Summer Jazz

An opportunity to spend two days meeting other young musicians from around Cumbria, learn a bit more about jazz and get some pointers on how to sound good whatever your level of skill and experience. Jazz is a wide genre and you are allowed to change things in the music to make them sound the way you want them to. So come along and get some basic techniques under your fingers and then you can enjoy making music you like with a group of fellow experimenters.

COURSE basics

We will divide up into groups with drums, bass, keys/guitar and frontline horns and vocals. People will play their first instrument but have the opportunity to have a go playing drums or sing if they want to, as it is great to experience the music from another instrument’s perspective.

No worries if your instrument or voice is not a “jazz” one – it soon will be!

If you are a beginner we will give you easy things to play so that you can join in – you will learn loads just by being there and hearing what goes on. And as you will see, it is possible to create a great solo just playing one note.

If you are advanced you will have the chance to develop extended solos, create instant harmonies and riffs developing your aural skills, reharmonise passages etc.

The course is led by Jilly Jarman – jazz composer/arranger, piano, voice, horn and Geoff Bartholomew – jazz trumpet, composer/arranger, piano.

Both tutors have knowledge of all instruments in the rhythm and frontline sections and their role in a jazz combo.

You are invited to stay for part or all of our evening BlueJam Jazz and Improv Choir session. This is a special session of our weekly intergenerational jazz band and choir workshop, and on the Thursday from 6.30-9.30 we will be getting some ideas ready for the Friday evening Benefit Jam Session.

At the jam session people will have the opportunity to sing a song, play a tune on your own with house band or be a part of that band. It will be fun and a chance to see what it is like to play in a semi-public space when you are not being told what to do!

If you play keyboard, electric bass or guitar or drums please let us know in advance if you want us to provide any equipment for you.


If you are staying for the evening you can stay at the school, there will be someone there at all times.

If it is nice weather we can have outside breaks and even do a bit of playing outside.



Youth Jazz School Music Leaders

Geoff Bartholomew

Jilly Jarman

Geoff moved to Penrith from London in 2013 and is now established as one of Cumbria’s leading jazz trumpet players and teachers. Writing his own music he performs with and leads various bands and has established a successful teaching practice. He co-runs BlueJam’s Jazz Programme and leads B Jamba.

Jilly is Director of BlueJam and co-runs the Jazz Programme. She is an MD and composer who works with vocal and instrumental groups of all levels, with commissions from over the UK. She collaborates with musicians from other genres and in her educational work incorporates improvisation and composition wherever she can.