August 19-25, 2023
Tuition, Room and Board $850.00 (shared room with 2 other people) $975.00 (shared room with one other person) $1,170.00 (single room)
AUGUST 19 -25
A week-long vocal jazz workshop + retreat with Judy Niemack in a gorgeous location on the beach in Greece. Plenty of time for swimming, walking, relaxing, with daily classes in vocal jazz repertoire, improvisation and phrasing. We will also do some Circle singing and enjoy each others’ company over farm to table meals in a heavenly spot!
August 19-25, 2023
Arrive in Athens and travel to Mets for an evening session with a view of the Acropolis
Evening Session 7-9p
Arrive August 19 in time for a 7-9pm evening session in Mets, central Athens.
Enjoy a light meal at Nana and Caryn’s place with a view of the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
Spend the night in a hotel, pension, or Airbnb of your choice (not included in price). Email us for a list of suggestions.
Morning travel to the island
Enjoy breakfast on your own at your B&B or pick up a Gravieropita (special goat cheese from Naxos pastry) across the street from our rendez-vous point
Morning of the 20th leave for the island (ferry/bus/cab ticket not included).
We will have cars going to the island from Athens center free of charge all together.
We will stop in the nearby town of Karystos (10 minutes drive from Bouros) for some sight-seeing, shopping (you may want to pick up some local Greek honey, yogurt, olives for snacks or a beach mat or hat), lunch on your own at one of the tavernas along the waterfront.
Then we stop for mountain-fed spring water and arrive at the Center in the afternoon.
Farm to table dinner all together.
2 Sessions per Day
Two 2.5 hour sessions per day. Extra activities may include swimming, visiting a stunning waterfall, and participating in a concert performance on August 24, at a castle in the ancient village of Karystos.
Brunch and dinner provided except for the possibility of a lunch on waterfall trip and dinner on performance night.
Depart on August 26 from the Island.
Check out around 11:30a
Pack up and leave the room by 11:30a.
Organize your transport back together via ferry, taxi, bus or metro to airport, etc.
Feel free to book extra days before or after the retreat. It is a wonderful place to relax.
Accommodations & About Your Stay
Choose a private room or share with one or two friends. Twin nontoxic mattresses, in room bathroom with shower, kitchenette with sink, coffee/tea and mini fridge. Every room has a sea view and is a minute’s stroll to the sea. Outdoor showers in between. Solar hot water. AC. Internet. Well water for showering. Spring water in bottles for drinking
Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Judy gained her early experience singing in her church choir from the age of 7. She first heard jazz through her mother’s Nancy Wilson records, and discovered that she could easily sing harmonies when she and her sister sang background vocals on folk songs behind their brother. As a teenager, she sang in a wide variety of settings including musical theater, rock bands, bluegrass groups, madrigals and in a vocal jazz quartet.
Judy then studied classical singing and was encouraged to make it her focus, but the turning point in her young career was when she met the great tenor-saxophonist Warne Marsh (who followed in the footsteps of his teacher, pianist Lennie Tristano by becoming an important jazz educator). “I became Warne’s first vocal student. He treated me just like I was a horn player, and assigned me solos by Charlie Parker, Roy Eldridge and Prez to learn. He taught me to improvise. He always called it instant composition.” Attending Pasadena City College, she had lessons with alto saxophonist Gary Foster, and later studied classical singing at New England Conservatory and Cleveland Institute Of Music.
On returning to the Los Angeles area, she continued her studies with Marsh and, after moving to New York in 1977 on his advice, her first important gig was a week at the Village Vanguard in his band. She made her recording debut featuring him and bassist Eddie Gomez, “By Heart”, for the Sea Breeze label in 1978.
“During that period, I was strictly a vocal improviser, with little thought given to entertaining. But eventually I started to focus on the lyrics, and how to communicate, and I really grew as a singer.” Starting in the late 1970s, Judy began to compose and to write lyrics. She became the lyricist for such pieces as Clifford Brown’s “Daahoud,” Thelonious Monk’s “Misterioso,” Bill Evans’ “Interplay,” Richie Powell’s “Time” and Duke Jordan’s “Jordu,” as well as songs by the likes of Lee Konitz, Pat Metheny, Dexter Gordon, Gigi Gryce, Kenny Dorham, Curtis Fuller, Bob Brookmeyer, Richie Beirach, Don Grolnick, Mike Stern, Johnny Griffin and others. One of the driving forces behind her writing is the desire to sing lyrics that are more relevant to life today than those of the standard repertoire of the 30s and 40s.
Due to her beautiful voice, fearless improvising, impressive musicianship and versatility, Judy Niemack has since sung with many of the “who’s who” of jazz, including guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianists Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, Jim McNeely, Steve Kuhn, and Kirk Lightsey, saxophonists Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano and James Moody, the great harmonica player Toots Thielemans, flugelhornist Clark Terry, bassists Ray Drummond and Eddie Gomez, drummers Billy Higgins, Joey Baron and Billy Hart, the New York Voices, and Danish Radio and WDR Big Bands.
As a performer, Judy has thus far recorded 15 albums as a leader including her debut By Heart (Seabreeze) with Warne Marsh, Blue Bop (Freelance) with Cedar Walton, Long As You’re Living (Freelance),with Joe Lovano, Heart’s Desire (Stash), a set of duets with pianist Kenny Barron, Straight Up (Freelance) with Kenny Werner, duets with pianist Mal Waldron, Mingus, Monk and Mal (Freelance), Night And The Music (Freelance), About Time (Sony Jazz) with Lee Konitz and Jeanfrancois Prins, What’s Going On (Temps), Blue Nights (Blujazz) with Gary Bartz and Jim McNeely, In the Sun Dance (BluJazz), Listening to You (Sunnyside) with pianist Dan Tepfer, New York Stories, in 2018 with the Danish Radio Big band and Jim McNeely, in 2019, Sing Your Song with pianist Wolfgang Koehler, and in 2022, What’s Love with a masterful band incuding Peter Bernstein, Sullivan Fortner, Doug Weiss and Joe Farnsworth.
