Spring Miles Ahead programs for high school musicians: Which one is right for you?

We are very excited about our spring programs for high school musicians. The programs were very popular this past fall, and we had nearly 100 students participating, from all over the US, and in other countries, too!

We’re introducing a new program this spring, the Miles Ahead Institute, taught by Steven Lugerner. It’s a little different than our Miles Ahead Jazz Online program, and we want to help you to decide which of the programs is best for you. Most of the students who have signed up so far have signed up for both programs, which gives you a discount on the tuition, as well as an intensive 8-week program that will really improve your jazz playing.

Below is a comparison chart that will give you a little more detail about the two programs and how they differ. Please read over the program pages for each program as well, and don’t hesitate to contact our faculty and camp director, Steven Lugerner if you have any questions at [email protected].

Find out more about Miles Ahead Jazz Online by clicking here.

Find out more about Miles Ahead Institute by clicking here. 

SJW faculty artists put the swing into “Soul”

SJW announces SJW Jazz Camp Online

Enrollment opens May 26. Click here for full details.

SJW is happy to announce a brand-new, all-online summer jazz immersion program! Join us at SJW Jazz Camp Online this summer to learn from some of the best jazz musicians and educators in the business. You’ll improve your instrumental or vocal technique with daily master classes tailored to your particular needs and interests. You’ll open your ears to the sounds and language of jazz in ear training and listening classes. Dig deeper into particular jazz subjects with our library of on-demand video lessons, and get immediate feedback on your progress in daily live class meetings. You’ll meet young jazz musicians from all over the world, and you’ll become part of the fantastic international community of SJW teachers and students.

Whether you’re a jazz master who gets all the solos in your school jazz program, or someone who just wants to explore and experience jazz for the very first time, we have live and on-demand instruction that is designed to help you get to the next level of mastery. We place all Jazz Camp Online students in classes and sessions based on their experience level, so you’ll always get the right level of instruction for your needs.

Here are some of the highlights of SJW Jazz Camp Online.

  • Four 40-minute live sessions each day from 10 AM – 6 PM Pacific Standard Time for Full Day participants
  • Two 40-minute live sessions each day from 2 PM – 6 PM Pacific Standard Time for Half Day participants
  • Master class on your instrument or for voice, for your level
  • Musicianship
  • Improvisation
  • Jazz Theory (for Full Day participants)
  • Special topics on performance, composition, and more (for Full Day participants)

Also included each week:

  • One private lesson with one of our legendary faculty artists
  • Additional private lessons available for an extra fee
  • Practice parties
  • Jazz history listening sessions
  • Panel discussions
  • Access to our online library of on-demand jazz class content
  • Time to practice and absorb what you’ve learned

Enroll for two weeks, and we’ll place you in classes at a more advanced level your second week.

Tuition: $475 per week of full-day sessions; $275 per week of half-day sessions. Tuition can be paid on a sliding scale.

One private lesson is included, and additional private lessons are available for an extra fee.

Check back for more information soon.

SJW cancels 2020 Stanford Jazz Festival

In compliance with directives from Stanford University regarding cancellation of summer camps and programs, and heeding the recommendations of state and local health officials, we have come to the painful decision to cancel the 2020 Stanford Jazz Festival, concerts of which were scheduled to be held on the campus of Stanford University, between June 20 and August 1.

We know this news will be as much of a disappointment to our ticket buyers and performers as it is to all of us here at Stanford Jazz Workshop, as we’ve been looking forward to immersing ourselves into music this summer with all of our friends. We will of course miss the joy, inspiration and revitalization that comes with the direct connection to our jazz community, though our primary concern now is the health and safety of our students and their families, our faculty, and our staff. We also want to ensure that we as a community do our part to halt the spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 disease.

We are painfully aware of the negative impact this unprecedented action will have on the SJW community, particularly:

  • The 10,000+ patrons who look forward to being thrilled by the unique live performances at the Stanford Jazz Festival
  • The 700+ developing jazz musicians who count on SJW’s summer jazz immersion programs for inspiration, guidance, and community
  • The 100+ faculty artists who depend on SJW’s summer programs for community, growth, and income
  • All in our extended SJW family around the world

Ticket purchases will be refunded

We will issue a full refund for any tickets purchased, to any of the four concerts already on sale. Please allow up to 5 business days for the refund to reflect on your online credit card bank account. If you do not see your refund by Thursday, April 16, please contact the Stanford Ticket Office by emailing [email protected] The entire Stanford Ticket Office staff is working remotely while sheltering at home, and we’re managing our operations as best we can. Thanks in advance for your patience.

