Jazz Camp 2024

Sunday, June 9 – Friday, June 14, 2024


Summer Jazz Camp Mission Statement

Since 1985, the Aquinas College Summer Jazz Camp (SJC) has taught the American art form of jazz to hundreds of youth and adults throughout Michigan and the Midwest. The SJC strives to be an inclusive one week summer camp that challenges the advanced musician while simultaneously providing opportunities for growth to the developing musician through a many faceted curriculum with highly qualified instructors of the Music Department.

Aquinas College Course Credit OR Michigan State Continuing Education Clock Hour (SCECH) Credit is available for an additional cost. Email us at jazzcamp@aquinas.edu for more information.



Please view this page to register and get more details.



This year, the AQ Summer Jazz Camp offers 10 half-tuition scholarships for students who are completing grades 6-12 and have high financial needs. Interested campers can apply here. Scholarship applications are due May 1, 2024.



Combos, big bands, faculty concerts, concerts featuring students with Faculty, Master classes and electives.



Jazz Theory, Improvisation, Jazz Styles and Analysis, Instrument Masterclasses, and Hand Drumming.



All camp instructors are recognized jazz masters whose careers as teachers and players are well established and widely respected.



Dr. Tom Polett, Camp Director
616-632-2416 or tcp001@aquinas.edu


Camp Instructors are:

  • Dr. Tom Polett, Camp Director, Trombone
  • Benje Daneman,Trumpet
  • Tim Froncek, Percussion
  • Seth Ebersule, Saxophone
  • Nathan Borton, Electric & Acoustic Guitar
  • Tom Lockwood, Electric & Acoustic Bass
  • Jeff Ingraham, Education Specialist, Trombone
  • Dr. Robin Connell, Piano
  • Dr. Paul Brewer, Trombone

The instructors listed above are all recognized jazz masters whose careers as teachers and players are well established and widely respected.

Benje Daneman

Jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator, Benje Daneman, got his start professionally in 2007 on a national tour with The Doc Severinsen Big Band and has since performed as a sideman and leader at prestigious venues across the nation including The Kennedy Center (Washington DC), The Iridium Jazz Club (NYC), Constellation (Chicago), Festival of New Trumpet Music, and Baryshnikov Arts Center (NYC). His most recent 2018 album release, “Light in the Darkness”, with his Chicago-based band, SearchParty, received featured articles in both DownBeat Magazine and JazzTimes. An alumnus of Manhattan School of Music, Western Michigan University and The Henry Mancini Institute (Los Angeles, CA), Daneman is also a passionate music educator and has worked as a teaching artist with The New York Pops, Western Michigan University's SEMINAR and Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance (NYC), in addition to giving clinics for all levels of education across the country. He has co-founded and directed multiple educational programs including The Jazz & Creative Institute, Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra, Kalamazoo Trumpet Workshop, Tiny Voice Box and JazzStart Summer Jazz Workshop. An avid composer, arranger, Daneman has received commissions from the United States Air Force Band (in Europe), Spark and Echo Arts (2015 Artist/Composer in Residence) and Redeemer Presbyterian Church (NYC). He has also collaborated with many composers/arrangers including Roger Treece, Peter Prochnow and Dr. Steve Zegree. In addition to his music and teaching, Daneman works as an arts administrator creating opportunity and managing creative endeavors all across the nation. He has worked with The Festival of New Trumpet Music, jazz pianist Pascal Le Boeuf, Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music Record Label, and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Daneman co-directs the Jazz & Creative Institute with his wife, jazz singer-songwriter, Ashley Daneman, in Kalamazoo, MI where they live with their three children.

For more information on Benje, visit: http://www.benjedaneman.com

Kalamazoo Music School
Jazz & Creative Institute

Jeff Ingraham

Jeff Ingraham is from the Grand Rapids area. A 1988 graduate of Comstock Park High School, he received a Bachelor in Music Education from Western Michigan University. Following college Jeff relocated to the Upper Peninsula and taught in DeTour Area Schools K-12 music, Munising Public Schools secondary music, and Rapid River Public Schools K-12 music, until economic cuts to schools forced a relocation back to Grand Rapids. In 2012, Jeff received certification to teach in the elementary classroom from Aquinas College in addition to his elementary music, secondary music and secondary english certifications . Jeff has taught courses in the Music Department at Aquinas College, as well as teaching elementary general music and secondary music at the Ellington Academy. He is currently the music director at Grand River Preparatory High School.