Blues Boot Camp

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Blues Boot Camp

Blues Boot Camp is the fun, challenging and highly interactive blues workshop for 12 – 25 years olds who want to gain music industry skills from trained and experienced music industry professionals. Forté chat to Wayne Jury, the man behind the program.

Hey, thanks for having a chat to us today Wayne. How are you and what have you been up to at the moment?
I’m very well thanks, it’s busy at the moment with gigs and preparation for Blues Boot Camp.

It’s noted on the Blues Boot Camp website that the participants are going to learn a lot of theory as well as practical aspects, how do you fit it all into two days?
We do some theory and a lot of playing music. It’s a really intense couple of days and we (the tutors and participants) are all pretty exhausted by the end of the show. We talk about all aspects of the music biz and apply a lot of that to our preparation for the show we do. For three days, everyone involved is a working musician.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you go about choosing the industry professionals that teach in the program?
The tutors are not only talented musicians in their own right, but they also have their own characteristics and skill set as teachers. They have the same qualities that we encourage at Blues Boot Camp – things like listening to people, cooperation, working in a team, communication skills, a love of music, experience in the industry, a desire to help people and pass on knowledge.

The program is offered to those from 12-25, what are the major differences you see between the ages, do participants come back year after year for you to see them develop?
The most gratifying thing about doing Boot Camp for me is to see people develop over a couple of days. There’s some people who will be coming back for their fourth Boot Camp and it’s been such a blast to see and hear their development as musicians but also as people. I guess they get introduced to a whole lot of musical styles from the other participants, and they run with it. Age doesn’t seem to matter at Blues Boot Camp, sometimes the youngest will team up with the oldest. It’s about the music, not the age.

The Blues Boot Camp began in 2009, what are the major differences that you’ve noticed between then and now, and what changes do you hope to see?
It changes all the time. We get feedback from students and parents which we try to take on board, as well as keeping an eye on what’s happening in the music industry. I’m always trying to find better ways of passing on information and skills. Also, different tutors bring different methods and skills to the program.

Do you think that blues could make a comeback for younger audiences, do you hope that it does?
Young people have never not listened to the roots of blues. Here we get into a definition of ‘blues’ conundrum. Blues is so much more than “I woke up this morning, my best girl was gone” old school down on the Mississippi type of music. The blues form is the foundation of all the pop, rock, funk, hip hop, rap, and jazz music we hear today. Most people just don’t know it. At Blues Boot Camp, we make links to the roots of the old stuff but also show a progression from old to what’s happening now – I mean right now. So you might learn an old blues tune, but we look at contemporary music and show the link from what’s been to what’s now. It’s a rich and beautiful history and we can access it, learn from it and play it in today’s context.

For more info head to

When & Where: Potato Shed, Drysdale – January 10, 11 & 12 2017.