You can help SJW to continue our important work with a donation

The response necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is devastating for arts organizations, and SJW is no exception. We want to assure you that, though our summer programs are canceled for now, our dedicated and caring staff is here and doing all they can to make sure that our important education and performance programs will be available to you again as soon as possible. We look forward to staying connected with you through social media and our e-newsletter.

If you would like to support our continuing work, you may waive your refund and convert your ticket purchase into a donation. To do so, simply reply to the notification email you received and indicate you’d like to donate your ticket purchase to SJW.

Alternatively, if you have capacity to contribute and help us to keep our operations going during this difficult time, please click on the link below:

We look forward to staying connected with you through social media and our e-newsletter.

We urge everyone to keep informed about this changing situation by visiting the following web sites regularly:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
California Department of Public Health
Santa Clara County Public Health Department
San Mateo County Department of Health

If you have any questions or concerns about our programs or our response to the threat of the spread of COVID-19 disease, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or by calling 650-736-0324. We want you all to stay safe and healthy during this difficult situation.  That is our primary goal, now and always, at SJW.  Please take care of yourselves, of your friends and families, and our communities.

SJW suspends after-school program; summer programs will proceed

Stanford Jazz Workshop’s highest priority is the health and safety of our students, their families, our patrons, and our faculty and staff. We have been closely monitoring the guidelines and protocols for protecting communities from the COVID-19 disease published by the Centers for Disease Control, Stanford University, county Health Departments, and the State of California. As of today (March 12, 2020) we are taking the following actions:

School- Year/After School programs

All after-school programs have been suspended, effective from March 12th through April 17th. We will reevaluate the situation prior to that date and will provide an update at that time. We will attempt to reschedule these cancelled sessions, if feasible, and may also explore online options for continuing. We will keep you apprised regarding these possibilities, as well as refunds for cancelled sessions, in the coming days.

Summer Programs

At this time, all summer educational programs are scheduled to proceed as planned. Registration is open for Giant Steps Day Camp, Jazz Camp, and Jazz Institute. Tickets for the Stanford Jazz Festival will be available soon.

If the CDC, other government agency, or Stanford University recommends cancelation of these programs, we will follow their guidance. There is no deadline, at this point, by which that will be definitively confirmed. If programs are cancelled, all participants will receive a full and complete refund. If you are currently registered for a summer program, we encourage you to remain registered to reserve your spot. However, given the circumstances, if you wish to cancel your registration due to concerns regarding the Coronavirus, we will waive all cancelation fees for cancelations received by April 17th. We will make further assessments regarding summer programs prior to that date.

It’s important to emphasize that, as far as we know, none of our students, faculty, or staff have confirmed cases of the virus. Confronting the challenges of a public health emergency like this can create discomfort and anxiety. We will continue to provide updates and guidance as soon and as often as possible via email and on our website.

We are in regular contact with organizations providing our facilities in order to align with policies governing their use during this uncertain time, including:

• Stanford University
• College of San Mateo
• San Mateo Unified High School District
• Sequoia Unified High School District
• Menlo Park City Schools
• The Harker School

As we get updates from our partners, we will inform our participants and their families, patrons, and staff of any changes to procedures and protocols that we must follow.

We urge everyone to keep informed about this changing situation by visiting the following web sites regularly:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
California Department of Public Health
Santa Clara County Public Health Department
San Mateo County Department of Health

If you have any questions or concerns about our programs or our response to the threat of the spread of COVID-19 disease, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or by calling 650-736-0324. We want you all to stay safe and healthy during this difficult situation.  That is our primary goal, now and always, at SJW.  Please take care of yourselves, of your friends and families, and our communities.

Audition for SJW’s after-school jazz programs

Auditions begin this weekend for our Fall Giant Steps Big Band programs and Miles Ahead band programs! If you know a young musician in middle school or high school who would like to play jazz and learn to improvise after-school with some of the best young musicians in the community, please let them know about these fantastic programs.

Auditions will be held at Braun Music Center at Stanford University on the following dates and times:

Saturday, August 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, August 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, August 24, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, August 25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

If you can’t schedule an audition during the above times, you may submit an online audition.

Instructions and audition materials are available now!







Miles Ahead Combo — a gigging machine!


SJW’s Miles Ahead Combo is having a busy spring. The combo, which is directed by SJW faculty artist Raffi Garabedian, is made up of musicians from seven different schools — hence the “conglomerate” label by which many after-school ensembles are known at jazz festivals.

