JWA Summer Jazz Camp 2020

For young musicians ages 10 – 22

January 4-8, 2021

Summer Jazz Camp 2021 will be Monday 4 to Friday 8 January. Registration will open here but has been delayed while we explore Covid-safe arrangements with the venue. Thanks for your patience.

Details of the 2020 camp are left here for reference and we’ll update them as the next camp takes shape.


Teaching Faculty | Evening Concerts | Program & electives | Start/End times | Final Concert | Accommodation, Meals & Supervision| Testimonials | Register | Prices & Payment | Direct Deposit | Scholarships| Terms and Conditions | Getting There | Contacts and other workshops

Peter Farrar at Freedman Awards
Peter Farrar, saxophone. Photo Shane Rozario.
  • Big Band
  • Combo
  • Electives
  • Student concerts & jams
  • professional concerts nightly
  • Improvisation
  • Workshop for jazz vocalists




John Morrison
John Morrison

Jazz Workshop Australia is proud to present Jazz Camp 2020, a five-day residential program for students ages 10 to 22 offering immersion in the wonderful world of jazz. It is for instrumentalists (including string players) and singers at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced to emerging professionals. For over 40 this has been an institution among talented and motivated young jazz musicians in Australia.  Click here to see photos of the 2015 Jazz Camp or click here to see photos of more recent camps (on our Facebook page). 



Jazz Camp has played a significant role in the lives of aspiring young musicians for over three decades. Described by many students as a major “turning point” in their playing, the Jazz Camp experience is about discovering the real joy in self expression through music. – John Morrison.

Alumni of Jazz Camp include a who’s who of top Australian jazz artists.

Saul Richardson
Saul Richardson

We suggest students have at least two to three years experience on their instrument or around grade 2 – 3 level to get the most out of Jazz Camp. The camp is suitable for any instrument, including string players, as well as vocalists. We recommend this camp to young musicians who are interested in jazz, because that is the focus of the week.

This is quite a large camp, with 100 students from all over Australia and some international students too. Everyone spends time working both in groups of their own level and age-group, and some time in mixed groups. Accommodation is by age-group and gender in rooms of 4 – 12. The camp is big enough that campers can be with their own peer groups within the camp but there are also enough combined activities to ensure no one is with exactly the same small group the whole time. It is a very welcoming and friendly environment. Older campers and staff are very supportive of younger students and each other.

Musicians are carefully placed in groups appropriate to their level of playing and improvising experience. There are also elective classes to choose from. In 2020 electives include jazz choir, Latin jazz, soul jazz, drumming for non-drummers, composition, games, introduction to jazz theory, jazz fusion, using electronic effects with live instruments. There’s also an ‘advanced big band’ (by invitation during the camp).

The venue for 2020 is Naamaroo Conference Centre in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood West. It is in a picturesque bushland setting in the Lane Cove River National Park. It is also just minutes from the city only half an hour from the airport by taxi and accessible by public transport.


Teaching Faculty

Jacki Cooper
Jacki Cooper, vocals

We bring together a world-class team of expert tutors under the leadership of acclaimed jazz educators John Morrison and Saul Richardson. John is a drummer, band leader, entertainer, teacher and director of the annual Big Band Blast festival in Port Macquarie. Saul Richardson is a guitarist, electric bassist, composer, co-founder of Jazz Workshop Australia, and chief conductor of the Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestras. Together the faculty bring decades of experience to create one of the world’s great Jazz Camp experiences. For any student serious about learning to play jazz, achieving new heights of excellence, and having a great time, then Jazz Camp is the place.

Singers work intensively with expert vocal coach Jacki Cooper through a specially designed program. More advanced vocalists have the opportunity to learn improvisation techniques and to work with a small jazz ensemble. All singers get the chance to sing with a big band.

