It has been said that jazz music is America's gift to the world. This summer, an annual tradition at Keystone College in LaPlume aims to make sure that gift keeps on giving.

The sixth annual Jazz Institute at Keystone College will be held from Monday, July 29, to Friday, Aug. 2, and promises to give local musicians the chance to study and perform with several of Northeast Pennsylvania's and New York's finest touring and recording jazz artists.

The event, which is presented in partnership with the Pennsylvania Jazz Alliance, will feature faculty members James Buckley, Tom Hamilton, Marko Marcinko, Tony Marino, Eddie Severn and Bill Washer.

Marcinko, who is the founder of the Pennsylvania Jazz Alliance and adjunct professor of jazz studies at Penn State University, explained some of the benefits of participating in the program.

"It is an intensive, five-day overview into the musical styles of jazz, world beat, blues and popular music," he said. "Students will learn theory, improvisation, concepts, styles and the rich history this music has in American and world culture."

An added bonus for students is that, upon completion of the program, they will get the chance to perform at the Scranton Jazz Festival, which will be held from Friday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 4 in downtown Scranton.

"The performance is a wonderful opportunity for the Keystone College Jazz Institute to show the hard work and training to the jazz festival audience and all the family and friends of the participants," Marcinko said.

Available courses include jazz theory and ear training harmony, improvisation, jazz piano class, jazz history, rhythm section techniques, music business, music technology, studio engineering and recording.

Marcinko, who is well-known for playing with the Marko Marcinko Jazz Quartet at Bazil Restaurant in Clarks Summit, explained that the Institute will help students garner a sense of what it is really like to be a jazz musician.

"Jazz is quite important to me personally, as I have trained and studied in this style of music for most of my musical life," he said. "The Institute transmits all the basic and most important musical and stylistic information to the participants through individual private study, class work and ensemble playing."

The registration fee for the 5-day program is $325 per person. For more information or to register, contact Crystal Seigle at 945-8580 or email crystal.siegle@keystone.edu.