This past Saturday, March 10, the band needed no label other than “burning” as they played at the 7 Mile House Jazz Festival, along with many other terrific jazz artists, such as SJW faculty artists Kris Strom and Scott Sorkin, as well as Curt Moore, Murray Low, Dave Bendigkeit, Anton Schwartz, Frank Tusa, Jeff Cressman, Calvin Keys, Deszon Claiborne, Wally Schnalle, John Gove, Jeff Denson, Al Molina, Peter Barshay, Vince Lateoano, Glen Pearson, Ray Obiedo, and others — the lineup was a veritable Who’s Who of the Bay Area jazz world!

KCSM DJ Alisa Clancy shared emcee duties, and had the honor of introducing the group to the packed house. The combo — normally a septet with a full frontline of horns — was a quintet for Saturday’s show, consisting of Eric Mayerhofer from Carlmont High in Belmont on alto, Ben Redlawsk on bass from Sequoia High in Redwood City, drummer Roni Herschmann from Palo Alto’s Henry M. Gunn High, guitarist/composer Grant Grech who attends Junipero Serra High in San Mateo, and Keshav Balaji on piano, from Valley Christian High in San Jose. Not seen onstage due to school performance obligations were tenor saxophonist Myrsani San Marchi from Amador Valley High and trombonist Donovan Warren from Stuart Hall High in San Francisco.

This cosmopolitan combo appears next at the following events:

  • Saturday, April 28: Mountain View High School Jazz Festival, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, May, 6: Performing with the Miles Ahead Big Band and SJW Alumni Big Band, Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford University, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 27: Opening for Erik Jekabsen’s Electric Squeezebox Orchestra at the California Jazz Conservatory

For more information about the Miles Ahead program, which is open to all music students who are concurrently enrolled in the school music program, click here.

To see the schedule of great jazz at the 7 Mile House, click here.

Thanks to Jessica Levant for the great photo!

Schedule your audition for the SJW Giant Steps Big Band now

Thanks to your support, last year’s Giant Steps Big Band for Middle School was a huge success, so much so that this Fall we’re offering two after-school big bands.

Giant Steps Big Band North will rehearse Wednesdays at Carlmont High School, and will be directed by Mike Galisatus, of the College of San Mateo.

Giant Steps Big Band South will rehearse Tuesdays at The Harker School in Santa Clara, and will be directed by Dave Gregoric.

As with last year’s successful band, the program is in a big band format, and its focus is on developing improvisations skills, mastering jazz styles and articulations, and instilling good practice discipline.

We’ll hold auditions in two weeks for the program at Stanford University on September 6 and 7, and the weekly rehearsals will begin on September 23 at The Harker School, and September 24 at Carlmont High.

For more information, click here.

To schedule an audition, write [email protected] or call 650-736-0324.

Jazz Camp Week 2 Showcase schedule and other info

Tonight’s the night! The Jazz Camp Week 3 Showcase will feature nearly 200 rising stars of jazz performing on four stages. How do you find out who is performing on which stage at which time? Download the Jazz Camp Showcase schedule here, then read below to find out how to interpret the schedule.
Here’s how the schedule is organized:
  • Jazz Camp participants are listed alphabetically by last name
  • The center column indicates combos that rehearse in the early afternoon, which are known as “early combos”
  • The right column indicates combos that rehearse in the late afternoon, which are known as “late combos”
  • Vocalists will perform in Braun Rehearsal Hall, Room 110, and their performance order is indicated in the center column
The numbers indicate the order in which the combos perform on a particular stage:
  • If your combo or vocalist is indicated as “05”, that means they will be the fifth to perform.
  • Performances begin at 7 p.m. on Dinkelspiel, Campbell, and Braun Rehearsal Hall; performances on the Outdoor Stage begin at 6 p.m.
  • Each performance takes approximately 12 – 15 minutes, so a combo slated to perform fifth on the Dinkelspiel stage would begin at between 8 and 8:15 p.m.
  • A combo slated to perform eighth (08) on the Outdoor stage would begin at between 7: 30 and 7:45  p.m.
  • Vocal performances take approximately 5 minutes, so a vocalist slated to perform fourth in Braun Rehearsal Hall, Room 110, would begin at approximately 7:15.
Friends and Family Dinner
If you’re purchased tickets for the Friends and Family Dinner, you can pick them up in front of Tresidder Union, directly across from Dinkelspiel Auditorium, at 5:30 p.m.
New this year: Combo photos
Following each combo’s performance, the performers will proceed to our new Photo Station next to Dinkelspiel Auditorium to have a band portrait taken. Photo prints and downloads will be available for sale online following the Showcase.