The teaching faculty will be announced during the year. Teachers in for 2020 are:

  • Anita Thomas
    Anita Thomas, sax & woodwind 2019

    John Morrison – drums, ensembles, camp musical director

  • Saul Richardson – ensembles & jazz camp director
  • Jack Stoneham – saxophone
  • Jacki Cooper – vocals
  • Eric Dunan – trumpet
  • Des Canings – trombone.
  • Matt McMahon – piano
  • Nic Henderson- bass
  • Sam Rollings – guitar

Evening Concerts

An important feature of Jazz Camp are nightly concerts by leading professional groups. We aim to provide a varied program giving the students the chance to see, and meet, bands of different styles, small and large.

Evening concerts for JWA Jazz Camp 2019 were: Sandy Evans trio, Emma Pask band, Funk Engine, and the Jazz Camp faculty band.

Concerts are exclusively for JWA Jazz Camp students and are not open to the public.


Camp Program

Jazz Camp is 5 days, 4 nights, including:

  • Eric Dunan
    Eric Dunan


  • Improvisation class
  • Big Band
  • Electives (including soul jazz, choir, advanced big band, Latin jazz, fusion, games & more).
  • Vocal workshop (for singers)
  • Drummers’ workshop (for drummers and percussionists)
  • Instrumental and rhythm section masterclass
  • Student jam session and concert
  • Daily concerts by professional groups
  • Final festival

Start Time, Monday January 6: Check-In on day 1 is from 8:45 am until 9:30 am. Campers flying or driving from far away can  arrive later if they need to, just let us know what time.

End Time, Friday January 10: The end-of-camp festival performances will end by 4:30 pm followed by scholarship presentations. Everything will be done by 4:45 pm.

Electives: On days two and three of the camp students choose elective activities. For 2020 these include: soul jazz; jazz/gospel vocal group; drumming for non-drummers; jazz fusion; introduction to jazz theory; composition; Latin jazz; and games/a break from music, and Using electronic effects with live instruments. You choose these when registering. People who register early will get their first choice of elective.

Please see here for details of each elective.

Final Concert

The camp will culminate in a festival-style concert at the camp venue, Naamaroo, in the afternoon of Friday 10 January, about 2:00pm. Parents and friends are welcome. Entry is free. The camp will end at 4:45pm.

Nick Henderson bass
Nick Henderson, bass, 2019

Accommodation, Meals & Supervision

Accommodation for students is in cabins of 4 – 12, almost all now with en suite facilities. Boys and girls are in separate cabins and students are generally grouped by age. Supervising staff are in rooms adjacent to student cabins and are onsite 24 hours. It is very important to us that all students at Jazz Camp are well supervised, well looked after, happy, and safe.

The counsellor to student ratio is about 1:16 with male and female staff. Including the teaching faculty the total staff-to-student ratio at Jazz Camp is better than 1:8.

The counselling staff all have current Working With Children certification. One of the counselling staff is a professional nurse and most are qualified first-aiders.

The catering staff at Naamaroo are very experienced in providing meals for school camps. They can easily prepare meals to cater for any allergy or special dietary needs. If your child has special requirements you’ll need to tell us on the registration form, giving complete details, and contact the Naamaroo kitchen prior to the camp if requested. Naamaroo adds an $11/day surcharge for special meals other than vegetarian. You’ll need to give details at the time of registering.

The venue is Naamaroo Conference Centre, Lady Game Drive, Chatswood NSW, 2067
Phone (02) 9413 2088.

Rose Foster, trombone
Rose Foster, trombone


Here’s what other people have said about Jazz Camp and the Jazz Workshop:

“We just wanted to email you to say THANKS !! and a huge congratulations on running such a wonderful camp last week. We had both our sons there and they were suffering withdrawal symptoms the next day – always a good sign !! They truly loved it, with our eldest keen to come home and get into the Real Books big time.

We are so appreciative of all your hard work, for the great team of tutors etc that were there, and for creating an environement where creativity and musicality were so encouraged.

J. and B. Allan – parents of J. (guitar) and C. (bass).

“Congratulations on such a wonderful camp. As a parent I cannot believe that it runs so smoothly. What an unbelievable experience for our kids to have!… Read more

Ready to enrol? Online registration and payment are now open.

