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New course offers place for musically shy boomers to band together
Okanagan College Media Release

PiovesanAn Okanagan musician, who has played sessions with stars like Patrick Simmons from the Doobie Brothers and studied music under Quincy Jones and Chuck Mangione, is giving shy boomers a chance to reconnect with their musical talents.

“I’ve talked to so many people who tell me they’ve got a guitar, or an old saxophone, or maybe even a banjo their spouse gave them, and sometimes they bring it out and play it in their backyard, but they don’t have anyone to share that with,” said Henry Piovesan. “There’s too many of these guys and gals out there.”

So Piovesan decided to do something about it.

With 30 years of experience teaching adults, he’s now offering a Music Jam Camp at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, with two sessions running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 8 – 12, and again from July 15 – 19.

Provided through Continuing Studies, the $385 camp is expressly designed to bring together adults in their thirties and forties and let the music happen.

“I’ve had adults come to the jam classes, meet one another and team up with others to jam outside of class,” he said.

Piovesan started playing piano in high school, and received his Bachelor of Music degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston. From there he went on to form the band Formation, and then later Whitewater, sharing festival stages with Canadian luminaries like Burton Cummings and the Tragically Hip.

Piovesan said finding musical mates gets harder as people get older.

“When they’re teenagers in high school, they find each other through band class. Then in their twenties, they’re playing in the clubs. There is a group of older players who go to jams like the ones at the Blue Gator in Kelowna, but there is a huge population of people that quit as they get older, and the guitar goes under the bed.”

Piovesan said the course is open to adults age 15 and up with a treasured instrument and a willingness to shake off the cobwebs for a challenging musical experience with a minimum of formal theory or practice.

“Your existing abilities are all you need to jam,” he said. “Come with your instrument, a positive outlook, a playful spirit and an open ear.”

To register for the course, visit, or call 250-545-7291 ext. 2850. For more information, visit Piovesan’s website at