Niemack started teaching voice and improvisation in the late 1970’s, and has become one of the most influential jazz educators and a pioneer of vocal jazz education in Europe. In the USA she’s taught in NYC at New School, William Patterson University, Long Island University, and New York City College and was on the staff of the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp for 20 years.
After moving to Europe in 1992, she served on jazz faculties at the Royal Conservatories of Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium, and in Den Hague, Holland. In 1995 she became the first Professor of Vocal Jazz in Germany, leading the vocal department at the Jazz Institut Berlin until 2020. From 2002-2015, she was also Professor at Musikene in San Sebastian, Spain. She now lives in the USA and in Europe and gives concerts and masterclasses throughout the world.
Meet in the Sky Room where you can sing with a beautiful view of the sea.
Fly in to Athens
Fly to Athens possibly a day or two ahead to enjoy ancient sites and delicious restaurants. Nana and Caryn will be available for some guidance.
Taxi or Bus to Ferry
A taxi to the Ferry is about a half hour drive or take the bus right to the port.
Ferry to Island
Grab your tickets at the port and hop aboard for a one hour scenic trip across the sea to the island of Evia.
Farm to Table
Fruit, veggies and eggs come from the organic farm with some supplemental locally sourced natural and organic specialties.
Enjoy Nontoxic Body Care
Some complimentary reef safe, nontoxic body care products are provided so your body can get a vacation from hidden toxins in most commercial brands, and the environment is respected since we are so close to the sea. We will post a few weeks prior to the workshop what we have and what you might want to bring. Good for vocal health and performance as well as the planet and sea.
Possible Concert in Castle
There is the possibility that we can organize a concert to perform the songs you perfect with Judy at a historic castle in the neighboring town of Karistos on Saturday evening
Visit an Oasis
Platanistos is a magical oasis we can opt to visit about an hour from Bouros. Enjoy a cool shady waterfall with pools and streams of fresh crystal clear water amidst sun-dappled greenery
Have a Question?
Policies & F.A.Q.
Nontoxic BodyCare and Clear Clothes
We will attempt to create a nontoxic environment for singing with a combination of provided nontoxic products and some we suggest you bring with you. By the end of summer, our supply may be limited, so check in with us a few weeks before your trip to confirm what we are able to provide that may include reef safe sunscreen, mosquito repellant, shampoo, conditioner, body and hand soap, body and face lotion, deodorant. Bring your hair and toothbrush and leave anything with commercial fragrance or chemical pesticides at home if possible. The retreat is so close to the shore we have committed to honoring the pristine waters, and the community environment will be healthier for all. For ultimate vocal support, in preparation for your retreat, wash your clothes with nontoxic laundry products so your body and those around you will be able to relax in this oasis from chemical assaults. Brands that we know are nontoxic include Seventh Generation, BioKleen, BioPac, Ecover Zero, Sodasan or use vinegar or baking soda.
What to Bring
Comfortable clothes for singing and one outfit you could perform in
long pants for hiking if you want,
bathing suit or two and sun skinz if you want to be in the sun as long as you want
casual dinner clothes for in town dining
a sweater or wrap for cool evenings
and a beach towel
if possible prewash the above in nontoxic laundry products like Seventh Generation, BioPac, BioKleen or Charlie Soap or baking soda or vinegar.
hiking shoes (if you want to explore the trails)
toothbrush and toothpaste and any other bath and bodycare we can’t provide (we will know about 2 weeks beforehand)
comb or brush
What Not to Bring
Anything with commercial fragrance or other hazardous chemical such as DEET, parfum, scent, fragrance, chemical sunscreen
Cigarettes – the retreat center is non-smoking
For fire safety, no candles, incense or anything else that might require open flames. The surrounding area is dry and fire is a danger. With supervision from retreat staff, it is possible to build a fire in the barbeque area or on the beach in the evening, but extreme care is needed and supervision required.
Outdoor & Adventure
In addition to your swimsuit, you may want to bring a snorkel, mask and fins to enjoy the clear waters where you can spot fish and seaweed. For hiking you may want some hiking boots and long pants to give you protection from brush as well as a sun hat. For extended hours in the sun, you may want some sun skins. At the private rocky seaside, some water shoes can help.
We can take a day trip to a delightful fresh water oasis – Platanistos – about an hour’s drive that offers delicious fresh water pools and cool streams communing with a lush green environment.
Art & Culture
The nearby town of Karistos has regular open air concerts.
Cantina at Beach and Restaurants Nearby
Next door to us, there is a cantina with a full array of coffee and other drinks as well as food that you can enjoy in a cabana lounge chair at the seaside. Within less than a ten minute cab ride, there are an array of restaurants to choose from as well as one with a bar a short 5 minute walk from us.
Checkin & Checkout
Check in is any time after 3pm
Check out is anytime before 11am
We will work with you if your needs fall outside of these hours if we have advance notice.
Let us know your travel plans and we can help advise you on bus from airport, ferry schedules, and how to get a taxi from ferry to Center. Rome to Rio is a great site and app that will provide transport details.
It is possible to book a few extra days on either side of the retreat.
Seven day cancellation free of charge. After 7 days 50% of total room stay.
in person jazz vocal fun awaits