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Applications to perform or to propose a clinic at the 68th Annual Midwest Clinic are now available!

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Start Your Engines: Building Confidence with Less Experienced Rhythm Section Players

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  • This session focuses on fostering confidence in young jazz ensemble rhythm section players. Topics covered include using the correct gear and instruments, physically setting the section up to promote communication within the section, understanding and interpreting alternate notation, grooves/style, as well as the importance of subdivision, clarity, and deference in comping for chordal instruments.
  • Mike Kamuf (
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  • Mike Kamuf holds Bachelor of Music degrees in both Jazz Performance and Music Education from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University (Youngstown, OH) and a Master of Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting from George Mason University (Fairfax, VA).  Mike’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by numerous jazz artists and ensembles including the Woody Herman and Glenn Miller Orchestras, the USAF Airmen of Note, James Moody, Eddie Daniels, Terell Stafford, Bill Watrous and Nick Brignola to name a few.  Mike has taught instrumental music for Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools (MCPS) since the fall of 1992. He has been in his current teaching position since 1995 as the Director of Bands and Orchestras and Music Department Chairperson at John T. Baker Middle School (Damascus, MD). Mike has served as a jazz faculty member at Youngstown State University and Montgomery College (Rockville, MD).  Mike has become an in demand arranger, clinician and adjudicator for schools, conferences and music festivals across the country. Please visit Mike’s website at: