July 5-12, 2015

All ages are welcome to explore ensemble playing on a variety of instruments (bring what you have!). A few guitars and ukeleles, a piano and some percussion instruments will be available. We will also offer accompaniment for singers. There will be karaoke for over-the-top fun as well as multiple opportunities to jam, perform and learn.

This is family camp, so the emphasis is on family relaxation and fun, with a soundtrack created by those who attend camp and our special musical guests (see below). In addition, some highly skilled singer-songwriters and performers regularly attend camp and share their awe-inspiring talent with everyone! The week culminates in a wonderful musical variety show on the veranda with assorted solo, group, family and novelty acts, and the occasional bad joke.


Group ensemble

Beginning ukelele

Beginning Brazilian percussion

Salsa/samba aerobics

Voice technique

“Recycled rhythm”


Jazz night

Classical night

Karaoke night

Brazilian night

Closing camp music show

ALEXA MORALES – Voice, piano, salsa dance, artist in residence

Now in her eighth year as artist in residence at Oakland Feather River Camp, Alexa loves sharing vocal technique, leading early morning salsa aerobics, putting together the final show lineup, and rehearsing with the impromptu enseAlexa Weber Moralesmbles that form throughout the week.

Since 2004, Oakland, Calif.-based multilingual (French, Spanish, Portuguese, English) songwriter Alexa Weber Morales has made 12 studio recordings, including three solo albums, Jazzmérica, Vagabundeo and I Wanna Work For You, and a solo EP, From Me To Yule. In 2010, her vocals graced the Grammy-nominated latin jazz album Bien! Bien! In 2012, she was commissioned to write lyrics and sing on the Pacific Mambo Orchestra debut release. In 2014, that debut album won the Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album, marking a historic triumph for the Bay Area latin music scene and for indie musicians everywhere!

In 2011, Alexa launched and completed a timely Kickstarter project, I Wanna Work For You. These ten original tunes are arranged by bassist Sam Bevan and feature top Bay Area musicians, including Jonathan Alford, her longtime pianist (see below).

A percussionist, dancer, pianist and tree-climber, Alexa writes about smoldering obsessions, resourceful outcasts, captured sinners and restless spirits. Her lead singing and lyric writing on Wayne Wallace’s 2007 date The Reckless Search for Beauty received wide acclaim.

Alexa’s 2004 debut, Jazzmérica, was produced by five-time Grammy nominee Wallace and boasts an all-star band including John Santos, Frank Martin (Stevie Wonder), Ricardo Peixoto (Claudia Villela), Edgardo Cambón, and many others.

Her second date, Vagabundeo (2007, Patois Records), again included a crack team, among them vocalist Kenny Washington, featured on the a cappella rendition of Calling You. Produced by Wallace and distributed worldwide via KOCH, the album received top-20 jazz radio play.

Alexa is a charismatic stage performer whose venues include Yoshi’s, Santana Row, Jazz at Pearl’s, many California festivals and shows in Austin, Las Vegas and Boston. She has opened for Lenny Williams (Tower of Power) and Average White Band, and is lead singer for the 19-piece Pacific Mambo Orchestra. With PMO, Alexa toured the US in 2013, delighting audiences at performing arts centers with the vibrant new mambo sound of PMO and special guests Tito Puente Jr., Marlow Rosado and Willy Torres.

JONATHAN ALFORD – PianoJonathan Alford

Jonathan started playing the piano at 5. He studied classical piano at the University of Wisconisn and privately with Julian White .Mostly self-taught, he began studying jazz at the age of 25 with Mark Levine and a few years later entered the Latin music world, learning the rudiments of the latin style with the late piano legend Carlos Federico.

Bay Area native Jonathan Alford’s latin chops were honed by 12 long years playing piano in the salsa trenches – though he fondly recollects his days changing, Superman-like, from his postal worker’s uniform into his gig duds. His reputation for honest, melodic and harmonically modern compositions and accompaniment has drawn a vast array of singers to him.

Jonathan has been a regular on the SF Bay Area music scene for 20 years. He has performed and recorded with such local talents as singers Jenna Mamina, Maria Marquez, Elaine Lucia, Daria, Roberta Donnay as well as Bobby Hutcherson, Bud Shank, David Sanchez  and others. He has played at the SF and SJ Jazz Festivals  among others, as well as stints in France and Italy with various artists. As a latin pianist Jonathan has been fortunate to have shared the stage or recorded with some of the greats in latin percussion, Orestes Vilato, Armando Peraza, Francisco Aquabella, John Santos, Pete Escovedo as well as Chocolate Armenteros, the Machete Ensemble, Santana, Alexa Weber Morales and Julius Melendez.

Jonathan’s gorgeous collaborative album of 2011 is with Orestes Vilató, Sheldon Brown, Omar Ledezma Jr., Maria Marquez and David Pinto.

AMI MOLINELLI – Brazilian percussionAmi Molinelli, Brazilian percussion

Ami Molinelli is a professional percussionist and educator specializing in Brazilian and Latin percussion, especially the pandeiro.  She is the co-leader of the Brazilian choro and jazz ensemble, Grupo Falso Baiano, whose first CD “Viajando: Choro e Jazz” was featured on Pandora in a special live concert and interview at Yoshi’s.  Their second CD, “Simplicidade” was released in July of 2011 and features special guest, Jovino Santos Neto on piano and accordion.

Ami received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and has studied at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Salvador.  She has studied with master percussionists Michael Spiro, John Bergamo, Randy Gloss, and Guello to name a few.

Her extensive performance and recording credits include theater, television (NBC) and live performances with artists such as Luciana Souza, Jovino Santos-Neto, Mike Patton, George Duke, Allessandro Penezzi, Mike Marshall, Hamilton de Holanda, Teka, John Santos, and Michael Spiro.

As an educator, Ami Molinelli actively conducts workshops, clinics and artist-residencies and has been a regular faculty member at California Brazil Camp and Jazz Camp West.  She has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a teaching artist, to create and publish percussion and jazz curricula. In addition her trademarked curriculum, “Recycled Rhythm” and percussion clinics have brought her to Universities in Brazil as well as throughout the U.S.