Brubeck Institute “colonizes” Sonoma State

The Brubeck Institute’s summer “colony” for high-school musicians is expanding its scope.
For the second time in three years, the week-long event isn’t being held on University of the Pacific’s Stokton campus.
The 27 students ¬ from around the U.S., Australia, Great Britain and, for the first time, Finland ¬are being tutored at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park. The camp concludes with two concerts tonight.
In 2014, the institute’s educational jazz session was held in Lake Tahoe.
This time, Simon Rowe ¬ who’s leaving his position as director on Aug. 1 ¬ has helped the “colony” co-ordinate with educators at Sonoma State and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he’ll be working after leaving Pacific.
Patrick Langham, who leads the Pacific’s jazz programs, becomes the institute’s interim director.
Band leaders Rowe, a pianist, and Langham, a saxophone player, are tutoring at the “colony.”
The students also are working with the San Francisco Jazz Collective (SFJAZZ), an eight-man band that includes Edward Simon, a piano player and adjunct professor at Pacific who also teaches composition.
Rowe praised Simon’s input on the nine original tracks written by students that are among the 12-tracks on the 2005 Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet album (“Fantasy V”). It won a national college small-combo award from Downbeat magazine.
“Part of the allure is the SF Jazz Collective,” said Rowe, 54, a native of Sydney, Australia who’s concluding his fifth year at the Brubeck Institute. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to come together in the name of youth jazz education.”
As a high-school junior, drummer Jalon Archie, singled out for individual praise by Downbeat, attended the summer camp. So did saxophonist Grace Kelly, from age 14 to 16. She now plays in Stephen Colbert’s late-night TV band, among other accomplishments.
“That’s further evidence of the strength and uniqueness of the education at the summer colony,” Rowe said.
Simon is joined in SFJAZZ by Miguel Zenon (alto sax); David Sanchez (tenor sax); Warren Wolf (vibraphone); Sean Jones (trumpet); Robin Eubanks (trombone); Matt Penman (bass); and Obed Calvaire (drums).
They conclude the “colony” tonight, playing the music of Michael Jackson and their own compositions.
The students ¬ divided into groups that include their tutors ¬ perform a free concert at Schroeder Recital Hall, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., in Rohnert Park at 3 p.m.
SFJAZZ plays at 7:30 p.m. at Weill Hall, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., in Rohnert Park. Tickets are $30.;

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