student playing a jazz guitar
About the program

The Pacific Summer Jazz Colony is a one-week, intensive educational program in jazz performance for a limited number of exceptionally talented students. They come from across the United States and abroad to study with Pacific’s Jazz Studies faculty, guest artists and master teachers.

The week consists of combo rehearsals, master classes, classes in jazz theory and advanced jazz improvisation as well as a variety of seminars on related topics. Colonists have opportunities to visit with the artists and clinicians, participate in jam sessions, and perform in public concerts.

The 2024 Colony has been canceled.

Application Process

  • Apply online by June 1.
  • Read the application carefully to submit all required documents and recordings.
  • Pay $1,700 fee per student. 
Niko Winchell Memorial Scholarship

A full-tuition legacy scholarship for the Pacific Jazz Summer Colony applicants is open to students currently in a high school jazz band program. 

To apply, complete the application and send a one-page resume detailing your performance experience along with a link to a video recording no more than 10 minutes in length. The recording must include an excerpt from a standard jazz solo and improvisation. Accompaniment is optional.

Niko Winchell scholarship

Niko Winchell Memorial Scholarship was established by his mother, brother and grandparents. They said: "Niko inspired us with his dedication and goals. He touched so many with his humor, kindness and creativity. He enjoyed attending UOP's Brubeck Institute summer camp (now Pacific Jazz Camp) and the inspiration he attained through his teachers and fellow students."

Niko’s love of music began at age two as he watched and conducted along to the “Three Tenors” video. Beginning in the fourth grade, he joined the Del Dayo band playing the clarinet and saxophone; however, Niko found his true calling in Arden’s jazz band under the direction of Rick Baker who instilled his desire to become the next great jazz guitarist. Steve Homan, master jazz guitarist and private instructor, stoked Niko’s passion under his expert tutelage as well as his music directors at Rio Americano High School (RAHS). By age 15, Niko formed his own jazz combo Jazz Eclectic, with fellow RAHS musicians. They performed three times prior to his untimely death due to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (2012). Their final performance eight days prior to his passing, included Niko's original composition “Brainstorm.”

summer jazz colony

Instrumentation for the Colony is designed to create a minimum of three instrumental combos that will work together throughout the week. It will include a minimum of the following:

  • 1-3 vocalists
  • 3 pianists
  • 3 bassists
  • 3 drummers
  • 3 saxophonists
  • 3 brass instruments (trumpets and/or trombones)
  • 3 guitarists


Patrick Langham

Patrick Langham, saxophone

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Orrin Evans

Orrin Evans, piano

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Joe Mazzaferro

Joe Mazzaferro, trumpet

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Lewis Nash

Lewis Nash, drum set

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Amina Scott

Amina Scott, bass

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