UT Tyler jazz camp teaches music, theory, history for fifth year running

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Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:02 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 8:52 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The sounds of drums, trumpets and more instruments are filling UT Tyler’s campus with the start of an annual jazz camp.

This is the fifth year of the camp and those attending range in age from 13 to 65 years old. They are spending the week learning all things jazz, from improvisation, to jazz listening and history classes. Dr. Sarah Roberts is UT Tyler’s Associate Professor of Saxophone & Jazz Studies and founded the camp.

“Jazz is America’s music, it was the first kind of pop music in our country and every type of music that we have, that we think of as American music, and even music around the world has been influenced by jazz,” she said. “So it really laid the foundation for what we know of as pop music and rock music, and country.”

J.T. Pundt plays trumpet and has been at the camp all five years.

“I learn something every time. I love meeting new people and getting a chance to play with people and getting a chance to hear other people. It’s always great to perform in front of a live audience,” Pundt said.

Being the first day of camp, musicians were divided by skill and began working on music. This is Simon Elliott’s second year at the camp. Elliot said he’s been playing music since middle school.

“There’s a lot of new faces and a lot of new experienced players. It helps me a lot, grow, I want to be around the more experienced and the more talented to get a better understanding of what I need to work on and focus,” Elliott said.

This year they are bringing in New York based saxophonist Chad LB and will be performing with him at a concert later in the week.

“It’s important that we’re continuing to teach the history and the traditions of jazz so that it stays alive,” Roberts said. “And so that students continue to learn the importance and how it really has influenced everything that they’re listening to.”

For more information on performances, times, and locations, click here.

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