Tuesday, July 22, 2008

GRAMMY Camp® Veterans Return
by Sarah Tither-Kaplan

GRAMMY Camp® veterans Grahm Bailey (keyboard) and Adam Gertner (drums) took a break in between combo rehearsals to talk about returning for a second year.

Both agree that GRAMMY Camp has changed a lot since last year, as the campers have less free time, but more work is getting done. They enjoy the USC campus and the increased camper work ethic.

Grahm first applied to GRAMMY Camp after his music teacher recommended it to him. "I didn't really know what to expect, but it seemed like it would be an amazing experience, and it was,” he says. “That's why I came back." This year the talented keyboardist took advantage of the open mike night and performed a song he co-wrote last year with Alex Hausner (singer/songwriter). “I love to accompany singer/songwriters," he says. And while he's used to playing pop/rock, he's really been exploring jazz at camp this year. "I've been really paying attention to the panels this year and learning about the steps I need to take in order to really have a career in this business,” he says. Grahm has learned to be conscientious about the lifestyle of being a professional musician, and he's not sure if he wants to be a touring musician because it might interfere with his future family life, but he is sure he wants to work in the business, and wants to pursue composing and arranging.

Grahm notes that his favorite thing about GRAMMY Camp 2008 is that he got to attend “Starry Night.” "I was disappointed when I didn't get to go last year, but this year all the campers got to go and it was really amazing to be there and in that setting.”

Eighteen-year-old Adam has returned for his second and final year of GRAMMY Camp and has found the experience "completely different from last year,” but nonetheless enjoyable. Adam is undoubtedly an incredible percussionist, but this year he took the opportunity to showcase his unique dancing style at the Red Shield community center. Adam was the first to get up in front of the stage and dance along to GRAMMY® campers performing “Billie Jean,” by Michael Jackson. Adam also performed with fellow campers and Ozomatli on press day. His personal music taste reflects Ozomatli's style; eclectic, diverse and open-minded. Though his favorite type of music is funk, he plays in jazz bands at home, and just loves "listening to music in general, any type of music." Adam hopes to eventually tour with a band and continue playing music for the rest of his life.

Both GRAMMY Camp "vets" have enjoyed the unique 2008 experience, learning from panelists, instructors, and fellow campers. As instrumentalists, Adam and Grahm are working with their combos and are eager to showcase their respective talents as part of the bands, either playing or recording the songs they've written with singer/songwriters.

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