SJW was treated to a day of fantastic performances at the 36th annual Campana Jazz Festival in Pleasanton earlier this month. Dozens of middle school and high school jazz bands, combos, and choirs came from northern California to compete on the accommodating campus of Amador Valley High School, and to take advantage of the educational clinics given by such notable jazz educators and artists as SJW faculty members Erik Jekabson and Frank Sumares.
The adjudicators were on the hunt for deserving talent on behalf of SJW, and to this end, two budding musicians were each awarded partial scholarships to the 2011 Stanford Jazz Workshop.
Playing lead alto saxophone for Harvest Park Middle School, Brandon Zhang wowed the audience and adjudicators with his fantastic solo ballad work. His warm tone, musical vibrato, and mature phrasing are hints of what we have to look forward to when Brandon arrives at Jazz Camp this summer! Harvest Park Middle School band director Paul Perazzo has a great-sounding band filled with passionately swinging young jazzers-to-be.
The jazz juggernaut from Folsom High School rolled into Campana, and rolled out with first-place honors in the “AA” band, combo, and jazz choir categories. In that first-place choir of singers all of whom exhibit exceptional intonation, phrasing, rhythm, and musicality, Tanner Robinson distinguished himself with a splendid performance and captured a partial tuition scholarship to this summer’s Stanford Jazz Workshop. Director Curtis Gaesser has trained a veritable army of excellent jazz musicians at Folsom High; you can find out more about the Folsom Music Program here.
Congratulations to all the winning ensembles, and thanks for all the great jazz!