My daughter said all the teachers are amazing, super supportive of students learning jazz for the first time.
~ Jazz Camp parent

Middle School Instrumentalists

Prerequisite: current enrollment in school music program
Audition Required

Instrumentation: trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, guitar, bass, drums, vibes

Ten weekday evenings from 6:45 – 8:45pm

To sign up for an audition, register using your existing SJW account or create one if you’re new to SJW. We’ll contact you to schedule an audition.


February 15 – May 7, 2017

Performance in December

Directed by Dave Gregoric

Rehearsal location at Carlmont High School
Belmont, CA 94002


February 7 – May 7, 2017

Performance in December

Directed by Dr. David Hart

Rehearsal location at The Harker School
San Jose, CA 95117

Program Focus

  • Weekly big band rehearsals, with regular improvisation instruction
  • Directed by top jazz educators
  • Weekly master classes with SJW instrumental faculty
  • Each student must purchase a copy of Make Music SmartMusic to allow for individualized practice and weekly instruction.
  • Weekly progress assessments
  • Showcase performances on Sunday, December 11 in Dinkelspiel Auditorium at Stanford University

Giant Steps Big Band


he SJW Giant Steps Big Band program offers 10 weekly rehearsals with jazz instruction in a fun, exciting big band setting. Open by audition only, the Giant Steps Big Band gives middle school musicians a solid foundation in improvisation, practice discipline, and the performance of jazz styles and articulations. Following the 10-week program, the Giant Steps Band shows the world how much fun it is to play jazz with a public performance at Stanford University.

Taught by leading jazz educators who specialize in middle school curriculum and pedagogy, the Giant Steps Big Band offers more than just a weekly rehearsal. Each meeting also includes a master class with experts on each instrument. Additionally, SJW faculty work with each Giant Steps band member during the week via SmartMusic, a software practice and evaluation tool.

The result is that Giant Steps Big Band members learn and progress at an accelerated rate, and they sound much more advanced than their middle school grade level would indicate. Students who have participated in the Giant Steps Big Band report that they get placed in more advanced ensembles when they audition for their high school band programs.