Blues Boot Camp

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Blues Boot Camp

Q&A with Wayne Jury
Deciding to pursue a career in the music industry can be one of the hardest decisions to make. With a passion for music, practical skills and industry savvy, making it becomes possible. One way to gain some of these skills is through the Blues Boot Camp next year, we had a chat to Wayne Jury about what the camp involves.
Hi Wayne, thanks for taking the time out to chat with Forte, how are you and what are you up to at the moment?
I’m well, thanks. I’ve just finished a short three gig run with Alison (Ali) Penney from Sydney, who is a long standing colleague and friend – always good fun, she’s so vibrant and a great musician. I’m also doing a bit of admin work for the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
Blues Boot Camp is now in its fifth year, is it really rewarding knowing how many young musicians you have helped?
Yeah Blues Boot Camp is a great experience for not only the students but for the tutors as well. To be able to pass on knowledge and see people benefit from your experience, the mistakes and successes, is highly satisfying. To watch people grow in confidence after two days of workshops is very rewarding.
You have a pretty amazing career, did you attend many of these kind of workshops when you were starting out?
No. I had lessons from a great singing teacher called Jack White (not of the White Stripes). He retired here from Canada and he gave me the nitty gritty, nuts and bolts of singing which I value to this day.
If not, did you wish at all that something like this was available to you?
When I was cutting my teeth in the music industry it was different, much more amateurish. The Aussie music industry was still learning. Now it’s a highly organised and professional industry with specialists in every field. It would have been great to have experienced professionals giving me tips and guiding me. At the same time we learn lessons from our mistakes.
How important do you think it is for young musicians to learn from people who are actively involved in the industry?
It’s important but people who are passionate about performing music will always find a way. Musicians in the industry working at the front line have learned a lot of lessons, have a lot of contacts and experienced many different scenarios, they have a lot of knowledge to pass on, so it’s got to be a good thing to pick their brains. If it came to text book verses experience, I would pick experience every time.
There’s quite a few great tutors that will be involved in the camp, what do they each bring to the event?
They all have the ability to inspire each student and find the essential element that excites and motivates each individual. One size does NOT fit all. Sarah Carroll is not only a great singer, songwriter and musician, she is a great communicator. Tim Neal is so inventive and creative and an exciting musician. Michael Pollitt combines traditional with modern guitar skills as well as marketing through social media, Kelly Auty is an exceptional motivator with dynamic vocal and performance skills. Chris Wilson is a great musician and motivator and Dave Robertson is not only a great player he has an easy going way of teaching that has you learning before you know it. I love working with these people!
The camp is essentially an extended workshop, what can participants expect from the experience?
Fun and hard work for a start. We play a lot of music, learn musicianship skills and write and learn songs. We look at marketing, being safe in a music-work environment, industry skills, performing as a group, cooperation, compromise, team work, and building partnerships. There will be one-on-one lessons as well as group workshops. It can be pretty intense but basically it’s what it’s like to be a working musician.
And at the end of the camp is a group performance, how have they gone in previous years?
The performances seem to draw out emotions and abilities in people that are sometimes unexpected. The quality is high. There is nothing like watching someone who has worked their butt off for two days stand up on stage and give it their best, then there are the looks on their family and friends faces…truly priceless and moving.
Lastly, what do you get most out of holding the Blues Boot Camp?
Working with a team that inspires people to create and express themselves is pretty darn good. Watching the participants interact and make music together is truly inspiring. Making and playing music with others for me is essential. I get to do all this…I’m a lucky guy!
Thanks again for taking the time out to chat with us, is there anything you’d like to add before we finish up?
I’d like to say thanks to the Arts and Culture Department from the City of Greater Geelong for supporting this project through their Community Arts Grants program. The City has a strong commitment to Arts and Culture. The music and art we produce here is a reflection of our society. Music is a fantastically creative way to express yourself. Sing people!
For more information or to apply visit
When&Where: The Potato Shed, Drysdale – January 6-8 2015