For the past two summers I have had the great pleasure of spending an evening at Wooten Woods. For those who may not know, Wooten Woods is Victor Wooten’s Music Camp, located outside Nashville, in the Tennessee woods. Victor holds several camps throughout the year ranging from weekend camps, to an intensive 3 week music and nature camp. Although the camp does have a bit of a bias towards bass, it is open to any instrument and musicians of all skill levels.
Wooten Woods is literally a camp in the Tennessee wilderness. At night you can hear all of the sounds of nature around you, and I can’t remember the last time I saw so many stars in the sky. A renovated barn serves as the main hall for dining and performances as well as practice stations located upstairs in the loft. Other building on site include Dinah’s Woodshed and a Geometric Dome which serve as classrooms, plus a Nature Pavilion, several sleeping cabins and a Bathhouse. There are also a few tents pitched for the campers who want the true nature experience.
Each time I went, it was during the 3-week session and I asked the attendees if they were going stir crazy from being stuck out there. On the contrary, everyone I spoke to said they were having the times of their lives. They were kept busy learning about music and nature, as well as other various group activities. It seems to me that Victor has this Bass Camp thing down!
Wooten Woods has such a great atmosphere to it. Friendly, kind, understanding and most certainly inviting. Going to a music camp can be a bit intimidating at first, but after 15 minutes or so I felt right at home, especially on my second visit. It’s no wonder so many top artists want to be a part of Victor’s camp. On my last visit Christian McBride was there as a guest instructor, for my first visit if was Keb Mo. Sax great Jeff Coffin was there on both occasions as was Victor’s brother, Roy “Futureman” Wooten. It was amazing to spend the evening with each of these top caliber musician’s, all of whom seem to love to share their knowledge and experiences with the group.
While my experience with Wooten Woods is limited to just two evenings, I can honestly see the appeal of the place. This past summer, as part of Roy Vogt’s Bass Camp, I was fortunate enough to spend a week studying with Anthony Wellington, whom is a regular instructor at Wooten Woods. Add these two experiences together and I am seriously considering attending one of Victor’s camps in 2015.