Conventions & Awards

Umphrey’s McGee’s sUMmer school: Band Opens Summer Camp For Fans

Summer-schoolIn addition to finding unique ways to include the audience in their creative process, Umphrey's McGee is conducting its first sUMmer school in the Catskills. Taking place from August 6 through 10, this year's sUMmer school will include the renowned jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan. A lot of musicians teach classes but holding an educational retreat definitely takes that to another level.

sUMmer school is, of course, a different event than the Summer Camp Music Festival that happened back in May and at which Umphrey's McGee appeared.

Umphrey's McGee – 40's Theme w/ Stanley Jordan – 12-30-2008

I'm one of many writers who've written about Umphrey's McGee unique approach to including their audience in the process of creating setlists on the fly during their annual UMBowl. I'm just now finding out about their sUMmer school which is an immersive educational experiment allowing them different forms of contact with their audience.

Taking place at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY, participants will be in an excellent setting for an impressive range of classes, workshop, open rehearsals and private lessons on topics from improvisation, soloing and music theory to business and technology.

I'm trying not to sound like a travel agent here but I've been to retreats in the area and it's a really special place especially if you're into Taoist pursuits and are receptive to powerful flows of Chi. That said, I've never been to Full Moon Resort, though the pictures look nice, and I've never studied with any of these people so it could become a hellpit of despair. But I'm guessing it will be quite a positive experience if you play music and want to learn more about the kind of music made by Umphrey's McGee and by Stanley Jordan.

Part of my enthusiasm stems from the fact that Umphrey's McGee is taking the concept of summer music camp and offering an all-ages, multilevel educational experience to their fans. There are certainly many summer programs that include adults but in the context of considering business models for musicians, it's a nice example of moving from being a faculty member to owning the school, even for just a week.

One of the special touches will be a nightly "full Umphrey's McGee set followed by open jams where the participants will actually get to play & jam with the members of Umphrey's McGee."

It sounds like productive fun both for the band and for Umphrey's McGee fans that are also musicians.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) maintains a business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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