones. As director of bands at UNA for 11 years, Lloyd Jones is also well known for directing the UNA Studio Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Pride of Dixie Marching Band, Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band. He is an active saxophonist and clinician/adjudicator throughout the southeast. Edd Jones is director of bands emeritus at UNA well as an active arranger and performer with his groups The Little Big Band and The Edd Jones Orchestra. He Jones is also a highly sought after clinician/adjudicator throughout the southeast.

The music camp is made possible in part by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, also by Support the Arts License Tag Committee. The UNA music department is the host of the camp.

All the camp attendees will be given the chance to perform at the W.C. Handy Music Festival, and a schedule of these performances will be given out at camp. The total cost of the music camp is $200, which includes a registration fee, camp tuition and music fee. If two or more children per family would like to attend, the cost is lowered to $150 per person.

For registration forms and information on the W.C. Handy Music Camp, contact the Music Preservation Society at 256-766-7642 or Ken Watters, camp director, at 256-603-5059.