Prices & Payment options

Payments made before 18/10 are refundable less a $100 service fee. 

  • REGISTRATION IS CLOSED – the camp is sold out. Email to go on the waiting list.
  • Price: $895. 
  • There is a 2.8% surcharge on Paypal/credit card bookings.
  • The venue adds a surcharge of $11/day for special meals (excluding vegetarian)
  • You can redeem a valid NSW “Creative Kids” voucher against this camp (but NOT “active kids” – jazz isn’t a sport!)
  • Bookings close either November 11 or when the camp is full, whichever comes first.
  • Payments made before 18/10 are refundable less a $100 service fee. 

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Jeremy Sawkins guitar
Jeremy Sawkins, guitar

Numbers are limited by the size of the venue. Bookings close 5 November, 2019 or when the camp is full. Send cheques or internet banking receipts to

  • JWA Jazz Camp
  • PO Box 161
  • Crows Nest 1585
  • NSW, Australia.






Booking is closed, the camp is full. Email us about the waiting list.


Bank details for direct deposit

BSB: 112 879 Account: 421 350 375. Jazz Workshop Australia Pty Ltd. You can only transfer to this account online. If you pay this way, be certain to include the student’s name in the transfer details (otherwise we have no way of knowing who the payment is from).

To pay in a bank branch you’ll need a different number: Click this link for in branch deposits.

Places will be limited, so book early to guarantee your place.


A number of scholarships are awarded during the camp. These are donated by Jazz Workshop Australia as well as through the generosity of the Waugh family and Jan Dilworth. They are awarded to students at the camp as encouragement and/or recognition of outstanding musical ability and attitude. The former financial assistance scholarship has been discontinued in favour of other, more equitable programs.

At the final concert two scholarships will be awarded to selected students. These are a half return scholarships and the Sarah Waugh Return Scholarship generously donated by the marvelous Waugh family.

In past years students have approached local service organisations etc directly to seek sponsorship. Such groups sometimes have a budget to support young people in worthwhile educational ventures such as Jazz Camp.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions are important and you accept these when you register. But,if you are like most people and are pressed for time, a couple of “highlights” include that we can’t give full refunds, and the closer to the camp it gets, the less we can give back, so try not to book “just in case” and then pull out to go on a cruise at the last moment! Also bad misbehaviour by a student may result in them being sent home at parents or own expense. Thankfully, that’s only had to happen once in the past 40 years, but we want everyone to know about it all the same. When you book you must accept all the following terms & conditions:

Click here for the Jazz Camp terms and conditions.

Getting There

The venue is Naamaroo Conference Centre, Lady Game Drive, Chatswood West. You can get there by car, bus, or taxi. You could also get a train to Chatswood or North Ryde and then a bus or taxi. Unfortunately we can’t meet students at the airport, but many often arrive around the same time so we can try to help coordinate with other campers on request.

Taxi: it is about 25-30 minutes by taxi from Sydney Airport. Taxis leave from right outside the baggage claim area. As many campers arrive at around the same time, it is often possible to share a taxi. This can be coordinated in the days before the camp. Uber can be hard to get at the airport, but would certainly be cheaper.

Airport Shuttles: There are shuttles from Sydney domestic and international airports. You need to search for a shuttle that services the north shore.

Public Transport: There are buses that stop near the corner of Lady Game Drive and Delhi Rd. From there it is a 5-10 minute walk to Naamaroo. The nearest stations are Chatswood and North Ryde. It is possible to use public transport from the airport to Naamaroo, though it is a bit slow.

Here is a helpful online trip planner: NSW Transport.

Driving: The entrance is off Lady Game Drive near the Lane Cove National Park entry. Don’t go into the National Park. It is beautiful, but has no access to Naamaroo.


Contacts and other workshops

For more information email info@JazzWorkshopAustralia.com.au

If you can’t make it to camp, or just can’t wait until next year, why not do one of the Improvisation workshops every school holidays? Have a look at the rest of this website for details of other holiday activities or ensemble opportunities. At JWA, Jazz Camp is really on every day of the year!