Blaine jazz camp seeks volunteers

Published on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 by Jack Kintner

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Blaine jazz camp seeks volunteers

By Jack Kintner

Blaine’s eighth annual summer Jazz Camp is set for July 11 through 18, and coordinators Larry and Suzanne Conrad are looking for volunteer help.

“We’d like to get as many people involved as we can,” said Larry Conrad, “for everything from ushering to driving people to housing artists to donating for scholarships.” Especially needed is someone to plan a reception at the community center after the opening MaDFusion concert, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11, in the school district’s Performing Arts Center.

The annual event costs $75,000 to produce, $30,000 of which will come from the Blaine Tourism Advisory Committee (BTAC) on behalf of the city of Blaine. The event is also sponsored by the Pacific Arts Association (PAA) and The Northern Light.

“It’s a great place to see some performers for a lot less than you’d otherwise have to pay,” said Bob Boule, current president of the sponsoring Pacific Arts Association. “To see our opening group MaDFusion perform in New York last week cost about $250, but here you can see them for $20 to $25 apiece.” The energetic trio of drummer David Rosenblatt, bassist Mat Fields and pianist Matt Herskowitz was quite popular at last year’s festival, getting an enthusiastic standing ovation.

This year they will be joined by sax player Nick Biello and popular singer Greta Matassa. All will be teaching and performing throughout the week.

Additional faculty returning from previous years includes drummer Lou Abbott, trombonist Rick Culver, pianist Randy Halberstadt, trumpeter Greg Hopkins, composer Gene Pritsker and guitarist Chris Woitach. Registration is now open at the festival website,

Employees of the BP Cherry Point refinery are reminded to choose the jazz festival as the recipient of funding, up to $500 per employee, that BP will contribute on their behalf with no cost to the employee.

“Last year over $400,000 in potential funding for non-profits went unclaimed at the local refinery,” Boule said, “so it would be nice to get some of that support when all it takes is a 30-second e-mail.”

For more information contact Conrad at 676-5740 or e-mail him at