54-Band camps

We thought it would be interesting to list some “band camps”.  (Not to be mistaken for bandcamp.com, which is an interesting new site for independent musicians…more on that elsewhere…)

There are two kinds of these. One is the “fantasy band camp” where wealthy middle aged bank managers can hang with Alvin Lee or Eddie Van Halen and pretend to be rock stars for a week.

The other is where serious musicians and producers can study briefly and intensely with experts and professionals for a short time and hopefully come back with some new energy.

I don’t mean to make fun of the first kind. Being middle aged myself I recognize the normal human need for escape and entertainment. And if you have the money to pay for it, why not? There are drag racing, plane flying and all sorts of other kind of “fantasy camps”, and these see harmless good fun.

Red Bull Music Academy

This is the most intriguing of all. I would have loved to be young, talented and lucky enough to be chosen for one of these.

I’m no fan of Red Bull. It appears that its main raison d’etre is to be a mixer with vodka. Certainly, alone it’s not a very exciting drink.

However, the company for whatever reason has devoted a huge sum of money to put on an annual seminar for a lucky 30 young producers and musicians in different sites around the world. Here’s the amazing part: ALL EXPENSES ARE PAID FOR THE PARTICIPANTS. Yes, you read that right. The travel, lodging and other expenses are paid for by Red Bull.

The participants are chosen by a secret panel from a few thousands of applications that are sent in. I send in my own for a couple years, and although there is no age restriction for the application, in reality let’s face it; why waste a spot on someone over the hill? Besides that, in comparison I can’t really say that there’s anything so exceptional about my compositions and productions.

I encourage you to check out their RBMA Radio channel; perhaps someday I’ll figure out how to embed their player on this blog.



Camp MMW

You may or may not know the band Medeski, Martin and Wood. They are an interesting instrumental trio somewhere between jazz, classical, progressive rock, jam band, and who knows what. They are most famous for relentless touring and an unusually stable lineup for a long time.

This is a very serious “band camp” set in the Catskills. However, unlike the RBMA, you will pay a pretty penny for the privilege of working with these musicians. Besides submitting an application (part of which includes a recording of you playing unaccompanied) the tuition fee is USD2000.

I’ve seen MMW live, although it was some years ago, and these guys are the real deal. If you’re dead serious about music, either as a professional or amateur, check them out.

last modified 2012/05/19