If you have (or know of) a musician between the ages of 13 and 19, this week-long intensive ends with performances at some of the top venues in Monmouth County.

I can't say enough great things about the Jazz Arts Project and their Academy. If you have a teen musician, no matter the genre, your son or daughter will meet other peers that are musicians and learn to play in a jazz band that will go on to perform at Two River Theatre as the opening act for some tremendously talented jazz artists.

In fact, the opportunities your musician will get at this Jazz Academy Summer Camp will include the chance to meet and work with some of the most well-known and well-recorded jazz musicians in the area (and beyond) and form connections with fellow peers, teachers and professional jazz artists.

The summer session begins on Monday, July 23rd, in Red Bank, and there is still time to sign up. The shows will be on July 27th and 28th at Two River Theater as part of the Summer Jazz Cafe series which are open to the public and sell out every summer. Your teens will be the opening act for some amazing jazz artists. Selected students will also perform on July 26th at Jazz in the Park at Red Bank's Riverside Gardens Park in front of hundreds as the opening act for major jazz artists!

You never know where opportunities like this could lead. Most of the teens go back to their school bands as better musicians than they were before this week, others make lifelong friends and form their own bands that go on to play at respected venues. Others continue on with the full-year academy are have been seen by tremendously respected legends within the industry. Some major artsts have even been known to offer private mentoring sessions, college recommendation letters, and even, for those students that have worked hard to develop their talent, the chance to get on stage with famous jazz artists and play!

For more info on the Jazz Academy, CLICK HERE.

To sign up for the Jazz Academy Summer Session, CLICK HERE.

The Jazz Arts Project is a non-profit that runs classes and camps in conjunction with the Count Basie Theatre's Performing Arts Program. After all, Count Basie himself was a legendary jazz musician, so what better non-profit organization to be affiliated with than that one!

For more info, you can contact the Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy at 732-224-8778, ext. 125, or email eduadmin@countbasietheatre.org.

As a side note, my son Ben's musical career has surpassed all expectations as a member of the Jazz Arts Project's Teen Academy. He is already being invited to several colleges and universities. Ben was recently asked  to come to the Village Vanguard in NYC (arguably one of the most famous jazz clubs in the world) where he was invited onstage to perform with jazz legend Barry Harris during a sold-out show! And Ben has been lucky enough to be mentored by the great Bernard Purdie, which has been the opportunity of a lifetime. Bernard is such an amazing man and talent in the world of music and jazz.

So if you'd like,you can contact me directly, parent to parent, to ask me any questions about this great organization and academy: liz.jeressi@townsquaremedia.com.

The Jazz Arts Academy for teens runs during the full school year, too, in case you would like to include your musician in the yearly experience as a supplement to their school band or to keep up with their music if they aren't involved in a school band. Classes will begin in September.

The Jazz Arts Project brings the best of the best in jazz music to the Jersey Shore for inspiring public performances that include the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or find out more info about this amazing non-profit organization, CLICK HERE.