• Loved every minute of it. Definitely coming back next year. I have found a new tribe!
    — Letitia Burton

  • It was amazing! Possibly the best musical/social experience of my life.
    — Erik Deutch

  • Loved every minute of it. Definitely coming back next year. I have found a new tribe!
    — Letitia Burton

  • It was amazing! Possibly the best musical/social experience of my life.
    — Erik Deutch

Jazz camp faq

Form of Payment

Payment for Jazz Camp West can be made online with all major credit cards (American Express, Visa, Master Card or Discover).

Payments may also be made by check. Checks can only be accepted when paying full tuition. (Not just the deposit.) If you choose to pay by check or money order, we have provided a check enrollment form. You must download and complete the Check Enrollment Form by CLICKING HERE (pdf) and mail in with full payment. We unfortunately are no longer able to offer a discount when paying by check. We will be unable to process your enrollment if we receive a check without a completed enrollment form.

If you live outside of the United States, be careful to send payment recognized by American banks in the equivalent of U.S. dollars.

All balances are due by May 1st in order to receive your $50 discount.


Jazz Camp West is held at a YMCA camp offering a myriad of cabins with approximately 6-8 bunk beds in each. All cabins have electricity and heating. In most cases, campers will have both the top and bottom bunk. You can place your belongings on either bed and use the other for sleeping. Please Note, one bunk in each Sarah Vaughan cabin has only a top bunk and teen cabins might house campers in both the top and bottom bunks depending on enrollment. Sarah Vaughan cabins have a shared bathroom with shower. Thelonius Monk Cabins have a bathroom close by with several showers and toilets. Campers will have the use of any public bathroom facility on site.

All cabins are separated male/female and are arranged with several things in mind. Cabins will be separated by age and gender. All of our minors (campers under 18 years of age) are housed in Thelonius Monk cabins. There will be a "Teen Point Person" in a single room within the minor cabins.

We do our best to house people carrying heavy instruments in a location closest to where their classes will be held. If you have a roommate request, feel free to let us know and we will make sure to house you together. If you know that you snore, please let us know in advance so that we can discuss best options so that everyone can sleep well.

Many people prefer to tent camp throughout the week. Tent camping affords privacy and quiet. We have two tent camping options available.

1.     Glamping includes a family size tent already set up for you on the Wasiata Ball field containing two cots with mattresses, table and a lantern. The Wasiata Ball field is on the far side of camp and is very quiet and private.

2.     Tent Camping - There are two ball fields on site for those wishing to pitch their own tent. Ball field locations will be provided at registration. Anyone interested in camping will need to bring their own tents and camping necessities such as tarps for under your tent, sleeping pads, cots, etc. Please Note: We do not provide electricity for tent campers. Consider bringing a battery operated lantern.

Some people may prefer to stay off site. View our list of off-site accommodations.

There are many other accommodations in Half Moon Bay, about a 30 minute drive from our site. Please call the Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce for more housing info there.


YMCA Camp Jones Gulch provides the food for us during the week of camp. Food is served buffet style and there is always a vegetarian and gluten free alternative. Every lunch and dinner has a salad bar and there is always fresh fruit available. Meals are well rounded and robust, often with fresh bread. Coffee and tea are available throughout the day, and each evening after our faculty concert, the kitchen prepares a yummy dessert such as cookies or brownies. The menu for the week of camp will be prepared a few weeks in advance of the week, and if you have particular questions, you can e-mail or call.

If you have a particular food concern, we cannot prepare special meals for individuals. However, there are some refrigerators on site and you are welcome to bring extra food with you to make sure you have whatever you need.

Scholarships/Work Study

Living Jazz has a strong commitment to keeping our program accessible to all students regardless of their financial position.  Approximately 20% of our students receive partial scholarships each year based on financial need alone. All scholarships are considered work-study positions. Anyone receiving a scholarship will be required to sign up for a 1-hour job per day during the week of camp. Work-study jobs are assigned on the first day of the program. Possible work-study jobs include piano maintenance crew, clean up crew, converting dining room to dance studio, equipment movers, etc. If you are planning to apply for a scholarship and think you can also arrive early to help set up, let us know.


