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The annual Summer Jazz camp offers a chance for young musicians to learn from master jazz musicians.

Berkshires' Summer Jazz Camp Enrollment Open

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Berkshires' Summer Jazz Camp returns this August and sign-ups are open now. 
In mid-August, high school and middle school students throughout the county will get a chance to sit in with a group of master jazz musicians at Hoosac Valley High School.  
"The students will be able to hear and play with some of the top musicians in the world today," professional trumpeter and North Adams native Richard Boulger said. "It is a real pleasure to see how the students are inspired by hearing our faculty. Not to mention, hearing how much the students progress in just a matter of days."
This is the second Jazz Camp sponsored by the Adams-Anthony Center and Boulger will again be joined by saxophonist Alex Foster, pianist Charles Blenzig, drummer Victor Jones, and bassist Alex Blake.
New to the team this year is guitarist David Gilmore, who has worked with multiple artists including Wayne Shorter and David Sandborn. He has appeared on over 50 recordings and has contributed to popular acts including Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge.
More information on the clinicians and the camp can be found here.
Boulger said the clinicians will hold group sessions during which they will cover improvisation techniques as well as ensemble playing. Students will then split into break out sessions to work with faculty on their respective instruments, cover fundamentals and advance ideas for sound production, and practice techniques.
"Many of the ideas we teach, we learned directly from true master jazz musicians. I myself, for example, spent several years ... apprenticing with jazz trumpet icons Freddie Hubbard and Donald Byrd," Boulger said. "... Some of what I teach was directly shared with me and I share it with the students. The same can be said of each of our jazz faculty members who have collectively worked, recorded, and toured extensively with true masters of music."
Boulger added that they place an emphasis on listening to the masters and specific renowned recordings. 
"How to really listen and begin to understand not only what is happening on said recordings, but also begin to think about the idea of finding one’s own voice on their respective musical instrument," he said.
In general, they do not use music stands or sheet music and they try to teach students how to hear melodies and "simplify/demystify" the art of improvisation. 
Boulger said the camp is completely free thanks to the sponsorship of the Adams-Anthony Center.
The camp runs from Aug. 19 to 23 and ends with a cabaret in which the students will play publicly with the clinicians.
Applications can be found online here and Boulger said they are working on a first-come, first-serve basis so any students interested should return their applications as soon as possible.
Donations can also be made to Adams-Anthony Center that makes the event possible.

Tags: jazz,   music,   summer camp,   

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Adams Selectmen Hear From Ale House Owner

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

Nate Girard explains his predicament to the Selectmen on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — Nate Girard and his longtime friend Erik Pizani decided to buy the Saint Stanislaus Kostka Hall in 2012. The property had a rich history in town and most people had memories of bowling, playing pitch, attending a wedding, or just sitting at an old red leather stool and enjoying a cheap beer.
The two partners, along with another investor, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing the structure up to code and restoring the bar and kitchen. The Adams Ale House was born. Both of them ran the restaurant, bought houses, had kids, went into real estate together, and celebrated the boom and even the bust times. 
Pizani eventually left the restaurant business and left Girard as the sole owner of the building. Girard decided to lease the restaurant space to focus solely on real estate and his young family. The new operators didn't last long in a tough restaurant market and went out of business in December 2018.
The building on East Hoosac Street has sat unused since then. Girard has it listed it on several sources and is still hopeful he can find a taker. The idle liquor license he still holds, however, has become an issue for the town.
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