NCC Camp Develops New Breed of Jazz Singers

By Broz, Joan G. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), August 19, 1999 | Go to article overview

NCC Camp Develops New Breed of Jazz Singers


Broz, Joan G., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Joan G. Broz Daily Herald Correspondent

Chicago was a magnet for jazz in the early 1920s. By adopting the brass band's beat, ragtime syncopation and gospel music soul, jazz took root here and shaped a smooth Chicago style.

"When Louie Armstrong hit town, he was the guru of the day," said Floyd Standifer, a Seattle resident who has a professional musical career in jazz spanning 40 years, describing the pull jazz had.

So it is appropriate that just west of Chicago, in Naperville, a new breed of jazz artists continues to develop at the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp held last week at North Central College.

For 11 years, Janice Borla has taken an active role in vocal jazz education through her camp and as an instructor at the college. Borla spearheads the camp's professional instructors, Standifer, Judy Niemack and Kitty Margolis. Enrollment has held steady each summer at between 33 and 42 students of all ages, permitting a one-on-one relationship between student and teacher.

"What we are teaching here is the craft of jazz, as vs. the art," Borla said. "We deal with the vocal instrument and how to work that. We enable a singer to get into improvisation and know how to function with all the variables that can happen."

Borla's recently released CD "Lunar Octave" has received accolades from the jazz media. She enjoys the combination of teaching and performing because both are enriched by the other.

Heading the vocal jazz program at the Hanns Eisler Hochscule fur Musik in Berlin, Germany, Judy Niemack is excited at the talent the camp draws. She writes a lot of her own material and personalizes it in a "style that is a combination of Jazz standards incorporating swing, fusion and Brazilian rhythm," she said. …

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