Published on July 8th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff



Columbia, SC.:  USC ColaJazz Camp 2019 has announced that the Master Clinician for this year’s event will be Sullivan Fortner, one of the top jazz pianists of his generation.  Mark Rapp, South Carolina’s Jazz Ambassador and the creative force behind ColaJazz, is thrilled to bring Fortner to Columbia to teach and inspire the attendees at this year’s camp. The camp will be held July 18- 21 and will include special concerts open to the public.

Rapp explained, “I had a vision years ago to establish an annual summer jazz camp which would leave no one out. It’s difficult to cater to all ages and all abilities, but that is exactly one of the defining principals in jazz. Last year, we had ages 12 to 88.”

“When we are all on the bandstand together,” he added,  “everyone respects each other, supports each other and accomplishes a common goal. It’s an awesome thing to experience. And with our phenomenal instructors, the beginners have a blast and the advanced students dig in deep. Everyone is fulfilled.”

USC ColaJazz Camp 2019 will be held at the University of South Carolina School of Music. The presenting sponsor is Jangly Records. Camp instructors include acclaimed jazz educators, recording artists, and touring musicians. The camp welcomes singers and players of all instruments, all levels and all ages. Participants will be placed in classes and combos appropriate to level and interests.  

The camp welcomes the community to participate in Fortner’s time in Columbia, with a public concert on Saturday evening at 7:30p.m. at the USC School of Music, 813 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29208. This concert is an opportunity for the community to hear the world-class Fortner backed by local jazz stars for just $10. Tickets for this concert are available at Eventbrite.  

Recognized for his virtuosic technique and captivating performances, Fortner is the winner of the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship, the 2015 Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association and the 2016 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists.

Fortner has performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Discover Jazz Festival, Tri-C Jazz Festival, Jazz Standard, and the Gillmore Keyboard Festival. Fortner has been heard with other leading musicians around the world including Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, John Scofield, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Fred Hersch, Sean Jones, DeeDee Bridgewater, Roberta Gambarini, Peter Bernstein, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Peyton, Billy Hart, Dave Liebman, Gary Bartz, Etienne Charles and Christian Scott.

His background in music education has inspired Fortner to lead master classes at today’s most notable music institutions, including Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NoCCA), Purdue University, Lafayette Summer Music Workshop and Belmont University (TN).

In addition to Fortner, the 2019 USC ColaJazz Camp will also feature Bert Ligon, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of South Carolina. Ligon earned his Bachelor of Music and his Master of Music in jazz piano performance and arranging from the

University of North Texas. Ligon has published several books including, Jazz Theory Resources Vol. 1 & 2, Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony, and Comprehensive Technique for the Jazz Musician.

Joining Fortner & Ligon as clinicians are an impressive line-up of Midlands jazz greats, including ColaJazz founder, trumpeter & composer Mark Rapp, Derek Bronston, Mitch Butler, Chris Church, Mike Frost, Dick Goodwin, Edwin Hamilton, Amos Hoffman, Pete Neighbor, Travis Shaw, Jay Ware, Michael Wilkinson and Lauren Meccia.

The public is invited to nightly concerts on Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21 at 7:30p. July 20 features Sullivan Fortner and July 21 features the camp attendees presenting their own concert and showing off what they learned through the camp. For more information visit

Students can still register now for ColaJazz Camp online at through Midnight, July 10, 2019. The fee is $285.

Jangly Records is the proud presenting sponsor of the 2019 ColaJazz Camp.

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