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Campers are featured on Matt Davis's "Noise in the Basement." 98Rock Radio

Baltimore Rock Fest History

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Jack Black & Joey Gaydos

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Michael Angelo Batio jams with

Tobias Hurwitz.

In 1998 Tobias Hurwitz was asked by The National Guitar Workshop to direct a local rock music camp called Dayjams. By 1999 Dayjams was off like a shot and running as the first chain of rock music day camps in the nation. Right around the same time School of Rock was a one-off production in Philly, and soon became the second national chain. Dayjams flourished, with Tobias’s campus acting as the flagship model for the chain and the National Guitar Workshop flying him around the country to train new campus directors in all corners of the states. Tobias was also tasked with designing curriculum for the chain and the writing and editing of its textbooks. This progressive curriculum focused on songwriting, creativity, and the learning of real musical concepts such as technique, chords, scales, improv, and music theory, instead of merely memorizing cover-song fingerings.

At the height of its popularity Dayjams had 44 camps nationwide running one to five weeks consecutively with attendance of 40-95 kids a week. It was a raging success! When the School of Rock feature film was released in 2003 the producers contacted Dayjams to provide them with a child star who could play guitar, and Joey Gaydos was chosen from one of the Dayjams camps and starred in the movie alongside of Jack Black from Tenacious D. Another awesome highlight occurred when prominent NYC brain scientist Dr. Gary Marcus decided to use Tobias’s Dayjams campus as an environment in which to test his theories regarding cognitive science and music learning in kids and adults. His New York Times best seller on Penguin books- Guitar Zero- was published in 2012, featuring an in-depth look at Dayjams, Tobias, and the band he joined with full approval from the kids: Rush Hour.

Eventually the Dayjams chain went out of business due to rising competition and various issues related to the parent company, The National Guitar Workshop, who also went under at the same time as did their internet venture: Workshop Live. Tobias took the year off and restarted the camp in 2013– much the same as ever – but with a new name: Rock Star Jam. Rock Star Jam flourishes to this day as a one-off Baltimore day camp, who has now partnered with Lutherville Rock School and once again changed its name. It’s called Baltimore Rock Fest and employs the same time-tested curriculum and beloved team of amazing counselors and teachers, handpicked by Tobias Hurwitz and located in Lutherville MD.   

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Gary Marcus & Rush Hour

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