Ages range from 15 through seniors. We usually have about 45 teenagers out of approximately 250 students attending the program. Occasionally we will allow someone younger than 15 if they are serious about their music, and are mature enough to be in an adult environment. We house a "Teen Point Person" in both the male and female minor cabins, but we do not provide extra counselors for our teenagers. Parents of all teens must feel comfortable having their child be in an adult setting. Teenagers must be self-motivated, be able to adhere to all camp rules and policies, and enjoy being in a setting where there are mixed ages in classes and cabins. All teenagers and parents will be required to sign a rules and regulations sheet in advance of camp.

The "Teen Point Person" (one for the boys and one for the girls) will meet with all campers under the age of 18 on the first day of the program to get acquainted, answer questions, and go over all rules and regulations. The Teen Point Person will be available to help with any concerns or problems that might arise during our stay at camp.

Schedule of Events

All participants arrive between 10:00 and 11:00 am on the first Saturday. After registration, people can unpack and settle in their cabins. There is an outdoor BBQ at Noon. After lunch there will be a tour of the site at 1:00. There is an all-camp meeting at 2:00 pm where the faculty will be introduced and the program will be explained. After the all-camp meeting, evaluations for the vocal intensive, advanced vocal ensemble, Advanced Instrumental Track, Piano Intensive and combos will be held. Everyone will be asked to sign up for the classes they would like to take on sheets posted in the dining hall for the rest of the afternoon. Most classes are not limited in size. Dinner will be served at 6:30 and the first faculty concert will be held at 8:15, which will be an exciting faculty sampler. After the concert, dessert will be served and we will hold our first faculty led jam session.

Classes start in at 9:00 am the following morning. People have the option of taking up to 6 one hour classes per day. Our student performance time (open mic) is held at 5:30 in the amphitheater each day. Dinner is served at 6:30, faculty concerts typically start at 8:15 each evening and we always hold a faculty led jam session in the dining hall after the concert is over.

All participants will stay in the same classes throughout the week. Friday evening, the final dance performance is held in the dining hall and then we all walk over to the amphitheater for our final Gospel Choir performance, Latin Big Band performance and final dance party! The final day (Saturday), we will hold a half day student performance and out-door picnic; and things finish up around 2:00 pm. Friends and family are invited to attend the events on the last day. All work-study students are asked to stay until 5pm to help close up camp.


Arrival and Departure Times

Arrival is between 10am and 11am on first day of camp. Room assignments will be given at Registration upon arrival. If you have a specific roommate request, please email info@livingjazz.org. For those staying at Siden Conference Center, come directly to registration at Jazz Camp to pick up your room key.

The schedule for the final day of camp is the following:

8 am: Breakfast

9 am: Clean Up and Pack Up

10 am – 1 pm: Final student showcase

1 pm: All camp BBQ. Available for guest purchase!

2 pm: Departure



Jazz Camp West discourages guests visiting during the week. This assures privacy and safety for our participants. If there is a visitor on site, they must check in at the office and all meals must be paid for. Friends and family are encouraged to visit on the final day.


Jazz Camp West does not provide instruments. There are a limited amount of drum kits and amps for students to use in classes.


Drummers, this includes you! We have a huge, indoor drum room (Eddie Marshall Drum Zone) where you can set up your kit (and rug) for the week. Percussionists – bring your instruments. Electric keyboards are optional. We also have a dedicated piano lab entitled Piedmont Piano Lab).

Don't forget your amplifiers and amp cords, extension cords, guitar strings, reeds, music stands, etc. As well as all class materials: manuscript paper, fake books, recorders, charts, batteries, pens and pencils.

We will be offering an early morning Yoga Class. Please bring your mats.

Dancers - Bring jazz shoes for the jazz class; aerobic shoes for hip-hop, and comfortable shoes for Salsa. All dance classes will be taught on wood floors. Also bring sweatshirts, leotards, tights, sweat pants, etc.

We also suggest bringing a dolly or suitcase carrier with bungee cords for moving heavy instruments around. The site is quite large and you may need to walk quite a distance at times. A carrier with wheels can be very helpful if you have a heavy instrument!


The curriculum for Jazz Camp West will not be complete until about a month before the program begins. Last year's curriculum is now posted on the web and will give you a very good idea of the types of classes we will be offering. If you have a specific question about the curriculum for this year, feel free to inquire.