Singers of all abilities can immerse themselves in the world of jazz at a five-day singing summer school led by two of the genre’s leading lights.
Trudy Kerr and Anita Wardell will next month lead the Jazz Voice Summer School, held in conjunction with the London College of Creative Media (LCCM). The course is open to all singers – from complete beginners through to experienced jazz vocalists. Performers adept in other genres who would like to try jazz are also welcome.
Kerr and Wardell bring considerable expertise to the summer school. Australian-born Kerr started her UK career gigging at Ronnie Scott’s and has since performed all over the world and released 10 albums. She has also held teaching positions at Trinity Laban, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Chichester University and LCCM.
Wardell is a skilled writer and vocalese performer perhaps best known for her scat singing. She’s previously been named Best Jazz Vocalist by British Jazz and currently teaches at the University of Adelaide. She is also the director of the Adelaide Connection, the country’s first jazz choir.
iSing spoke to Kerr to find out more about the Jazz Voice Summer School.
Who is the Jazz Voice Summer School open to?
Anyone who is interested in singing vocal jazz – we have students from 16 to 80. All you need is a love of singing jazz and a desire to learn and improve.
What can singers who take part in the summer school expect to take away with them?
We offer loads of different ideas and methods on how to sing jazz including developing vocal technique and vocal sound, scat improvisation, lyrical storytelling, working with a rhythm section, repertoire, performance techniques and rhythm and ear training.
Students also get the opportunity to perform with a band in a safe environment and receive feedback on their performance and practical ideas and tips on how to practice. Most importantly they get to spend a week immersed in jazz singing.
In your experience, what issues do jazz vocalists struggle with most?
Jazz is such a big word and it means so many different things to different people. The struggle or challenge is to be true to yourself and find your own sound and voice.
You’ve been running the summer school for a few years now. What have you learnt along the way?
Every singer is different, and it’s important to listen to what they want and what they want to achieve. I’ve learnt to be prepared but go with the flow and that might mean I have to improvise a little with my teaching and of course that’s all part of jazz.
The Jazz Voice Summer School runs from 6 August to 10 August, 10am to 5.30pm at LCCM, Union Street, London SE1 0LR.
The five-day course costs £450. Observers pay £50 per day. (Daily rates also available). iSing Tribe members receive a 10% discount. CLICK HERE to take advantage of this special offer.