Phil Dwyer Jazz and Culinary Arts Academy at the MAC this summer

Ingrid Jensen. Phil Dwyer. PJ Perry. Ted Quinlan. Christine Jensen. To music buffs, these names epitomize the exceptional talent of some of Canada’s most celebrated jazz musicians. And they’re gathering here this summer for a unique musical event.

The Oceanside Community Arts Council and the McMillan Arts Centre is proud to welcome the Phil Dwyer Academy of Music and Culinary Arts August 13-24th in Parksville. After a ten year hiatus, Dwyer has gathered a veritable who’s who of multiple Juno award-winners and signature musicians together for the two-week academy. “I think this is one of the best music faculties for a summer camp that’s ever been assembled in Canada,” says the Juno-award-winner and Member of the Order of Canada.

With a faculty consisting of some of Canada’s finest musical educators, recording artists and performers, students have the rare opportunity to learn with Ingrid Jensen, hailed as one of the most gifted trumpeters of our time. Saxophonist and Member of the Order of Canada, PJ Perry was featured soloist for the 2010 Broadway production of Fly Away. Composer-musician Christine Jensen will work with students on ensembles and arrangements. Longtime Head ofGuitar at Humber College, Ted Quinlan joins fellow faculty member, bassist Neil Swainson for ensembles and master classes. 2013 Juno Award Winner for Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, saxophonist Joel Miller will offer master classes and ensemble instruction. A key player on the Alberta jazz scene, pianist Chris Andrew will offer master classes along with New York drummer Jon Wikan. Recording Artist Shannon Gunn joins the faculty as Vocal Jazz Director along with bassist Ken Lister and drummer Hans Verhoeven, both on the faculty at Vancouver Island University.

The Academy begins with Junior (13-15 yrs) and Senior (16-19 yrs) Jazz sessions August 13-17th. These sessions combine equal parts of “tutti” sessions – focusing on fundamental concepts expressed through group exercises, master classes, small ensemble playing and outdoor physical activities. Throughout the week, students will spend time in the kitchen with Vancouver cook and co-owner of the Shaughnessy Restaurant at VanDusen Garden, Kevin Mooney, who joins the Academy for a wonderful ensemble of creativity and culinary arts instruction culminating in a daily lunch for students and faculty.

Vocal and Adult Jazz students join the faculty for the second week August 20-24th. Vocal Director Shannon Gunn will cover a wide range of topics, including: rhythmic and dynamic expressions, melodic re-invention, vocal technique and mic technique, repertoire development, putting together strong and varied programs and clear charts.  Adult Jazz sessions have traditionally been based on the model of coached ensembles with repertoire often chosen according to a theme.

Hosted by the McMillan Arts Centre, Academy sessions will also be held at the Ballenas Secondary School and Inclusion Parksville. The MAC’s Executive Director Jennifer Bate is looking forward to welcoming students from around the world. “It is such a pleasure to work with Phil Dwyer and our planning team to present this Jazz Academy this summer”, says Bate. The McMillan Arts Centre (MAC), formerly McMillan School, was built in 1913 and hosts a variety of educational programs throughout the year. With assistance from local sponsors including the Pieter de Reuver Foundation, the Windsor Plywood Foundation, the City of Parksville, School District 69 and Inclusion Parksville, the Academy will be a hub of fantastic music education and concerts for jazz fans near and far.